With some exceptions (see property a bankrupt can keep), a bankrupt's real estate and personal property vests in the Trustee. This is so whether the property is situated in Australia or elsewhere [Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) s 116, Bankruptcy Regulations 1996 regs 6.03 and 6.04].
Property includes the bankrupt's interest in a house (whether owned alone or jointly with someone else), cash in the bank, jewellery, stocks, shares and debentures, fixtures and fittings, gifts and legacies received under a will, crops and more. Any money owed to the bankrupt can be recovered by the trustee unless it is protected (exempt).
The vesting of property in real estate that is owned as a joint tenant with another has the effect of severing the joint tenancy in the property. So, the automatic protection for the non-bankrupt joint owner on the death of the bankrupt is therefore lost.
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