Creditor’s Bankruptcy Application in Singapore

Your debtor is not paying you. You’ve sent many letters of demand but there has been no reply. He or she is not picking up your calls. What can you do? The last weapon that a creditor can use is a creditor’s bankruptcy application.

Creditor’s Bankruptcy Application

If the debt owed is at least $15,000, and the debtor is unable to pay the debt, you may file a Bankruptcy Application against the debtor.

To satisfy the requirement that the debtor be unable to pay, the debtor will be regarded as being unable to pay the debt and the creditor may file a creditor’s bankruptcy application in the following situations:

  • The debtor fails to comply with a statutory demand (“SD“) to pay the debt for at least 21 days since the statutory demand was served on him;
  • Does not apply to the Court within 14 days (21 days if the SD was served outside jurisdiction) to set aside the SD;
  • The debtor has failed to comply with a court issued execution on judgment to pay the debt either in whole or in part;
  • The debtor has fled the country to avoid payment of the debt;
  • The Official Assignee (“OA“) certifies that the debtor is unable to pay the debt.
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Expedited Bankruptcy application


If you have made a SD and a creditor’s bankruptcy application on that SD as outlined above, it is also possible that the application may be made without needing 21 days to pass (e.g. making the application 15 days since service of the SD).

To achieve this, the applicant must show that (1) there is a serious possibility that the debtor’s property, or the value of all or any of the debtor’s property will be significant diminished during that period, and (2) the application contains a statement to that effect.

Setting aside a Statutory Demand

The SD is an official demand that enables the creditor to begin bankruptcy proceedings against the debtor. Therefore, it is also possible for the debtor to contest the SD by applying to court to set aside the SD.

To set aside the SD, the debtor must file an Originating Summons within 14 days from the date of service of the SD, and file an affidavit in support of the Originating Summons. Some of the grounds the debtor may dispute your SD are as follows:

  • The debtor has a valid counterclaim equivalent to or exceeding the amount of debt stated in the SD;
  • The debtor disputes the debt;
  • You hold the debtor’s assets or have security in respect of the debt, and it has not been taken into consideration in the SD;
  • The SD is defective in its form and contents

A debtor can also dispute your bankruptcy application by filing a Notice of Objection 3 days before the scheduled hearing date of your bankruptcy application at the latest. The Notice will be served on you and the Official Assignee.

Costs of making Bankruptcy Application

Where the bankruptcy application is successful, if filed by a creditor, the creditor can recover the full amount of the deposit if there are enough funds in the bankrupt’s estate

For bankruptcy applications that have been dismissed or withdrawn, the OA will refund $1,800 to the applicant (regardless of creditor or debtor) while the remaining $50 is retained as preliminary administration costs. If you hire a lawyer to file for bankruptcy, the lawyer will charge professional fees on top of the deposit amount.

How we can help

If you wish to commence bankruptcy proceedings against a debtor, it is important that procedure is followed accurately or the court may dismiss your application since bankruptcy is a very disruptive measure against the debtor. Our lawyers are experienced in these matters and if you are considering commencing bankruptcy proceedings against a debtor, please contact us and we will have a fruitful consultation with you on your available options.

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Our specialised lawyers and their team are standing by to assist you. Our first consultation is free.

The information contained within this website contains general information about our lawyers, Law Firm and procedures and is not intended to constitute legal advice.
Any person viewing or receiving information from this Website should not act or refrain from acting, on the basis of any such information without first seeking appropriate legal advice.
Please consult a lawyer for specific review of your case and advise. 

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Joint Managing Partner

Joint Managing Partner

Enquiry from Emerald Law


Joint Managing Partner

Joint Managing Partner

Enquiry from Emerald Law


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