Reform of personal bankruptcy procedure in Austria

The personal bankruptcy procedure was amended in June 2017 in the Austrian Parliament and will become legally effective in November 2017. Personal bankruptcy is a form of judicial repayment proceedings that were established in 1995 and include a set of procedures and provisions laid down in Austria’s Bankruptcy Act. The goal of these proceedings is to give ‘righteous and motivated’ persons who have run into debt a realistic chance to start again economically.

The main adaptions of the personal bankruptcy procedure in 2017 are as follows: Full bankruptcy discharges will be granted after 5 years on subsistence minimum (now 7 years) and the minimum quota of debts to be repaid will be eliminated (now 10 % minimum quota). Thus it will be easier for persons with a low income or at risk of poverty to make a fresh start. The debt counselling organisations in Austria have demanded an abolition of the 10 % quota for many years, so they do strongly agree with these adaptions! Austria with its new Bankruptcy Act is thus moving from the European final to the midfield.

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