Bankruptcy proceedings can be commenced by way of a Bankruptcy Petition to the High Court by the debtor himself/herself or a creditor who is owed S$10,000.00 or more by the debtor.
An individual debtor can take out a petition to make himself/herself a bankrupt. A statement of affairs must be filed together with the bankruptcy petition. If a partnership firm wishes to take out a bankruptcy petition, the petition must be presented jointly by all the partners of the firm.
Debt Repayment Scheme (DRS)
The Bankruptcy Act was amended to provide for the Debt Repayment Scheme (DRS). The new provisions are applicable to all bankruptcy applications filed on or after 18 May 2009.
For more information about DRS on the Insolvency and Public Trustee's Office (IPTO) website, please click here.
Downloadable Forms for the Use of Debtors
(Please click on the respective links to download the forms.)
- Supporting Affidavit (DRS applies)
- Debtor's Bankruptcy Application
- Affidavit Verifying Statement of Affairs
- Statement of Affairs
- Supporting Affidavit (DRS does not apply)
If the petition is brought by a creditor, a Statutory Demand demanding payment must first be served on the debtor. If payment is not made within 21 days and the debtor has not applied to the court to set aside the Statutory Demand, the creditor can then proceed to issue a creditor's petition against the debtor.
If a debtor wishes to set aside the Statutory Demand, an application must be made by way of an Originating Summons within 14 days from the date the Statutory Demand was delivered to the debtor. In this application, the debtor can:
- state reasons for not admitting the debt
- admit the debt but state reasons why it is not immediately payable
- admit the debt and offer to secure or compound it to the creditor's satisfaction
- inform the court that the debt is a secured debt and provide full details of the security and its value
- present a counterclaim or cross demand
- prove that the execution on the judgment of the court has been stayed
- state reasons why the statutory demand does not comply with the bankruptcy rules
- state personal grounds or reasons why the statutory demand should be set aside
A debtor may make voluntary arrangements to persuade the creditor from resorting to bankruptcy proceedings and encourage settlement of debts wherever possible. First, the debtor must make an application for an interim order to stop all further proceedings against him. The application is to be accompanied by a proposal containing information of all assets and liabilities and how the debtor proposes to settle the debts. The proposal must provide for a nominee who will be appointed to supervise the debt and settlement proposal. This nominee must be a registered public accountant, an advocate and solicitor or a person gazetted by the Minister who consents to being appointed as a nominee.
If the debtor fulfills his obligation under the proposal, the debt is considered settled. If the debtor fails to comply, the nominee or any of the creditors may file a bankruptcy petition against the debtor.
A debtor can also oppose the creditor's petition by filing a notice in court specifying his/her objections not later than 3 days before the hearing date. This notice is to be served to the creditor and the Official Assignee (the administrator of the bankrupt's affairs).
A person can be made a bankrupt approximately 4 to 6 weeks from the date of the issue of the bankruptcy petition.
After the Bankruptcy Order has been made against a person, notification will be published in the Government Gazette and the Official Assignee will then administer the bankrupt's affairs in bankruptcy. The Official Assignee or his representatives will contact the bankrupt for him to come to their office for an interview.
Once a person is made a bankrupt, he or she is subject to many disqualifications and disabilities such as prohibition from overseas travel and starting court actions, and disqualification from appointment as a trustee or personal representative, amongst others.