Financial Counselling and the Self-Represented Debtor in the Federal Circuit Court Bankruptcy List: An Analysis of a Recent Pilot Service

Insolvency Law Journal, Vol. 23, No. 4, 161-180, 2015

20 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2016

See all articles by Paul Ali

Paul Ali

University of Melbourne - Law School

Lucinda O'Brien

Melbourne Law School

Ian Ramsay

Melbourne Law School - University of Melbourne

Date Written: February 15, 2016

Abstract

This article presents an empirical analysis of an innovative financial counselling service offered to self-represented debtors in the Bankruptcy List of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia in 2014 and 2015. This pilot service offered on-site financial counselling to debtors who attended the court without legal representation, in response to a creditor’s petition. The article draws on the researchers’ surveys of debtors and creditors’ solicitors, interviews with financial counsellors and Registrars, and data compiled by staff at the court. It concludes that the service improved the efficiency of the List, while also offering significant benefits to debtors. The article outlines potential for further empirical research on the role of financial counselling in the context of contested creditors’ petitions, and in the bankruptcy system more generally. It also discusses the role of emotion in bankruptcy proceedings and identifies scope for further, interdisciplinary work in this area.

Keywords: bankruptcy, financial counselling

Suggested Citation

Ali, Paul and O'Brien, Lucinda and Ramsay, Ian, Financial Counselling and the Self-Represented Debtor in the Federal Circuit Court Bankruptcy List: An Analysis of a Recent Pilot Service (February 15, 2016). Insolvency Law Journal, Vol. 23, No. 4, 161-180, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2732824

Paul Ali

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia
+61 3 8344 1088 (Phone)
+61 3 8344 5285 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au

Lucinda O'Brien

Melbourne Law School ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053
Australia

Ian Ramsay (Contact Author)

Melbourne Law School - University of Melbourne ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia
+61 3 8344 5332 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.unimelb.edu.au/about/staff/ian-ramsay

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