FAQ - Insolvency Records

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1. What is Insolvency?

Insolvency is the inability of an individual or corporation to pay all their debts in full. This is how insolvency is defined in both the Bankruptcy Act and the Corporations Act.

2. Does the Public Record Office Victoria hold records relating to Insolvency?

Public Record Office Victoria holds some records relating to insolvency with a searchable database online for Geelong and Melbourne insolvencies.

Online Indexes

To determine which insolvency index you want you will need to search the indexes available online at [http://www.access.prov.vic.gov.au/public/PROVguides/PROVguide023/PROVguide023.jsp] Scroll to Divorce, insolvency and other civil court records to search the following database indexes:

VPRS 815 Court of Insolvency Records, Geelong (1855-57 portion only of index)

VPRS 75 Certificate of Discharge, Melbourne, 1848-1875  For information on how to search and order Certificates of Discharge please refer to HOW TOguide 38 Searching and Ordering Certificate of Discharge 1848 - 1875

Other Indexes Available at PROV

There is a microfiche index VPRS 11973 Victorian Insolvent List (1842 - 1873) which is available in PROV's two reading rooms, Victorian Archives Centre (VAC) and Ballarat Archives Centre (BAC).

3. What date range does Public Record Office Victoria hold for Insolvency files?

Public Record Office Victoria holds Insolvency files from 1842 to 1928. The date range for each specific series is as follows:

To assist you in ordering files from any of the above series click on Description of this Series and refer to the How to use the Records section of the series texts.

4. Who is responsible for Insolvency records created after 1928?

From 1928, responsibilities for insolvency proceedings were taken over by the Commonwealth Government. To access records created after this date, please contact the National Archives of Australia (NAA). They can be contacted at ref@naa.gov.au or by TEL 1300 886 881 (Toll free in Australia) or visit their website at www.naa.gov.au

5. What kind of information does an insolvency record contain?

Insolvency records may contain information such as:

- a petition for insolvency

- documentation about the estate

- list of debts due

- particulars of property

- a balance sheet

- insolvent's statement

- statement of assets and receipts

- statement of disbursements and unrealised estate

- schedules; and order of appointment for certificate of discharge

6. Does the Public Record Office Victoria hold records regarding Ballarat Insolvency?

Public Record Office Victoria holds some records relating to Ballarat Insolvency and the following references may be a useful starting point.

Ballarat Courts

These records are available at the Ballarat Archives Centre (BAC). References can be found on the online catalogue regarding Ballarat Insolvency Court for VPRS 811 and for Court of Insolvency Registers VPRS 723. Researches are required to visit the BAC to view records which have been ordered and made available for viewing in the BAC Reading Room. 

You may wish to contact the BAC to confirm if the records are on open access. The Reading Room contact number is 5333 6611.

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