1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Cessio Bonorum

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CESSIO BONORUM (Latin for a “surrender of goods”), in Roman law, a voluntary surrender of goods by a debtor to his creditors. It did not amount to a discharge unless the property ceded was sufficient for the purpose, but it secured the debtor from personal arrest. The creditors sold the goods in satisfaction, pro tanto, of their claims. The procedure of cessio bonorum avoided infamy, and the debtor, though his after-acquired property might be proceeded against, could not be deprived of the bare necessaries of life. The main features of the Roman law of cessio bonorum were adopted in Scots law, and also in the French legal system. (See further Bankruptcy.)