Personal Insolvency Services include, Bankruptcy, Debt Agreements and Personal Insolvency Agreements.
These services can only be provided by a licenced and registered insolvency practitioner. Before you start dealing with any company, make sure they are fully licenced and registered with AFSA.
There are 2 categories of personal insolvency licences which AFSA issue and regulate. The lesser category is a Registered Debt Agreement Administrator and the higher category is a Registered Trustee in Bankruptcy.
What is a Debt Agreement Administrator?
A Registered Debt Agreement Administrator (RDAA) is licenced to set up and supervise Debt Agreements only. A RDAA can be a company or a person. A RDAA cannot offer any other personal insolvency services such as bankruptcy administration and personal insolvency agreements. The reason for this is that the practitioner needs a higher degree of skill and experience to administer bankruptcy administrations and personal insolvency agreements. A RDAA is only required to hold a Certificate IV in Accountancy (which only takes 1 year to obtain at TAFE). Compared to a Registered Trustee in Bankruptcy who is required to hold a bachelor degree in accountancy and also be a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants or CPA Australia.
What is a Registered Trustee in Bankruptcy?
To become a Registered Trustee in Bankruptcy the requirements are significantly higher (compared to a RDAA). A Registered Trustee in Bankruptcy who is required to hold a bachelor degree in accountancy (which takes a minimum of 3 years at university), be a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants or CPA Australia (which takes a minimum of 1 year in post graduate studies) and also be a member of the peak professional body in Australia (Insolvency Practitioners Association of Australia which takes another year in post graduate studies). Obtaining all of these qualifications will take a minimum of 5 years. In addition, to become registered as a Trustee in Bankruptcy, you must be able to demonstrate to AFSA that you have relevant work experience in administering bankrupt estates and personal insolvency agreements. Without all of this you will not obtain registration.
As a result of these more stringent educational and work experience requirements, a Registered Trustee in Bankruptcy will clearly have more skill and experience in handling personal insolvency cases.