WHAT IS BANKRUPTCY?
An official assignee from government agency the New Zealand Insolvency and Trustee Service administers your debts.
You are still responsible for: payments for hire purchases or mortgages, court fines or court orders for reparation, maintenance and child support payments and debts incurred after the bankruptcy.
Your belongings – including your home, car, appliances, life insurance policies and super schemes – can be sold or cashed in to repay creditors.
You still run your own bank accounts, but the assignee can look into them and take large sums to pay creditors.
If you find high-earning employment, the assignee will work out a budget to see how much can go to creditors.
Anything your domestic partner earns remains theirs.
The only assets you can keep are furniture and personal effects and tools of the trade to a value fixed at the assignee’s discretion. You may have a vehicle worth up to $5000.
The assignee can investigate previous transactions, and can retrieve any gifts made in the past five years. The assignee will prosecute if there are blatant breaches of law, or if it is in the public interest.
You cannot manage a company or become a business partner without consent.
You need consent to be employed by any company, trust, trustee or incorporated society managed or controlled by a relative.
You cannot go overseas without consent.
You are normally discharged from bankruptcy after three years, but can apply to be discharged earlier.
The bankruptcy remains on your credit files for seven years, although your discharge will be noted.
Your name will also appear on the publicly accessible database of the New Zealand Insolvency and Trustee Service for four years after you are discharged.