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affairs, or within such time thereafter as the official receiver may fix, lodge with the official receiver a proposal in writing, signed by him, embodying the terms of the composition or scheme which he is desirous of submitting for the consideration of his creditors, and setting out particulars of any sureties or securities proposed.
(2) In such case the official receiver shall hold a meeting of creditors, before the public examination of the debtor is concluded, and send to each creditor, before the meeting, a copy of the debtor's proposal with a report thereon; and if at that meeting a majority in number and threefourths in value of all the creditors who have proved, resolve to accept the proposal, it shall be deemed to be duly accepted by the creditors, and when approved by the court shall be binding on all the creditors. (3) The debtor may at the meeting amend the terms of his proposal, if the amendment is, in the opinion of the official receiver, calculated to benefit the general body of creditors.
(4) Any creditor who has proved his debt may assent to or dissent from the proposal by a letter, in the prescribed form, addressed to the official receiver so as to be received by him not later than the day preceding the meeting, and any such assent or dissent shall have effect as if the creditor had been present and had voted at the meeting.
(5) The debtor or the official receiver may, after the proposal is accepted by the creditors, apply to the court to approve it, and notice of the time appointed for hearing the application shall be given to each creditor who has proved.
(6) The application shall not be heard until after the conclusion of the public examination of the debtor. Any creditor who has proved may be heard by the court in opposition to the application, notwithstanding that he may at a meeting of creditors have voted for the acceptance of the proposal.
(7) For the purpose of approving a composition or scheme by joint debtors, the court may, if it thinks fit, and on the report of the official receiver that it is expedient so to do, dispense with the public examination of one of the joint debtors if he is unavoidably prevented from attending the examination by illness or absence from the United Kingdom.
(8) The court shall, before approving the proposal, hear a report of the official receiver as to the terms thereof, and as to the conduct of the debtor, and any objections which may be made by or on behalf of any creditor.
(9) If the court is of opinion that the terms of the proposal are not reasonable, or are not calculated to benefit the general body of creditors, or in any case in which the court is required, where the debtor is adjudged bankrupt, to refuse his discharge, the court shall refuse to approve the proposal.
(10) If any facts are proved on proof of which the court would be required either to refuse, suspend or attach conditions to the debtor's discharge were he adjudged bankrupt, the court shall refuse to approve the proposal, unless it provides reasonable security for the payment of not less than five shillings in the pound on all the unsecured debts provable against the debtor's estate.
(11) In any other case the court may either approve or refuse to approve the proposal.
(12) If the court approves the proposal, the approval may be testified by the seal of the court being attached to the instrument containing the terms of the proposed composition or scheme, or by the terms being embodied in an order of the court.
(13) A composition or scheme accepted and approved in pursuance of this section shall be binding on all the creditors so far as relates to any debts due to them from the debtor and provable in bankruptcy, but shall not release the debtor from any liability under a judgment against him in an action for seduction, or under an affiliation order, or under a judgment against him as a co-respondent in a matrimonial cause, except to such an extent and under such conditions as the court expressly orders in respect of such liability.
(14) A certificate of the official receiver that a composition or scheme has been duly accepted and approved shall, in the absence of fraud, be conclusive as to its validity.
(15) The provisions of a composition or scheme under this section may be enforced by the court on application by any person interested, and any disobedience of an order of the court made on the application shall be deemed a contempt of court.
(16) If default is made in payment of any instalment due in pursuance of the composition or scheme, or if it appears to the court, on satisfactory evidence, that the composition or scheme cannot, in consequence of legal difficulties, or for any sufficient cause, proceed without injustice or undue delay to the creditors or to the debtor, or that the approval of the court was obtained by fraud, the court may, if it thinks fit, on application by the official receiver or the trustee or by any creditor, adjudge the debtor bankrupt, and annul the composition or scheme, but without prejudice to the validity of any sale, disposition or payment duly made, or thing duly done, under or in pursuance of the composition or scheme.
Where a debtor is adjudged bankrupt under this subsection, any debt provable in other respects, which has been contracted before the adjudication, shall be provable in the bankruptcy.
(17) If under or in pursuance of a composition or scheme a trustee is appointed to administer the debtor's property or manage his business, or to distribute the composition, section twenty-five and Part IV. of this Act shall apply as if the trustee were a trustee in a bankruptcy, and as if the terms "bankruptcy,' bankrupt," and "order of adjudication" included respectively a composition or scheme of arrangement, a compounding or arranging debtor, and an order approving the composition or scheme.
(18) Part II. of this Act shall, so far as the nature of the case and the terms of the composition or scheme admit, apply thereto, the same interpretation being given to the words "trustee," "bankruptcy," "bankrupt," and "order of adjudication," as in the last preceding subsection.
(19) No composition or scheme shall be approved by the court which does not provide for the payment in priority to other debts of all debts directed to be so paid in the distribution of the property of a bankrupt.
(20) The acceptance by a creditor of a composition or scheme shall not release any person who under this Act would not be released by an order of discharge if the debtor had been adjudged bankrupt.
17. Notwithstanding the acceptance and approval of a composition or scheme, the composition or scheme shall not be binding on any creditor so far as regards a debt or liability from which, under the provisions of this Act, the debtor would not be released by an order of discharge in bankruptcy, unless the creditor assents to the composition or scheme.
Adjudication of Bankruptcy.
18. (1) Where a receiving order is made against a debtor, then, if the creditors at the first meeting or any adjournment thereof by ordinary resolution resolve that the debtor be adjudged bankrupt, or pass no resolution, or if the creditors do not meet, or if a composition or scheme is not approved in pursuance of this Act within fourteen days after the conclusion of the examination of the debtor or such further time as the court may allow, the court shall adjudge the debtor bankrupt; and thereupon the property of the bankrupt shall become divisible among his creditors and shall vest in a trustee.
(2) Notice of every order adjudging a debtor bankrupt, stating the name, address, and description of the bankrupt, the date of the adjudication, and the court by which the adjudication is made, shall be gazetted and advertised in a local paper in the prescribed manner, and the date of the order shall, for the purposes of this Act, be the date of the adjudication,
Effect of composition or
Adjudication of bankruptcy where com
position not accepted or approved..
Appointment of trustee.
Committee of inspection.
19. (1) Where a debtor is adjudged bankrupt, or the creditors have resolved that he be adjudged bankrupt, the creditors may by ordinary resolution appoint some fit person, whether a creditor or not, to fill the office of trustee of the property of the bankrupt; or they may resolve to leave his appointment to the committee of inspection hereinafter mentioned.
A person shall be deemed not fit to act as trustee of the property of a bankrupt where he has been previously removed from the office of trustee of a bankrupt's property for misconduct or neglect of duty.
(2) The person so appointed shall give security in manner prescribed to the satisfaction of the Board of Trade, and the Board, if satisfied with the security, shall certify that his appointment has been duly made, unless they object to the appointment on the ground that it has not been made in good faith by a majority in value of the creditors voting, or that the person appointed is not fit to act as trustee, or that his connexion with or relation to the bankrupt or his estate or any particular creditor makes it difficult for him to act with impartiality in the interests of the creditors generally.
(3) Provided that, where the Board make any such objection they shall, if so requested by a majority in value of the creditors, notify the objection to the High Court, and thereupon the High Court may decide on its validity.
(4) The appointment of a trustee shall take effect as from the date of the certificate.
(5) The official receiver shall not, save as by this Act provided, be the trustee of the bankrupt's property.
(6) If a trustee is not appointed by the creditors within four weeks from the date of the adjudication, or, in the event of there being negotiations for a composition or scheme pending at the expiration of those four weeks, then within seven days from the close of those negotiations by the refusal of the creditors to accept or of the court to approve, the composition or scheme, the official receiver shall report the matter to the Board of Trade, and thereupon the Board of Trade shall appoint some fit person to be trustee of the bankrupt's property, and shall certify the appointment.
(7) Provided that the creditors or the committee of inspection (if so authorised by resolution of the creditors) may, at any subsequent time, if they think fit, appoint a trustee, and, on the appointment being made and certified, the person appointed shall become trustee in the place of the person appointed by the Board of Trade.
(8) When a debtor is adjudged bankrupt after the first meeting of creditors has been held, and a trustee has not been appointed prior to the adjudication, the official receiver shall forthwith summon a meeting of creditors for the purpose of appointing a trustee.
20. (1) The creditors qualified to vote may, at their first or any subsequent meeting by resolution, appoint a committee of inspection for the purpose of superintending the administration of the bankrupt's property by the trustee.
(2) The committee of inspection shall consist of not more than five nor less than three persons, possessing one or other of the following qualifications
(a) that of being a creditor or the holder of a general proxy or general power of attorney from a creditor, provided that no creditor and no holder of a general proxy or general power of attorney from a creditor shall be qualified to act as a member of the committee of inspection until the creditor has proved his debt and the proof has been admitted; or
(b) that of being a person to whom a creditor intends to give a general proxy or general power of attorney: provided that no such person shall be qualified to act as a member of the committee of inspection until he holds such a proxy or power of attorney
and until the creditor has proved his debt and the proof has
(3) The committee of inspection shall meet at such times as they shall from time to time appoint, and, failing such appointment, at least once a month; and the trustee or any member of the committee may also call a meeting of the committee as and when he thinks necessary.
(4) The committee may act by a majority of their members present at a meeting, but shall not act unless a majority of the committee are present at the meeting.
(5) Any member of the committee may resign his office by notice in writing signed by him, and delivered to the trustee.
(6) If a member of the committee becomes bankrupt, or compounds or arranges with his creditors, or is absent from five consecutive meetings of the committee, his office shall thereupon become vacant.
(7) Any member of the committee may be removed by an ordinary resolution at any meeting of creditors of which seven days' notice has been given stating the object of the meeting.
(8) On a vacancy occurring in the office of a member of the committee, the trustee shall forthwith summon a meeting of creditors for the purpose of filling the vacancy, and the meeting may by resolution appoint another creditor or other person eligible as above to fill the vacancy.
(9) The continuing members of the committee, provided there be not less than two such continuing members, may act notwithstanding. any vacancy in their body; and, where the number of members of the committee of inspection is for the time being less than five, the creditors may increase that number so that it do not exceed five,
(10) If there be no committee of inspection, any act or thing or any direction or permission by this Act authorised or required to be done or given by the committee may be done or given by the Board of Trade on the application of the trustee.
21. (1) Where a debtor is adjudged bankrupt the creditors may, if they think fit, at any time after the adjudication, by a majority in number and three-fourths in value of all the creditors who have proved, resolve to accept a proposal for a composition in satisfaction of the debts due to them under the bankrubtcy, or for a scheme of arrangement of the bankrupt's affairs; and thereupon the same proceedings shall be taken and the same consequences shall ensue as in the case of a composition or scheme accepted before adjudication.
(2) If the court approves the composition or scheme, it may make an order annulling the bankruptcy and vesting the property of the bankrupt in him or in such other person as the court may appoint, on such terms, and subject to such conditions, if any, as the court may declare.
(3) If default is made in payment of any instalment due in pursuance of the composition or scheme, or if it appears to the court that the composition or scheme cannot proceed without injustice or undue delay, or that the approval of the court was obtained by fraud, the court may, if it thinks fit, on application by any person interested, adjudge the debtor bankrupt, and annul the composition or scheme, but without prejudice to the validity of any sale, disposition or payment duly made, or thing duly done, under or in pursuance of the composition or scheme. Where a debtor is adjudged bankrupt under this subsection, all debts, provable in other respects, which have been contracted before the date of such adjudication shall be provable in the bankruptcy.
Control over Persons and Property of Debtor.
22.-(1) Every debtor against whom a receiving order is made shall, unless prevented by sickness or other sufficient cause, attend the first meeting of his creditors, and shall submit to such examination and give such information as the meeting may require.
Power to accept composition or
scheme after bankruptcy adjudication.
Duties of debtor as to discovery and realisation of property.
Arrest of debtor under certain circumstances.
(2) He shall give such inventory of his property, such list of his creditors and debtors, and of the debts due to and from them respectively, submit to such examination in respect of his property or his creditors, attend such other meetings of his creditors, wait at such times on the official receiver, special manager, or trustee, execute such powers of attorney, conveyances, deeds, and instruments, and generally do all such acts and things in relation to his property and the distribution of the proceeds amongst his creditors, as may be reasonably required by the official receiver, special manager, or trustee, or may be prescribed by general rules, or be directed by the court by any special order or orders made in reference to any particular case, or made on the occasion of any special application by the official receiver, special manager, trustee, or any creditor or person interested.
(3) He shall, if adjudged bankrupt, aid, to the utmost of his power, in the realisation of his property and the distribution of the proceeds among his creditors.
(4) If a debtor wilfully fails to perform the duties imposed on him by this section, or to deliver up possession of any part of his property, which is divisible amongst his creditors under this Act, and which is for the time being in his possession or under his control, to the official receiver or to the trustee, or to any person authorised by the court to take possession of it, he shall, in addition to any other punishment to which he may be subject, be guilty of a contempt of court, and may be punished accordingly.
23. (1) The court may, by warrant addressed to any constable or prescribed officer of the court, cause a debtor to be arrested, and any books, papers, money and goods in his possession to be seized, and him and them to be safely kept as prescribed until such time as the court may order under the following circumstances
(a) If, after a bankruptcy notice has been issued under this Act, or after presentation of a bankruptcy petition by or against him, it appears to the court that there is probable reason for believing that he has absconded, or is about to abscond, with a view of avoiding payment of the debt in respect of which the bankruptcy notice was issued, or of avoiding service of a bankruptcy petition, or of avoiding appearance to any such petition, or of avoiding examination in respect of his affairs, or of otherwise avoiding, delaying or embarrassing proceedings in bankruptcy against him:
(b) If, after presentation of a bankruptcy petition by or against him, it appears to the court that there is probable cause for believing that he is about to remove his goods with a view of preventing or delaying possession being taken of them by the official receiver or trustee, or that there is probable ground for believing that he has concealed or is about to conceal or destroy any of his goods, or any books, documents or writings which might be of use to his creditors in the course of his bankruptcy:
(c) If, after service of a bankruptcy petition on him, or after a receiving order is made against him, he removes any goods in his possession above the value of five pounds, without the leave of the official receiver or trustee :
(d) If, without good cause shown, he fails to attend any examination ordered by the court:
Provided that no arrest upon a bankruptcy notice shall be valid and protected, unless the debtor before or at the time of his arrest is served with such bankruptcy notice.
(2) No payment or composition made or security given after arrest made under this section shall be exempt from the provisions of this Act relating to fraudulent preferences,