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BANKRUPTCY 131 trade agencies, which make a practice of extracting and foi mation respecting the debtor, his dealings or property, may be publishing the information for the benefit of those in- examined by the court, and a summary order may be made against terested. By section 25 of the Bankruptcy Act, 1890, such person for delivery of any property belonging to the debtor. every trustee under a deed of arrangement is required to First Meeting of Creditors. transmit to the Board of Trade within thirty days of the This meeting is summoned by the Official Receiver, notice being 1st of January in each year an account of his receipts given in the London Gazette and in a local paper, and sent by post and payments, and such accounts are open to the in- to each creditor. A summary of the statement of affairs should spection of any creditor on payment of a small fee. The accompany the notice, with any observations by the Official Receiver registrar is also required to make periodical returns of the which he may think fit to make. The object of the meeting is to decide whether any proposal for payment of a composition or for a deeds thus registered to the Board of Trade, in order that scheme of arrangement submitted by the debtor is to be entertained, a report of proceedings under the Deeds of Arrangement or whether an application should be made to the court to adjudiAct may be included in the annual report which the cate the debtor bankrupt. In the latter case the meeting may by department is required to make on proceedings under the an ordinary resolution appoint a trustee with or without a conimttee of inspection. It may also give any directions as to the Bankruptcy Acts. Full statistics of such proceedings administration of the estate. The meeting should be held at the are accordingly included in these reports, from which It JwhToverconvenient for ^ the majority of the creditors. It is appears that during the ten years ended 31st December presided by the Official Receiver or his deputy, who, subject 1900 the total number of registered deeds of arrangement to appeal to the court, admits or rejects proofs for the purpost of tin0. Tor the transaction of business three creditors qualified to was 33,688, with estimated liabilities amounting to vote, or all the creditors if fewer than three, must be present or £49,863,989, and estimated assets to £25,673,159. repiesented. Only persons who have proved their debts are entitled to vote, and detailed regulations respecting proofs and the valuaSummary op Bankruptcy Procedure. tion of securities are laid down m the first and second schedules to Subject to certain special provisions in the case of the Act of 1883. One of the chief alterations in the law on this point is the condition imposed on creditors on bills of exchange to what are termed “small bankruptcies” (see below), the deduct from their claims the value of the liability of prior obligants following summary sets forth the leading provisions of before voting thus cancelling the power of controlling the proceedthe various acts and rules relating to bankruptcy admin- ings previously possessed by persons who had no real interest in istration grouped under convenient heads to facilitate the estate. Votes may be given in person or by proxy, and regulations are laid down with the view of preventing reference. In some cases the effect of legal decisions has stringent the a,buse of proxies. General proxies entitling the holder to been embodied in the summary. exercise all the powers which the creditor could exercise if present may be given to the Official Receiver, or to any person in the Preliminary Proceedings. regular employment of the creditor. Special proxies may be given Petition and Receiving Order.—Any court exercising bankruptcy to any person to vote for specified resolutions, or for the appointment jurisdiction in tlie district in which he resides or carries on of specified persons as trustee and committee. Only official forms business in England or Wales may make a receiving order can be used and the blanks must be filled up in the handwriting against a debtor, whether a trader or not, either on his own petition of the creditor or some person m his regular employment, including oron that of a creditor or creditors whose claims aggregate not the authorized agent of a creditor resident abroad. A proxy must less than £o0. In the case of a creditor’s petition proof must be be lodged with the Official Receiver not later than four o’clock on given of the debt, and of the commission of an act of bankruptcy the day before the meeting or adjourned meeting at which it is within three months preceding the date of the petition. An act to be used. Resolutions are ordinary, special, or extraordinary. of bankruptcy is committed if the debtor fails to satisfy the An ordinary resolution is carried by a majority in value of the creditor s claim upon a bankruptcy notice ; if he makes an assign- creditors voting ; a special resolution by a majority in number ment for the benefit of his creditors generally ; if he absconds"or and three-fourths m value of such creditors. The only instance of keeps house ; if he gives notice of suspension of payments ; if a resolution other than these is that required for the approval of his goods are sold or seized under execution ; if he files in court a composition or scheme which requires a majority in number and a declaration of inability to pay his debts ; or if he grants a three-fourths in value of all the creditors who have proved. The fraudulent preference or conveyance. These acts are here enumer- majority of questions arising at a meeting are decided byJ an ated in the order in which they most frequently occur in practice. ordinary resolution. Object and Effect of Receiving Order.—The object of the order is Adjudication. to protect the debtor’s property until the first meeting of creditors If the creditors so resolve, or if a composition or scheme of and to bring the debtor and his affairs within the jurisdiction of the court. Its effect is to stay all separate action against the arrangement is not proposed by the debtor, or entertained by the debtor, and to constitute the Official Receiver attached to the court creditors, or if entertained, is not approved by the court or if without reasonable excuse the debtor fails to furnish a proper statereceiver of the debtor’s property, although the legal title still ment of his affairs, or if his public examination is adjourned sine remains in the debtor. Where there is an estate or business to be die, the court adjudicates the debtor bankrupt, and thereupon his managed the Official Receiver may appoint a special manager, who property in a trustee, and, subject to the payment of the receives such remuneration as the creditors, or failing them the costs and vests fees of administration, is divisible among his creditors, Board of irade, may determine. As a consequence of the order until all his debts are paid in full with interest at the rate of four tne following obligations are imposed upon the debtor He must per annum. make out and submit to the Official Receiver within a prescribed perEcent, ect period a statement of his affairs, containing the names and addresses . f Bankrupt.—The bankrupt is bound to aid the trustee of his creditors, the amount of their claims and the securities held ln iUSr ^minis^ra^ioni and if he wilfully fails to deliver up any part of his property he is guilty of contempt of court. He is also and the nature and v value of his assetsstatement

and accounting

for mble to criminal prosecution under the Debtors Act, if with ms deficiency. Any material omission or false of his losses or expenses is a misdemeanour under the Debtors Act, unless he can intent to defraud he conceals or removes property to the value of prove that he had no intention to defraud. The statement is open to £10 or upwards ; or if he fails to deliver to the trustee all his e inspection of creditors. He must also in every case submit to pi operty, books, documents, etc. ; or if he knowingly permits false to be proved on his estate without disclosure ; or mutilates, a public examination in court, in which the Official Receiver, the debts falsifies, destroys, or parts with books or accounts; or attempts to trustee and any creditor who has proved his debt may take part, account for his property by fictitious losses; or if within four nis evidence may be used against him. He may further be specially next before presentation of a bankruptcy petition, he examined by the court at any time with reference to his dealings months obtains property on credit by false representation ; or pledges ert oi disposes of, otherwise than in the ordinary way of his trade, ,nf?u /k HeReceiver, must attend the and first special meetingmanager, of creditors, ipon the Official trustee, and wait give an y property which has not been paid for; or by misrepreobtains the assent of his creditors to any agreement rP!u!neC(iSiSarbe Z lulutmation, andwith generally do ofallsecuring acts which reasonabiy required of him the view a fullmay in- sentation with reference to his affairs. He is also, under the Act of 1883, on ' of bis affairs. He may be arrested if there is reasonable ground tor believing that he is about to abscond, destroy papers, guuty of misdemeanour if before his discharge he obtains credit for more than £20 from any person without informing such person , m<n)e 8oods> or if iie fails without good cause to attend any that he is an undischarged bankrupt. It is the duty of the 0rdered b the court yorder llis letters - The may also for a Official Receiver to report any such facts to the court, and if t0 court b PnVfnm C t0 xe ™ouths cial e readdressed by the the court is satisfied that there is a reasonable probability of conpersnuc other fu than °® Receiver trustee. With regard into viction, it is required to order a prosecution which is then conducted the debtor, any or person capable of giving by the Director of Public Prosecutions.