Bankruptcy Act 1914

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1914 c. 59


Bankruptcy Act, 1914.

(4 & 5 Geo. 5.) 59.

An Act to consolidate the Law relating to Bankruptcy.

[10th August 1914]

B e it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

I Proceedings from Acts of Bankruptcy to Discharge.

Part I.

Proceedings from Acts of Bankruptcy to Discharge.

Acts of Bankruptcy.

Acts of Bankruptcy.

S-1 Acts of bank ruptcy.

1 Acts of bank ruptcy.

(1) A debtor commits an act of bankruptcy in each of the following cases:—

( a ) If in England or elsewhere he makes a conveyance or assignment of his property to a trustee or trustees for the benefit of his creditors generally;

( b ) If in England or elsewhere he makes a fraudulent conveyance, gift, delivery, or transfer of his property, or of any part thereof;

( c ) If in England or elsewhere he makes any conveyance or transfer of his property or any part thereof, or creates any charge thereon, which would under this or any other Act be void as a fraudulent preference if he were adjudged bankrupt;

( d ) If with intent to defeat or delay his creditors he does any of the following things, namely, departs out of England, or being out of England remains out of England, or departs from his dwelling-house, or otherwise absents himself, or begins to keep house;

( e ) If execution against him has been levied by seizure of his goods under process in an action in any court, or in any civil proceeding in the High Court, and the goods have been either sold or held by the sheriff for twenty-one days:

Provided that, where an interpleader summons has been taken out in regard to the goods seized, the time elapsing between the date at which such summons is taken out and the date at which the proceedings on such summons are finally disposed of, settled, or abandoned, shall not be taken into account in calculating such period of twenty-one days;

( f ) If he files in the court a declaration of his inability to pay his debts or presents a bankruptcy petition against himself:

( g ) If a creditor has obtained a final judgment or final order against him for any amount, and, execution thereon not having been stayed, has served on him in England, or, by leave of the court, elsewhere, a bankruptcy notice under this Act, and he does not, within seven days after service of the notice, in case the service is effected in England, and in case the service is effected elsewhere, then within the time limited in that behalf by the order giving leave to effect the service, either comply with the requirements of the notice or satisfy the court that he has a counter-claim set off or cross demand which equals or exceeds the amount of the judgment debt or sum ordered to be paid, and which he could not set up in the action in which the judgment was obtained, or the proceedings in which the order was obtained:

For the purposes of this paragraph and of section two of this Act, any person who is for the time being, entitled to enforce a final judgment or final order, shall be deemed to be a creditor who has obtained a final judgment or final order.

( h ) If the debtor gives notice to any of his creditors that he has suspended, or that he is about to suspend, payment of his debts.

(2) In this Act, the expression ‘a debtor,’ unless the context otherwise implies, includes any person, whether a British subject or not, who at the time when any act of bankruptcy was done or suffered by him—

( a ) was personally present in England; or

( b ) ordinarily resided or had a place of residence in England; or

( c ) was carrying on business in England, personally, or by means of an agent or manager; or

( d ) was a member of a firm or partnership which carried on business in England.

S-2 Bankruptcy notices.

2 Bankruptcy notices.

A bankruptcy notice under this Act shall be in the prescribed form, and shall require the debtor to pay the judgment debt or sum ordered to be paid in accordance with the terms of the judgment or order, or to secure or compound for it to the satisfaction of the creditor or the court, and shall state the consequences of non-compliance with the notice, and shall be served in the prescribed manner:

Provided that a bankruptcy notice—

(i) may specify an agent to act on behalf of the creditor in respect of any payment or other thing required by the notice to be made to, or done to the satisfaction of, the creditor;

(ii) shall not be invalidated by reason only that the sum specified in the notice as the amount due exceeds the amount actually due, unless the debtor within the time allowed for payment gives notice to the creditor that he disputes the validity of the notice on the ground of such misstatement; but, if the debtor does not give such notice, he shall be deemed to have complied with the bankruptcy notice if within the time allowed he takes such steps as would have constituted a compliance with the notice had the actual amount due been correctly specified therein.

Receiving Order.

Receiving Order.

S-3 Jurisdiction to make receiving order.

3 Jurisdiction to make receiving order.

Subject to the conditions herein-after specified, if a debtor commits an act of bankruptcy the court may, on a bankruptcy petition being presented either by a creditor or by the debtor, make an order, in this Act called a receiving order, for the protection of the estate.

S-4 Conditions on which creditor may petition.

4 Conditions on which creditor may petition.

(1) A creditor shall not be entitled to present a bankruptcy petition against a debtor unless—

( a ) the debt owing by the debtor to the petitioning creditor, or, if two or more creditors join in the petition, the aggregate amount of debts owing to the several petitioning creditors, amounts to fifty pounds, and

( b ) the debt is a liquidated sum, payable either immediately or at some certain future time, and

( c ) the act of bankruptcy on which the petition is grounded has occurred within three months before the presentation of the petition, and

( d ) the debtor is domiciled in England, or within a year before the date of the presentation of the petition as ordinarily resided, or had a dwelling-house or lace of business, in England, or (except in the case of a person domiciled in Scotland or Ireland or a firm or partnership having its principal place of business in Scotland or Ireland) has carried on business in England, personally or by means of an agent or manager, or (except as aforesaid) is or within the said period has been a member of a firm or partnership of persons which has carried on business in England by means of a partner or partners, or an agent or manager,

nor, where a deed of arrangement has been executed, shall a creditor be entitled to present a bankruptcy petition founded on the execution of the deed, or on any other act committed by the debtor in the course or for the purpose of the proceedings preliminary to the execution of the deed, in cases where he is prohibited from so doing by the law for the time being in force relating to deeds of arrangement.

(2) If the petitioning creditor is a secured creditor, he must in his petition either state that he is willing to give up his security for the benefit of the creditors in the event of the debtor being adjudged bankrupt, or give an estimate of the value of his security. In the latter case, he maybe admitted as a petitioning creditor to the extent of the balance of the debt due to him, after deducting the value so estimated in the same manner as if he were an unsecured creditor.

S-5 Proceedings and order on creditor's petition.

5 Proceedings and order on creditor's petition.

(1) A creditor's petition shall be verified by affidavit of the creditor, or of some person on his behalf having knowledge of the facts, and served in the prescribed manner.

(2) At the hearing the court shall require proof of the debt of the petitioning creditor, of the service of the petition, and of the act of bankruptcy, or, if more than one act of bankruptcy is alleged in the petition, of some one of the alleged acts of bankruptcy, and, if satisfied with the proof, may make a receiving order in pursuance of the petition.

(3) If the court is not satisfied with the proof of the petitioning creditor's debt, or of the act of bankruptcy, or of the service of the petition, or is satisfied by the debtor that he is able to pay his debts, or that for other sufficient cause no order ought to be made, the court may dismiss the petition.

(4) When the act of bankruptcy relied on is non-compliance with a bankruptcy notice to pay, secure, or compound for a judgment debt, or sum ordered to be paid, the court may, if it thinks fit, stay or dismiss the petition on the ground that an appeal is pending from the judgment or order.

(5) Where the debtor appears on the petition, and denies that he is indebted to the petitioner, or that he is indebted to such an amount as would justify the petitioner in presenting a petition against him, the court, on such security (if any) being given as the court may require for payment to the petitioner of any debt which may be established against him in due course of law, and of the costs of establishing the debt, may, instead of dismissing the petition, stay all proceedings on the petition for such time as may be required for trial of the question relating to the debt.

(6) Where proceedings are stayed, the court may, if by reason of the delay caused by the stay of proceedings or for any other cause it thinks just, make a receiving order on the petition of some other creditor, and shall thereupon dismiss, on such terms as it thinks just, the petition in which proceedings have been stayed as aforesaid.

(7) A...

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