Bankrupts Act 1706
An Act to Explain and Amend an Act of the last Session of Parliament, for Preventing Frauds frequently Committed by Bankrupts.
WHEREAS an Act made in the First Session of this present Parliament, held in the Fourth and Fifth Years of Her Majesties Reign, Intituled, An Act for Preventing Frauds frequently Committed by Bankrupts, hath not Answered the good Intent thereof ; but on the contrary, many notorious Frauds and Abuses have been Committed, notwithstanding the Provisions and Penalties in the said Act : For Prevention whereof for the future, and for Explaining and Amending the said late Act, Be it Enacted by the Queens 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, That if any Person or Persons, who shall become Bankrupt within the several Statutes made against Bankrupts, or any of them, or any other Person or Persons, by or with his, her or their Order, Consent or Privity, shall from and after the Five and twentieth Day of April, in the Year of our Lord, One thousand seven hundred and seven, Remove, Carry away, Conceal, Destroy or Imbezel any of the Goods, Wares, Merchandizes, Monies, or Effects, whereof he, she or they, or any Person or Persons in Trust for him, her or them, is or are Possessed or Entitled unto, to the Value of Twenty Pounds, or upwards, or any Books of Accompts, Bonds, Bills, Notes, Papers, or Writings relating thereunto, with Intent to Defraud his, her, or their Creditors, every such Person and Persons so becoming Bankrupt, and being thereof lawfully convicted, shall suffer as a Felon without Benefit of Clergy ; And in such case such Bankrupts Goods and Estates shall go to, and be divided amongst the Creditors ; Any Law, Usage or Custom to the contrary notwithstanding.
II. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That from and after the said Five and twentieth Day of April, in the Year of our Lord, One thousand seven hundred and seven, no Person or Persons that have, or hath, or shall become Bankrupts, shall be Discharged from all or any of his, her or their Debts owing at the time of such Bankruptcy, or be Entitled to any Allowance or Benefit given or provided by the said late Act of Parliament made in the Fourth and Fifth Years of Her now Majesties Reign, unless the Allowance thereby given, and the Certificate by the said Act directed to be made and confirmed, shall be first Signed by Four Parts in Five in Number and Value of the Creditors of such Bankrupts, who shall have duly proved their Debts, or foms others by them Authorized thereunto, ceftifying their Consent to such Allowance and Certificate, Saving and Excepting only such Allowances and Certificates which have been already Made and Granted according to the true Intent and Meaning of the said late Act, which shall be Good and Effectual in the same manner (and no other) as if this present Act had not been made. Any thing in the said late Act, or herein contained, to the contrary notwithstanding.
III. Provided always, and be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That every Bond, Bill, Note, Contract, Agreement, or other Security whatsoever to be made or given by any Bankrupt, or by any other Person for him, unto or to the Use of, or in Trust for any Creditor or Creditors, or for Securing the Payment of any Debt or Sum of Money due from such Bankrupt, at the time of his becoming Bankrupt, or any part thereof, between the time of his becoming a Bankrupt, and the time of such Bankrupts Discharge, as a Confederation, or to the intent to Induce or Persuade him or her to Consent to or Sign any such Allowance or Certificate, shall be wholly Void and of no Effect ; And the Monie thereby Secured or Agreed to be Paid, shall not be Recovered or Recoverable ; Any thing herein contained, or any Law. Custom or Usage to the contrary notwithstanding.
IV. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That where any Commission of Bankrupts shall issue out from and after the said Five and twentieth Day of April, in the Year of our Lord, One thousand seven hundred and seven, the Commissoners therein named, or the major of them, shall forthwith cause Notice thereof to be given in the Gazette, and shall appoint a Time and Place for the Creditors to Meet, which Meeting, for the City of London, and all Places within the Bills of Mortality, shall be at the Guildhall of the said City, in Order to choose Assignee or Assignees of the Bankrupts Estate ; And the said Commissoners, or the major part of them, shall Assign every such Bankrupt's Estate and Effects unto such Person or Persons only, and no other, as shall be Nominated and Chosen by the major part of the Creditors then present ; And the Assignee or Assignees so chosen, shall be obliged to keep Books of the Accompt of the Bankrupts Estate, with Liberty for any of the Creditors to resort to and inspect them.
V. Provided always, That it shall and may be Lawful for the said Commissioners, or the major part of them, as often as they shall see Cause for the better Preserving or Securing the Bankrupts Estate, immediately to appoint and make one or more Assignee or Assignees of the said Estate, or any part thereof, which Assignee or Assignees, or any of them, shall or may be Removed or Displaced at the said Meeting of the Creditors, if the major part of them then present shall so think fit; And such Assignee or Assignees as shall be so Removed or Displaced, shall Deliver up and Assign all the Effects and Estate of the Bankrupt, which before that time shall have come to his, her or their Hands or Possession, or shall have been Assigned to him, her or them, unto such other Assignee or Assignees as shall be Chosen by the said major part of the Creditors present at such Meeting, and the Effects and Estate of the Bankrupt which shall be so Delivered up or Assigned, shall be to all intents and purposes as effectually Vested in such New Assignee or Assignees, as if the first Alignment had been made to him, her or them by the said Commissioners ; and if any of the said first Assignees shall Refuse or Neglect, by the space of Fourteen Days next after Notice given of the Choice of such New Assignee or Assignees, and of his, her or their Consent to accept such Alignment, signified to the first Assignee or Assignees, by Writing under his, her or their Hands, to make such Assignment and Delivery, as aforesaid, every such first Assignee or Assignees shall reflectively Forfeit the Sum of One hundred Pounds, over and above the Value of such Money, Goods and Effects that came to his or their Hands respectively by Virtue of such Assignment, to be Divided and Distributed among the Creditors as the Bankrupts Estate is or ought to be, and to be Recovered by Action of Debt, Bill, Plaint or Information in any of Her Majesties Courts of Record at Westminster, by such Person or Persons as the said major part of the Creditors shall appoint to Sue for the same, with full Costs of Suit, wherein no Priviledge, Protection or Wager of Law, or more than one Imparlance shall be allowed; Any Law, Custom or Usage to the contrary notwithstanding.
VI. And be it also further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That such Assignee or Assignees so to be Chosen, as aforesaid, or the major part of them,shall be and are hereby Impowered to make Comositions with any Person Debtor or Accomptant to such Bankrupt, where the same shall appear necessary and reasonable and to take such reasonable part as can upon such Composition be gotten, in full Discharge of such Debts or Accompts ; Any Law, Custom or Usage to the contrary notwithstanding.
VII. And for preventing the taking out Commissions of Bankrupt Fraudulently or Maliciously, Be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That no Commission of Bankrupts under the Great seal of England, shall, alter the Five and twentieth Day of April, in the Year of our Lord, One thousand seven hundred and seven, be Awarded or issued out against any Person whatsoever, at the Instance, or upon the Petition of any one or more Creditor or Creditors, unless the Single Debt of such Creditor do amount to the Sum of one hundred Pounds or upwards, or unless the Debt of Two Creditors so Petitioning, as aforesaid, shall amount to One hundred and fifty Pounds, and upwards, or unless the Debt of Three or more Creditors so Petitioning, as aforesaid, shall amount to Two hundred Pounds, and upwards ; And the Creditor or Creditors Petitioning for such Commission, shall, before the same be Granted, give Bond to the Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, or Commissioners of the Great Seal for the time being, in the Penalty of Two hundred Pounds, to be Conditioned for Proving his, her their Debts, and also for Proving the Party a Bankrupt at the time of taking out such Commission ; And if such Debt or Debts shall not be really due and owing, or if after such Commission taken out it cannot be proved that the Party was a Bankrupt at the time, but on the contrary it (hall appear, that such Commission was taken out Fraudulently or Maliciously, That then the Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, or Commissioners of the Great Seal, for the time being, shall and may, upon Petition of the Party or Parties grieved, Assign such Bond to Recompence him, her or them in Damages ; Any Law, Custom or Usage to the contrary notwithstanding.
VIII. Provided always, and it is hereby further Declared and Enacted by the Authority aforefaid, That no Farmer, Grazier or Drover of Cattle, or any Person who is or hath been a Receiver General of Taxes Granted by Parliament, shall be Entitled to any of the Benefits given by this or the said late Act made in the Fourth and Fifth Years of Her Majesties Reign, nor be deemed a Bankrupt within the same, or any former Acts made against Bankrupts ; Any Law, Custom or Usage to the contrary notwithstanding.
IX. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That this Act shall continue and be in Force for the space of Two Years, and from thence to the end of the next Session of Parliament, and no longer.