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Greens disallow bankruptcy filing fees

Media Release
Penny Wright 24 Jun 2014

A push by the Australian Greens to scrap the Abbott Government's $120 bankruptcy filing fee has succeeded, with the Senate disallowance vote passing late yesterday.

Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright said it was a win for common-sense, with those in dire financial situations no longer to be charged extra fees to file for bankruptcy.

"Charging people in the worst kind of financial trouble a fee to go bankrupt was illogical, and we are very proud to have put a stop to it," Senator Wright said.

"The fee would have left people stranded and stressed - unable to go bankrupt and having to wait for a creditor to do it at some time.

"The Australian Greens disallowance today has put an end to this and will ensure that vulnerable people filing for bankruptcy can start to take some control over their lives."

Senator Wright also acknowledged the advocacy work of Consumer Action Law Centre and Financial Counselling Australia against the fee, saying they enabled people in dire financial situations to get out of debt and have a fresh start.

"Most people filing for bankruptcy have earned less than $30,000 in the previous year, and many have lost their jobs and have no other choice, so to expecting them to come up with a fee was unreasonable in many cases."

The Abbott Government announced the bankruptcy filing fee in last year's Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook as a revenue raising measure. The Senate voted to disallow the fees late yesterday.

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