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24. Where a receiving order is made against a debtor, the court, Re-direction of on the application of the official receiver or trustee, may from time to time order that for such time, not exceeding three months, as the court thinks fit, post letters, telegrams, and other postal packets, addressed to the debtor at any place or places mentioned in the order for re-direction, shall be re-directed, sent or delivered by the Postmaster-General, or the officers acting under him, to the official receiver, or the trustee, or otherwise as the court directs, and the same shall be done accordingly.
25. (1) The court may, on the application of the official receiver or trustee, at any time after a receiving order has been made against a debtor, summon before it the debtor or his wife, or any person known or suspected to have in his possession any of the estate or effects belonging to the debtor, or supposed to be indebted to the debtor, or any person whom the court may deem capable of giving information respecting the debtor, his dealings or property, and the court may require any such person to produce any documents in his custody or power relating to the debtor, his dealings or property.
(2) If any person so summoned, after having been tendered a reasonable sum, refuses to come before the court at the time appointed, or refuses to produce any such document, having no lawful impediment made known to the court at the time of its sitting and allowed by it, the court may, by warrant, cause him to be apprehended and brought up for examination.
(3) The court may examine on oath, either by word or mouth or by written interrogatories, any person so brought before it concerning the debtor, his dealings, or property.
(4) If any person on examination before the court admits that he is indebted to the debtor, the court may, on the application of the official receiver or trustee, order him to pay to the official receiver or trustee, at such time and in such manner as to the court seems expedient, the amount admitted, or any part thereof, either in full discharge of the whole amount in question or not, as the court thinks fit, with or without costs of the examination.
(5) If any person on examination before the court admits that he has in his possession any property belonging to the debtor, the court may, on the application of the official receiver or trustee, order him to deliver to the official receiver or trustee such property, or any part thereof, at such time, and in such manner, and on such terms, as to the court may seem just.
(6) The court may, if it thinks fit, order that any person who if in England would be liable to be brought before it under this section shall be examined in Scotland or Ireland, or in any other place out of England.
Enquiry as to
duct, dealings, and property.
26.—(1) A bankrupt may, at any time after being adjudged bankrupt, Discharge of apply to the court for an order of discharge, and the court shall appoint bankrupt. a day for hearing the application, but the application shall not be heard until the public examination of the bankrupt is concluded. The application shall, except when the court in accordance with rules under this Act otherwise directs, be heard in open court.
(2) On the hearing of the application the court shall take into consideration a report of the official receiver as to the bankrupt's conduct and affairs (including a report as to the bankrupt's conduct during the proceedings under his bankruptcy), and may either grant or refuse an absolute order of discharge, or suspend the operation of the order for a specified time, or grant an order of discharge subject to any conditions with respect to any earnings or income which may afterwards become due to the bankrupt, or with respect to his after-acquired property:
Provided that the court shall refuse the discharge in all cases where the bankrupt has committed any misdemeanour under this Act, or any enactment repealed by this Act, or any other misdemeanour connected with his bankruptcy, or any felony connected with his bankruptcy, unless
for special reasons the court otherwise determines, and shall, on proof of any of the facts herinafter mentioned, either
(i) refuse the discharge; or
(ii) suspend the discharge for a period of not less than two years: provided that the period may be less than two years, if the only fact proved of those hereinafter mentioned is that his assets are not of a value equal to ten shillinsgs in the pound on the amount of his unsecured liabilities; or
(iii) suspend the discharge until a dividend of not less than ten shillings in the pound has been paid to the creditors; or
(iv) require the bankrupt as a condition of his discharge to consent to judgment being entered against him by the official receiver or trustee for any balance or part of any balance of the debts provable under the bankruptcy which is not satisfied at the date of the discharge, such balance or part of any balance of the debts to be paid out of the future earnings or after acquired property of the bankrupt in such manner and subject to such conditions as the court may direct; but execution shall not be issued on the judgment without leave of the court, which leave may be given on proof that the bankrupt has since his discharge acquired property or income available towards payment of his debts:
Provided that, if at any time after the expiration of two years from the date of any order made under this section the bankrupt satisfies the court that there is no reasonable probability of his being in a position to comply with the terms of such order, the court may modify the terms of the order, or of any substituted order, in such manner and upon such conditions as it may think fit.
(3) The facts hereinafter referred to are
(a) That the bankrupt's assets are not of a value equal to ten shillings in the pound on the amount of his unsecured liabilities, unless he satisfies the court that the fact that the assets are not of a value equal to ten shillings in the pound on the amount of his unsecured liabilities has arisen from circumstances for which he cannot justly be held responsible :
(b) That the bankrupt has omitted to keep such books of account as are usual and proper in the business carried on by him and as sufficiently disclose his business transactions and financial position within the three years immediately preceding his bankruptcy:
(c) That the bankrupt has continued to trade after knowing himself to be insolvent :
(d) That the bankrupt has contracted any debt provable in the bankruptcy without having at the time of contracting it any reasonable or probable ground of expectation (proof whereof shall lie on him) of being able to pay it :
(e) That the bankrupt has failed to account satisfactorily for any loss of assets or for any deficiency of assets to meet his liabilities : (f) That the bankrupt has brought on, or contributed to, his bankruptcy by rash and hazardous speculations, or by unjustifiable extravagance in living, or by gambling, or by culpable neglect of his business affairs:
(g) That the bankrupt has put any of his creditors to unnecessary expense by a frivolous or vexatious defence to any action properly brought against him:
(h) That the bankrupt has, within three months preceding the date of the receiving order, incurred unjustifiable expense by bringing a frivolous or vexatious action:
(i) That the bankrupt has, within three months preceding the date of the receiving order, when unable to pay his debts as they become due, given an undue preference to any of his creditors :
(j) That the bankrupt has, within three months preceding the date
(k) That the bankrupt has, on any previous occasion, been adjudged
(2) That the bankrupt has been guilty of any fraud or fraudulent
(4) With a view to removing any statutory disqualification on account of bankruptcy which is removed if the bankrupt obtains from the court his discharge with a certificate to the effect that the bankruptcy was caused by misfortune without any misconduct on his part, the court may, if it thinks fit, grant such a certificate, but a refusal to grant such a certificate shall be subject to appeal.
(5) For the purposes of this section, a bankrupt's assets shall be deemed of a yalue equal to ten shillings in the pound on the amount of his unsecured liabilities when the court is satisfied that the property of the bankrupt has realised, or is likely to realise, or with due care in realisation might have realised, on amount equal to ten shillings in the pound on his unsecured liabilities, and a report by the official receiver or the trustee shall be primâ facie evidence of the amount of such liabilities. (6) For the purposes of this section, the report of the official receiver shall be primâ facie evidence of the statements therein contained.
(7) Notice of the appointment by the court of the day for hearing the application for discharge shall be published in the prescribed manner, and sent fourteen days at least before the day so appointed to each creditor who has proved, and the court may hear the official receiver and the trustee, and may also hear any creditor. At the hearing the court may put such questions to the debtor and receive such evidence as it may think fit.
(8) The powers of suspending and of attaching conditions to a bankrupt's discharge may be exercised concurrently.
(9) A discharged bankrupt shall, notwithstanding his discharge, give such assistance as the trustee may require in the realisation and distribution of such of his property as is vested in the trustee, and, if he fails to do so, he shall be guilty of a contempt of court; and the court may also, if it thinks fit, revoke his discharge, but without prejudice to the validity of any sale, disposition or payment duly made or thing duly done subsequent to the discharge but before its revocation.
27. In either of the following cases; that is to say
(i) in the case of a settlement made before and in consideration of
(ii) in the case of any covenant or contract made in consideration
if the settlor is adjudged bankrupt or compounds or arranges with his
Effect of order
28. (1) An order of discharge shall not release the bankrupt (a) from any debt on a recognisance nor from any debt with which discharge. the bankrupt may be chargeable at the suit of the Crown or of
any person for any offence against a statute relating to any branch of the public revenue, or at the suit of the sheriff or other public officer on a bail bond entered into for the appearance of any person prosecuted for any such offence; and he shall not be discharged from such excepted debts unless the Treasury certify in writing their consent to his being discharged therefrom; or
(b) from any debt or liability incurred by means of any fraud or fraudulent breach of trust to which he was a party, nor from any debt or liability whereof he has obtained forbearance by any fraud to which he was a party; or
(c) 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.
(2) An order of discharge shall release the bankrupt from all other debts provable in bankruptcy.
(3) An order of discharge shall be conclusive evidence of the bankruptcy, and of the validity of the proceedings therein, and in any proceedings that may be instituted against a bankrupt who has obtained an order of discharge in respect of any debt from which he is released by the order, the bankrupt may plead that the cause of action occurred before his discharge.
(4) An order of discharge shall not release any person who at the date of the receiving order was a partner or co-trustee with the bankrupt, or was jointly bound or had made any joint contract with him, or any person who was surety or in the nature of a surety for him.
29.-(1) Where in the opinion of the court a debtor ought not to have been adjudged bankrupt, or where it is proved to the satisfaction of the court that the debts of the bankrupt are paid in full, the court may, on the application of any person interested, by order annul the adjudication.
(2) Where an adjudication is annulled under this section, all sales and dispositions of property and payments duly made, and all acts theretofore done, by the official receiver, trustee, or other person acting under their authority, or by the court, shall be valid, but the property of the debtor who was adjudged bankrupt shall vest in such person as the court may appoint, or, in default of any such appointment, revert to the debtor for all his estate or interest therein on such terms and subject to such conditions, if any, as the court may declare by order.
(3) Notice of the order annulling an adjudication shall be forthwith gazetted and published in a local paper.
(4) For the purposes of this section, any debt disputed by a debtor shall be considered as paid in full if the debtor enters into a bond, in such sum and with such sureties as the court approves, to pay the amount to be recovered in any proceeding for the recovery of or concerning the debt, with costs, and any debt due to a creditor who cannot be found or cannot be identified shall be considered as paid in full if paid into
Description of debts provable in bankruptcy.
ADMINISTRATION OF PROPERTY.
Proof of Debts.
30. (1) Demands in the nature of unliquidated damages arising otherwise than by reason of a contract, promise, or breach of trust shall not be provable in bankruptcy.
(2) A person having notice of any act of bankruptcy available against the debtor shall not prove under the order for any debt or liability contracted by the debtor subsequently to the date of his so having notice.
(3) Save as aforesaid, all debts and liabilities, present or future, certain or contingent, to which the debtor is subject at the date of the receiving order, or to which he may become subject before his discharge by reason of any obligation incurred before the date of the receiving order, shall be deemed to be debts provable in bankruptcy.
(4) An estimate shall be made by the trustee of the value of any debt or liability provable as aforesaid, which by reason of its being subject to any contingency or contingencies, or for any other reason, does not bear a certain value.
(5) Any person aggrieved by any estimate made by the trustee as aforesaid may appeal to the court.
(6) If, in the opinion of the court, the value of the debt or liability is incapable of being fairly estimated, the court may make an order to that effect, and thereupon the debt or liability shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be a debt not provable in bankruptcy.
(7) If, in the opinion of the court, the value of the debt or liability is capable of being fairly estimated, the court may direct the value to be assessed before the court itself without the intervention of a jury,, and may give all necessary directions for this purpose, and the amount of the value when assessed shall be deemed to be a debt provable in bankruptcy.
(8) "Liability " shall, for the purposes of this Act, include-
(b) any obligation or possibility of an obligation to pay money
(c) generally, any express or implied engagement, agreement,
31. Where there have been mutual credits, mutual debts or other mutual dealings, between a debtor against whom a receiving order shall be made under this Act and any other person proving or claiming to prove a debt under the receiving order, an account shall be taken of what is due from the one party to the other in respect of such mutual dealings, and the sum due from the one party shall be set off against any sum due from the other party, and the balance of the account, and no more, shall be claimed or paid on either side respectively; but a person shall not be entitled under this section to claim the benefit of any set-off against the property of a debtor in any case where he had, at the time of giving credit to the debtor, notice of an act of bankruptcy committed by the debtor and available against him.
32. With respect to the mode of proving debts, the right of proof by secured and other creditors, the admission and rejection of proofs, and the other matters referred to in the Second Schedule to this Act, the rules in that schedule shall be observed.
Mutual credit and set-off.
Rules as to proof of debts.
33.—(1) In the distribution of the property of a bankrupt there shall Priority of be paid in priority to all other debts
(a) All parochial or other local rates due from the bankrupt at the