1870: 33 & 34 Victoria c.76: Absconding Debtors

1870: 33 & 34 Victoria c.76: An Act to facilitate the Arrest of Absconding Debtors.

[9th August 1870.]

WHEREAS the laws now in force for the arrest of debtors absconding from England are insufficient for that purpose:

And whereas frauds may be perpetrated upon creditors by insolvent debtors departing for distant countries before the necessary proceedings can be taken to make them bankrupt:

Be it therefore 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 present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

[Provisions of Bankruptcy Act, 1869, extended.]

1. That the provisions of the Bankruptcy Act, 1869, be extended in manner following:

The Court may, by warrant addressed to any constable or prescribed officer of the Court, cause a debtor to be arrested and safely kept as prescribed until such time as the Court may order, if, after a debtor’s summons has been granted in the manner prescribed by the said Act, and before a petition of bankruptcy can be presented against him, it appear to the Court that there is probable reason for believing that he is about to go abroad, with a view of avoiding payment of the debt for which the summons has been granted, or of avoiding service of a petition of bankruptcy, or of avoiding appearing to such petition, or of avoiding examination in respect of his affairs, or otherwise avoiding, delaying, or embarrassing proceedings in bankruptcy: Provided always, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to alter or qualify the right of the debtor to apply to the Court in the prescribed manner to dismiss the said summons as in the said Act is provided, or to pay, secure, or compound for the said debt within the time by the said Act provided, without being deemed to have committed an act of bankruptcy; and provided also, that upon any such payment or composition being made, or such security offered as the Court shall think reasonable, the said debtor shall be discharged out of custody, unless the Court shall otherwise order.

[When arrest not valid.]

2. No arrest shall be valid or protected under this Act unless the debtor, before or at the time of his arrest, shall be served with the debtor’s summons.

[Security for debt given after arrest.]

3. No payment or composition of a debt made or security for the same given after an arrest made under the provisions of this Act shall be exempted from the provisions of the said Act relating to fraudulent preferences.

[Construction of terms.]

4. The terms used in this Act shall have the same meaning as they have in the said recited Act, and this Act shall be read and construed therewith.

[Costs and fees.]

5. The costs and fees to be charged in respect of any proceedings authorised shall be prescribed in the like manner in which costs and fees to be charged in respect of proceedings under the Bankruptcy Act, 1869, are respectively directed by that Act to be prescribed.

[Short title.]

6. In citing this Act in other Acts of Parliament, or in any instrument, document, or proceeding, it shall be sufficient to use the expression “The Absconding Debtors Act, 1870.”

Source: Public General Statutes, 1870.