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
Date Written: February 15, 2016
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: Suggested Citation