Bankruptcy was once regarded as a crime, but as the use of credit in business increased, it became inevitable that credit would sometimes be misplaced, or that people not guilty of any fraudulent act would find themselves in financial difficulty. Bankruptcy is often equated with insolvency. However, people can be insolvent, where their liabilities exceed their assets, without being declared bankrupt, as they may be able to rectify their financial situation without reaching a state of bankruptcy.
The records of the Supreme Court contain documents relating to bankruptcy covering 1858-1928 (see AU WA S147 Agency 44 for listings of series relating to bankruptcy). A listing of these records can also be found in Order in the Court: a guide to the records of the Supreme Court of Western Australia (Q016.34794035 STA).
A name index (see Record Series AU WA S147 ) to bankruptcy proceedings 1892-1923 is also held.
Bankruptcy records of the Supreme Court of Western Australia (Q929.39 STA) was compiled by the State Records Office in 1990 and provides an alphabetical list of bankruptcy files held by the State Records Office 1857-1928.
Bankruptcy notifications can also be found in the Government Gazette of Western Australia.