Every sympathy was shown towards the debtor at a private meeting of the creditors of Mr. Ernest Catling, of High-street, Rushden, leather merchant, held on Tuesday at the office of Mr. W. J. Thompson, of Market-street, Kettering, chartered accountant.
Mr. Archer, of Messrs. A. C. Palmer and Co., of Leicester who represented several of the creditors was elected chairman of the meeting.
The statement of affairs showed that the debts totalled £6,486 18s 5d., estimated assets £1,493 16s 10d; deficiency £4,993 1s 7d. The sums owing to unsecured creditors amounted to £2,421 15s 9d., including: J. K. Perkins and Son, Irthlingborough, £281; Pettitt and Sons, Northampton, £160; William Hector, Higham Ferrers, £20; Victoria Leather Co., Higham Ferrers, £298. Catling and Durham, Rushden, £70; H. Conyers and Co., Leeds, £229; Sigston and Cox, Finedon, £546; T, and H. Wilkes, Bermondsey, £460; the National Provincial Union Bank were partly-secured creditors for £965 2s 8d., holding securities for £100. There was a preferential claim for £138 18s 6d. re taxes; whilst of the £5,797 12s 6d. representing liabilities on bills discounted, £3,200 was expected to rank against the estate for dividend.
The assets included stock-in-trade which cost £797 12s. 3d., estimated to produce £262 1s 11d.; book debts, £3,066 14s 11d.; estimated to produce £1,250; Bills of Exchange, etc., estimated to produce £95 13s 5d.; plant, fixtures, and fittings estimated to produce £25. The value of the debtor’s share of partnership in the business of Catling and Durham was estimated as nil. From the total of £1,632 15s 4d., there had to be deducted the preferential claim mentioned above - £138 18s 6d which left £1,493 16s 10d. as the total available assets.
Mr. Thompson stated that the debtor commenced business in August, 1917, and for a time did well. The deficiency was accounted for almost entirely by bad debts, amounting to £4,900; together with loss on realising stock, owing to the slump.
No offer being forthcoming, it was decided to realise the estate under a deed of assignment to Mr. Thompson as trustee, Messrs. Archer (Messrs. A. C. Palmer and Co.), Bruce (of T. and H. Wilkes), and Perkins (of Irthlingborough) being appointed to act as a committee of inspection. The whole of the creditors recognised that Mr. Catling had been very unfortunate.