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One year bankruptcy: Aye or nay?
By: Chan & Naylor
After its second reading in Parliament last October, the one-year bankruptcy bill has already been referred to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee. The Senate Report will come out on 19 March.
According to the Senate Standing Committee, the issue was referred to them to ensure the detailed scrutiny of the bill's implications and consequences, including the bankruptcy time-frames. To do this, the Senate Committee may also seek help from individuals, community stakeholders, relevant government departments and the financial industry. The expected hearing dates are not yet announced.
In October, Insolvency Experts asked thousands of lawyers, accountants, financial experts and other professionals whether they were for or against the one-year bankruptcy bill and the results were staggering. 62% of respondents said they were against the bill and only 38% said they were for it.
Some of the key changes are: the discharged bankrupt being able to apply for credit without having to disclose their bankruptcy after the one-year period, compulsory income contributions to continue for discharged bankrupts for at least two years after discharge, and all bankruptcies on foot will be discharged if they are at least one year old.
The Government believes that entrepreneurs often fail a couple of times before reaching success and it is important to aid them in learning lessons along the way. It also believes that owners of distressed companies will likely give up their assets and business, which will reduce the damage to the creditors rather than delay liquidation.
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