Insolvency Act 1976

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1976 c. 60


Insolvency Act 1976

1976 CHAPTER 60

An Act to amend the law relating to insolvency; and for connected purposes.

[15th November 1976]

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

S-1 Increase of monetary limits relating to bankruptcy and winding up.

1 Increase of monetary limits relating to bankruptcy and winding up.

(1) For the sums specified in the provisions mentioned in the first column of Part I of Schedule 1 to this Act (which relate to bankruptcy and the winding up of companies and are concerned with the matters described in the second column of that Part) there shall be substituted the sums specified in the third column of that Part.

(2) The Secretary of State may by regulations increase or reduce any of the sums for the time being specified in the provisions amended by subsection (1) above.

(3) The transitional provisions in Part II of Schedule 1 to this Act shall have effect in relation to any increase or reduction by or under this section.

(4) The power to make regulations under this section shall be exercisable by statutory instrument; and no such regulations shall be made unless a draft of them has been approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

S-2 Audit of account of trustees in bankruptcy and liquidators.

2 Audit of account of trustees in bankruptcy and liquidators.

(1) The Secretary of State may cause any accounts sent to him under section 92 of the Bankruptcy Act 1914 or section 249 of the Companies Act 1948 (periodic accounts of trustees in bankruptcy and liquidators) to be audited; and so much of subsection (3) of each of those sections as requires him to cause every such account to be audited shall cease to have effect.

(2) So much of subsection (3) of each of those sections as enables the Secretary of State to call for vouchers and information and to require the production of and to inspect books and accounts shall apply whether or not he decides to cause an account to be audited and shall extend to production and inspection at the premises of the trustee or liquidator.

(3) Where the Secretary of State decides not to cause an account to be audited, subsection (4) of each of those sections shall apply as if it required copies of the accounts to be filed or delivered for filing forthwith, and the liquidator shall comply with subsection (5) of the said section 249 when notified of the decision.

(4) Only the copy filed with the court shall be open to inspection under subsection (4) of the said sections 92 and 249.

S-3 Insolvency Services Account.

3 Insolvency Services Account.

(1) The Bankruptcy Estates Account and the Companies Liquidation Account shall be replaced by a single account kept by the Secretary of State with the Bank of England and to be called the Insolvency Services Account.

(2) All sums standing to the credit of the Bankruptcy Estates Account or the Companies Liquidation Account immediately before the date on which this section comes into force shall on that date be transferred to the Insolvency Services Account.

(3) All money received by the Secretary of State in respect of proceedings—

(a ) under the Bankruptcy Act 1914 ; or

(b ) under the Companies Act 1948 in connection with the winding up of companies in England and Wales,

shall be paid into the Insolvency Services Account; and all payments out of money standing to the credit of the Secretary of State in that account shall be made by the Bank of England in such manner as he may direct.

(4) Whenever the cash balance standing to the credit of the Insolvency Services Account is in excess of the amount which in the opinion of the Secretary of State is required for the time being to answer demands in respect of bankrupts' estates or companies' estates, the Secretary of State shall notify the excess to the National Debt Commissioners and shall pay into the Insolvency Services Investment Account the whole or any part of that excess as the Commissioners may require for investment in accordance with the Insolvency Services (Accounting and Investment) Act 1970 .

(5) Whenever any part of the money so invested is, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, required to answer any demand in respect of bankrupts' estates or companies' estates, he shall notify to the National Debt Commissioners the amount so required and the Commissioners shall thereupon repay to him such sum as may be required to the credit of the Insolvency Services Account, and for that purpose may direct the sale of such part of the securities in which the money has been invested as may be necessary.

(6) In consequence of the foregoing provisions of this section the enactments mentioned in Schedule 2 to this Act shall be amended in accordance with that Schedule.

S-4 Extension of time for complying with bankruptcy notice.

4 Extension of time for complying with bankruptcy notice.

4. In section 1(1)(g ) of the Bankruptcy Act 1914(act of bankruptcy if debtor does not comply with bankruptcy notice within seven days) for the words ‘seven days’ there shall be substituted the words ‘ten days’.

S-5 Proof of debts in bankruptcy.

5 Proof of debts in bankruptcy.

(1) For paragraph 2 of Schedule 2 to the Bankruptcy Act 1914 (debt to be proved by affidavit) there shall be substituted—

S-2

‘2. A debt may be proved by delivering or sending through the post in a prepaid letter to the official receiver or, if a trustee has been appointed, to the trustee—

a ) in any case in which the official receiver or trustee so requires, an affidavit verifying the debt
b ) in any other case, an unsworn claim to the debt.’

(2) In paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 of that Schedule after the word ‘affidavit’, wherever it occurs, there shall be inserted the words ‘or claim’.

(3) For section 45 of the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1913 (evidence to be produced by creditor) there shall be substituted—

S-45 ‘Method of making claims by creditors.

45 ‘Method of making claims by creditors.

(1) Subject to section 118(3) of this Act, to entitle a creditor to vote or draw a dividend, he shall be bound to produce at the meeting, or in the hands of the trustee, the account and vouchers necessary to prove the debt claimed by the creditor, and either—

(a ) a notice of claim to the debt in such form as the Secretary of State may by regulations made by statutory instrument prescribe; or

(b ) in any case in which the trustee so requires, an oath to the effect and taken in manner hereinbefore appointed in the case of creditors petitioning for sequestration.

(2) In this Act any reference—

(a ) in sections 46, 55 to 58, 119 and 120 to ‘oath’ shall include a reference to notice of claim under this section;

(b ) in sections 47, 48 and 53 to ‘oath and claim’ or to ‘oath or claim’ shall include a reference to notice of claim under this section;

(c ) in section 176(4) to ‘oath and claim’ shall include a reference to notice of claim and account and vouchers under this section;

(d ) in section 123 to ‘oath’ shall, except in so far as it relates to a mode of examination, include a reference to notice of claim under this section.’

(4) For subsection (3) of section 118 of the said Act of 1913 (provision as to preferential payments) there shall be substituted—

(3) Where in respect of any of the foregoing debts the trustee has not required an oath in terms of section 45(1)(b ) of this Act he may, with the consent of the Commissioners, also dispense with any requirement to produce a notice of claim in respect of that debt.

(3A) The trustee may, with the consent of the Commissioners, pay any of the foregoing debts before the period for payment of the first dividend.’

S-6 Power to dispense with public examination of debtor.

6 Power to dispense with public examination of debtor.

(1) The court may, if it thinks fit, make an order dispensing with the public examination of a debtor under section 15 of the Bankruptcy Act 1914 ; and in determining whether to make an order the court shall have regard to all the circumstances of the case including, in particular—

(a ) whether the debtor has made a full disclosure of his affairs;

(b ) whether he has been adjudged bankrupt on a previous occasion;

(c ) the number and nature of his debts;

(d ) whether his bankruptcy would for any reason be a matter of public concern; and

(e ) such other matters as may be prescribed for the purposes of this subsection by rules made under section 132 of the said Act of 1914.

(2) No order shall be made under subsection (1) above except on the application of the official receiver but the power of the court under section 108(1) of the said Act of 1914 to review or rescind any such order may be exercised either on the application of the official receiver or on the application of the debtor, a creditor or the trustee.

(3) The foregoing provisions are without prejudice to subsection (10) of the said section 15 (power to dispense with public examination of debtor suffering from mental or physical disability).

(4) Where an order is made under this section or the said subsection (10) dispensing with the public examination of the debtor, sections 16(2) and...

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