Public Examination - Debtor’s Reasonable Offer Refused
Mr. Harry Everingham, draper, High-street, Rushden, appeared at the Northampton Bankruptcy Court on Tuesday, before Dr. Faulkner (Registrar), for his public examination. Great sympathy was felt for the debtor, who had made a very reasonable offer to the creditors.
Official Receiver’s Remarks
The debtor started in business in partnership with Mr. King in 1896; and in 1901, after the premises were burned down, the partnership came to an end. The sum of £825 was received from the Insurance Company, of which the debtor received £207 after payment of the debts. He again started in business with a capital of £237. The 1907 balance sheet showed a credit balance of £490. In November last the creditors met, and refused an offer of 13s. 4d. in the £ on a composition, and the debtor filed his petition. In this offer of 13/4 (to be paid in three instalments at three, six and nine months) the cash creditors (£217) agreed to stand on one side until the last instalment was paid, and the last instalment was fully secured, this offer, however, being as stated, refused. The statement of affairs presented to the meeting in November showed a surplus of assets over liabilities of £201 5s. 8d. He attributed his failure to bad trade and pressure by creditors. The accounts filed showed liabilities £1,010 (£876 unsecured), and assets £497, this being the sum the estate is estimated to produce in bankruptcy under a forced sale.
In answer to the Official Receiver, Mr. Everingham said: I carried on business as a draper at 40, High-street, Rushden. When some of my creditors began to press me, I consulted my solicitor, who, after seeing the balance sheet, said he could not advise the calling of a meeting of my creditors, but suggested that I should try and dispose of the business. I then consulted my cash creditors, who thought I could not have any better advice than my solicitor had given me, and they advised me to follow it. Then I wrote to my largest creditor and told him that I thought of disposing of my business, but before doing so, would like his advice. The creditor in question wrote for the balance sheet, which I sent. Next day the same firm wrote for a full list of creditors, which I forwarded. The firm then called a private meeting of the leading creditors, and sent a man down to take stock, which I allowed them to do. This stock-taking showed £200 to the good, even after depreciating the estate to the sum of £113. At a meeting of creditors I offered 12/6 in the £, the cash creditors consented to stand on one side until the last instalment was paid, but this offer was refused. I then supplemented this offer to
13/4 In The £,
the cash creditors agreeing to stand on one side, and the last instalment was fully secured. This offer was also refused. Then I offered to make an assigument of everything except the furniture.
The Official Receiver: And was that offer refused, too?
Debtor : Yes.
The Official Receiver : And what then?
The Registrar : Then he filed his petition.
Mr. Everingham : Yes, I was then advised to file my petition, and I did so.
The Official Receiver : You handed Mrs. Everingham £25, what was that for?
Debtor : I paid it to her for remuneration for her services during the last four years. She worked in the business as a milliner, for which work she received nothing whatever. However, this £25 has now been handed over to the Official Receiver.
The Registrar (after looking at the balance sheet) : It seems to me that if his creditors had let the debtor alone he could have paid 20/- in the £.
The examination was then closed, subject to the signing of the notes.
None of the creditors appeared.