Bankrupts to Get a Second Chance

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Some 130,000 bankrupt individuals will get a second chance in life after the amended Insolvency Act 1967 comes into effect today, says Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) said the Insolvency Act (Amended) 2023 (A1695) proves the government’s concern in giving a second chance to bankrupts to carry on with their lives and continue contributing to the country’s economic development.

She said the amendments resulted from discussions between the Attorney General’s Chambers, Federal Court Chief Registrar, Finance Ministry, Bank Negara Malaysia, Inland Revenue Board, Employees Provident Fund, Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency and Associations of Banks in Malaysia.

“The main amendment, Section 33C Act 360, helps bankrupts be released from insolvency within three to five years from the time they submitted their statements.

“Two new categories have been added to subsection 33B(2A) Act 360 in regard to the category of bankrupts who can be released through a certificate from the Insolvency Department director-general without undergoing the procedure on objection of creditors,” said Azalina in a statement yesterday.

She said the two categories are those who can’t manage their personal affairs due to mental illness according to the Mental Health Act 2001 (Act 615) and those who are 70 years and older and unable to contribute to their bankruptcy administration.

Azalina said Section 33C applies retrospectively and is in line with the second chance policy.

“The second chance policy aims to release 130,000 bankrupts a year after the amendment to Act A1695 comes into force. This is half of the cases presently managed by the Insolvency Department.

“With the amendment, the requirement for the creditor to meet with the Insolvency Department director-general has been abolished to simplify the administration process,” she said.

Azalina said to safeguard the welfare of the bankrupt, the Act also assesses the value of assets exempted from being divided by creditors and the value of the case to be qualified for summary management.

She said the enforcement of Act A1695 reflects the government’s commitment to ensure no group of people is marginalised from the country’s development.

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