Applying for self-declared Bankruptcy in Singapore

What is Bankruptcy?

When a person is unable to pay off his debts, he or she may be declared bankrupt. If the person is declared bankrupt, their assets will be sold and the proceeds put into a bankruptcy estate. The bankruptcy estate will not include assets that are protected from bankruptcy e.g. HDB flats, CPF monies. The person will be listed in Singapore’s bankruptcy register until such time the bankruptcy is discharged.

Why file for Bankruptcy?

After the bankruptcy order is made, the creditor cannot charge interest for the principal sum owed, and the debt remains at a certain amount. Furthermore, the monthly contribution that you will have to make will be decided by the OA after taking into account what you need for yourself and your family. This amount will likely be more affordable versus the amounts your creditors were demanding from you. Moreover, creditors will be barred from making claims against you to recover debts incurred before bankruptcy, after the making of the bankruptcy order.

Who can make a Bankruptcy Application?

The person owing the money (“the debtor“) can voluntarily make a bankruptcy application against himself.

Requirements to file for Bankruptcy

Under section 61 of the Bankruptcy Act in Singapore, to begin the application process, the debtor must owe a debt or debts in aggregate of at least S$15,000 and be unable to pay the debt. The debt must be immediately payable and enforceable in Singapore. The debtor must also be domiciled in and have property in Singapore; alternatively, within 1 year before the date of the filing of the application, the debtor has resided or carried on business in Singapore.

Brief Overview on filing for Bankruptcy in Singapore

Step 1: obtain and complete the relevant forms for:

  • the Debtor’s Bankruptcy Application;
  • the Affidavit in Support of Debtor’s Bankruptcy Application;
  • the Statement of Affairs (a statement containing information such as your assets, liabilities, current employment status and monthly expenses); and
  • the Affidavit Verifying Statement of Affairs.
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Step 2: Complete the relevant forms (all forms have to be typed except for the Statement of Affairs which can be handwritten). Do not sign on both the Affidavit in Support of Debtor’s Bankruptcy Application and the Affidavit Verifying Statement of Affairs yet.

Step 3:  Proceed to the Insolvency Office managed by the Ministry of Law to place a bankruptcy deposit of $1,850 with the OA. The Insolvency Office will issue you with a temporary receipt.

Step 4: Bring the temporary receipt and completed documents to the Supreme Court’s Legal Registry located at Level 2 of the Supreme Court and then proceed to the Cashier’s Counter to make payment of the prescribed stamp fees/Commissioner for Oaths fees.

Step 5: Proceed to swear or affirm the Affidavit Verifying Statement of Affairs and the Affidavit in Support of Debtor’s Bankruptcy Application before a Commissioner for Oaths. The Commissioner for Oaths will sign and stamp on the documents.

Step 6: Proceed to the LawNet Service Bureau to file all documents through eLitigation after payment of the prescribed fees. The LawNet Service Bureau will inform you when to return to collect your documents. Upon collection of the documents, the date and time for the hearing of your application will be printed on your application.

Step 7: You must attend the hearing on the appointed date and time. If you are unable to do so, you must write to the Registrar of the Supreme Court immediately to request for a later hearing date and state the reasons for your request.

Costs of Filing for Bankruptcy

Any creditor or debtor who wishes to file for bankruptcy must pay a deposit of S$1,850 to the OA to administer the debtor’s estate, as mentioned above. If filed by the debtor, the deposit of $1,850 will not be returned. There will also be Court filing fees and Commissioning Fees.

*These fees listed does not include the legal fees of lawyers appointed to act on your behalf.

What happens after being declared Bankrupt?

A bankruptcy order will be issued by the court, and you will be required to go to the OA’s office to be briefed on your responsibilities as a bankrupt, and submit a Statement of Affairs recording your assets and liabilities to the OA. You will also begin discussing your monthly contribution plan with officers from the OA. The monthly contributions go toward fulfilling a target contribution that is decided by the OA. The property in the bankruptcy estate cannot be used to pay off the target contribution. If the target contribution is paid off, the bankrupt can be discharged from bankruptcy.

How we can help

We understand that applying for bankruptcy is the last resort for many people. However, bankruptcy is a painful but sometimes necessary step. Still, it is important to note that bankruptcy is not a dead end. Our lawyers are experienced and personal, and can guide you with precise advice on the steps needed to repay and recover.

Contact Us today to schedule a free consultation where we can advise you on your situation and provide you with solutions.

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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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Enquiry from Emerald Law


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Joint Managing Partner

Enquiry from Emerald Law


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