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10.1 Introduction


In general terms the Bankruptcy Act 1966 :

  • gives the Official Trustee the right to undertake an investigation of the debtor's estate and to distribute the assets fairly among the creditors;
  • enables the bankrupt to be released from the burden of his or her debts, to be rehabilitated and, after discharge from bankruptcy, to permit him or her to start afresh;
  • protects the interests of the general community and to maintain a general morality within the community.

The legal system provides a variety of means by which a creditor can enforce judgement. This includes the securing of the assistance of the Sheriff in seizing objects in which the judgement debtor has an interest and selling them in order to satisfy the judgement. The sale is conducted under what is known as a writ of fieri facias. If the debt is over a certain prescribed amount, the Sheriff may levy and sell the right, title and interest in a debtor's property.

The DSH Act is the only legislation that overrides the operation of a judgement order.