Bankruptcy Application and Impact of Bankruptcy
1. Does the Official Assignee have appointed agents to file bankruptcy applications in the High Court?
The Official Assignee does not file bankruptcy applications in the High Court and has not appointed any agent to file such applications. All bankruptcy applications are filed in the High Court by a creditor or by an individual debtor. At the hearing of the bankruptcy application, the High Court may refer a case to the Official Assignee for an assessment to be conducted to determine the debtor’s suitability to be placed on the Debt Repayment Scheme (DRS). A debtor cannot apply to be placed on the DRS as it is only initiated when a bankruptcy application is filed in the High Court.
2. What happens after I have been made a bankrupt?
You will be required to attend at the Official Assignee’s office for a briefing on your responsibilities as a bankrupt and submit your Statement of Affairs to the Official Assignee within 21 days from the date of the making of your Bankruptcy Order. Subsequent to the filing of your Statement of Affairs, you are also required to attend the Official Assignee’s office to work out your monthly instalment with our officers. The monthly instalments paid to your bankruptcy estate will be distributed as dividends to your creditors upon your discharge from bankruptcy.
If you are a partner in firm which has been made bankrupt, you will have to submit:
- a Statement of Affairs stating your personal assets and liabilities, and
- a Statement of Affairs stating the bankrupt firm’s assets and liabilities (unless it has already been submitted by another partner of the firm).
If you, without reasonable excuse, fail to submit a Statement of Affairs to the Official Assignee or submit a Statement of Affairs which is false, misleading or contains any material omission, it is an offence punishable with a fine not exceeding S$10,000 or an imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.
3. How do I contact my case officer?
You may contact us at:
Contact Us @ OneMinLaw
MinLaw Service Centre
45 Maxwell Road
The URA Centre (East Wing)
Tel: 1800-2255-529 (during office hours)
4. What is “bankruptcy case administration”?
Case administration refers to the process of realising (selling) the bankrupt’s assets, finalising his total liabilities before his discharge from bankruptcy.
5. What will happen to my assets?
Your assets will vest in the Official Assignee for the benefit of your creditors once you are adjudged a bankrupt.
Assets include anything of value belonging to you at the date of the making of the Bankruptcy Order, or obtained by you thereafter and gifts given to you before your discharge from bankruptcy. You must deliver up possession of these assets to the Official Assignee.
For more information, please click here.
6. What assets are protected from creditors?
Property held by you on trust for any other person
HDB flats where at least one of the owners is a Singapore Citizen
Monies in your Central Provident Fund (CPF) account
Life insurance policies which are held in express trust for the benefit of your spouse or children
Any other property excluded under any other written law
Compensation awarded for legal actions in respect of personal injuries or wrongful acts against you
For bankrupts who are nominated beneficiaries of the Dependants’ Protection Scheme (DPS), the compensation amount will be paid to the Official Assignee for the benefit of the bankrupt’s creditors. Where a DPS payout is made due to the permanent incapacity of an insured bankrupt, the CPF Board or the private insurer will write in for the Official Assignee’s consent for the release of the monies to the bankrupt.
7. What will happen to my secured assets?
Creditors (e.g. banks or other financial institutions) who hold security over your assets or goods, have the right to sell the assets or goods if you default on your payments.
The Official Assignee will require any proceeds of sale exceeding that of the value of the secured debt to be remitted to the bankruptcy estate for the benefit of his creditors.
8. All my bank accounts have been closed. How can I open a new savings account?
Upon the making of a Bankruptcy Order, all existing bank accounts of the bankrupt will be closed. Every bankrupt is allowed to maintain only one savings account with approval from the Official Assignee or the Private Trustees-in-Bankruptcy. To seek the Official Assignee’s approval to open a new savings account, click here.
If a Private Trustee-in-Bankruptcy is appointed to administer your bankruptcy estate, please approach your Private Trustee-in-Bankruptcy for the approval.
9. Can creditors take further legal action against me after I have been made bankrupt?
Creditors cannot take further legal proceedings against you to recover debts incurred before your bankruptcy.
If you receive:
a letter of demand for payments from your creditors or;
a notice of court action from your creditors or;
are approached by your creditors to repay your debts to them directly,
you should advise your creditors of your bankruptcy status inform them to file a Proof of Debt against your bankruptcy estate with the Insolvency Office.
Do note that this excludes fines incurred from the breaches of the law. You will have to make payment for these fines despite your bankruptcy status. Debts owed to the Singapore government i.e. CPF Board, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore etc. will have to be settled with the respective government agencies even after your discharge from bankruptcy.
10. Does the Insolvency Office help bankrupts to find employment?
To help bankrupt individuals in their job search, the Insolvency Office advises bankrupts who require assistance on employment opportunities or job searches on the available avenues for help.
This includes referring individuals to Workforce Singapore (WSG) or NTUC-Employment and Employability Institute (NTUC’s e2i) to seek career advice.
Through the Adapt and Grow (A&G) initiative, WSG and NTUC’s e2i offer employment facilitation services such as career coaching, employability workshops, job fairs and job matching.
They also provide a suite of employment support programmes to help jobseekers take up new jobs and careers.
Other information for bankrupts