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House. Special Comm. on Assignment of Property by Debtors. Report, 1833
SEE ALSO 52389 House No. 12 Report of the Special Committee to whom was referred so much of the Governor's address as relates to assignment of
property by debtors and imprisonment for debt. Boston : Dutton & Wentworth, 1833. On January 9, 1833, a five man committee was declared. Its report was
issued on January 21, 1833. Imprisonment for debt was generally conceded to be counterproductive, but the amount of debt in the Commonwealth was
stunning. It was too easy to contract debt, too easy to be caught in someone else's cascade of failure, and too easy for one creditor to swallow up a
debtor's assets, leaving nothing for other creditors. However, an 1831 Commission had developed an excellent bill to handle the situation that did not
receive appropriate attention at the time it was offered. The report and its bill were resubmitted: Governor's message of June 1831, the Commission
report of May 31, 1831 with 26 pages of text and 20 pages of possible forms and the bill of 29 pages with twenty-three sections. Any debtor who
wanted to use the act had to apply in writing to the local Probate Judge explaining his inability to pay and putting all his assets in the hands of the
court. The Judge appointed a person to take possession of everything, especially the financial records. There was appropriate notice and the Judge
presided over a meeting of the creditors. Each had to prove his claim to the satisfaction of the Judge. There was a second creditors meeting in case
someone missed the first. There were many pages about the types of debt and types of assets and various situations that might arise. Once the creditors
were paid as much as was available, the Judge gave the debtor a certificate about the process that told anyone who cared that the debtor had done his
best. The text of the certificate was included. Absolutely meticulous records were required. There were pages on various contingencies, a list of
fees, and what to do about partnership insolvency. (Digitized from a microfilm copy of title originally held by the Massachusetts State Library).
Title:   Report of the Special Committee, to whom was referred so much of the Governor's address as relates to assignment of property by debtors, and to imprisonment for debt.
OCLC Number:   65270031
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