MEETINGS OF CREDITORS.
A meeting in the estate of John Ford, of Dunedin, grocer, was held yesterday afternoon. About twenty-five creditors weie present or represented. Mr Solomon appeared to advise the Assignee, Sir B. Stout for the National Bank, and Mr Thornton for the debtor.
The debtor's statement was as follows: Liabilities to unsecured creditors, L 1,648 13s 4d. Assets: Stock-in-trade, L 287 lis (U; book debts, L6G6lBs Gd, estimated co produce L 450; cash in hand, 17s 4d ; furniture, L 10 0; property, being sublease of part of section 8, block 21, Dunedin, for five yews, L 5; total, L 859 15s 9d. Deficiency, L7BB 17s 7d. The principal creditors are: Warty and Co., L17814s 9d; Rose, Wilson, and Co., LlO4 15s lOd ; Timaru Milling Company, LlB 194 61: Maokerras and Hazlett, LSB 10s; W. G. Neill, L 36 lis 3d; W. Scoular and Co., L 26 2*; Hogg, Howison, Nicol, and Co., L2l 6s 8d; James Kunciman, L 44 13s 6d; J. and T Meek, LlO 13s; J. Cable, L 39; Irvine and Stevenson, L 26 19s lid; M'Leod Bros. (Limited), L 12135; Thomas Patterson, L 9 0s lid ; Whyto and Co., L 4 9; W. Gregg and Co , L' 7 10a lid; Watt Brothers (Ohristchureh), L 57 17s 2d; Peter M'Gill, Ll3 s*; Evkning fc-TAB, L 8; A. Pryde, L 8 13s 8il; Johnstone, Dunsfcer, and Co. (Melbourne), L 9 15s sd; Duthie Bros, (drapers), L 10; E. "Wilson and Co.. Ll7 6s 6d ; George Fori, L 650; National Bank (guaranteed), L 200; John Clegg, L2O 2s; Corporation of Pnnedin, L 6. The total debts are L 1.722 Ib lOd, less contra accounts L 73 83 6d.
Bank 1 upt, examined on oath, said that he hart been two yeais in bis present business. He had no capital of his own when ho started, His father advanced L2OO altogether to enable debtor to go into partnership with Mr Smith in the business. Before debtor got the money he had to sign a promissory note on demand for L 720. Debtor owed him this money. Debtor had previously assigned his estate, and there was an overdraft of L 616 at the Bank of Australasia, which his father had to pay. His father signed the deed of assignment, and he stood in and took the same as the other creditors. With LIOO cash which debtor had to get to give Mr Smith, this sum of L 616 made up, with some legal expenses, the L 720 for which he h*d to sign tbe promissory note before he could get the LIOO. His father had to raise the money by mortgage and by giving a bill of sale over the cattle. Mr Harty and Mr Denniston were trustees under the former deed. The second bill of L2OO waß for the L2OO ho got. There was always a L2OO bill running, which was renewed from time to time. Debtor got a second LIOO from his father about a month after the first. He never expected the L 720 bill to be presented, although he knew it was in existence.
Mr Harty said he understood that bankrupt gave the bill for two advances from his father after baviog made a deed of asflignment, and that the bill was given without value. The .Assignee: It is not to be supposed that the bank knew that this bill represented a debt tbat hid been satisfied.
Mr Harty said Mr Ford must have made misreprt sentationo. Mr Jago: Some peopls will take bills wherever they come from, when they have got names to them.
Mr Harty said the bank must have known all about tho matter. He took it that any bank manager would have known full well that John Ford was nut good enough for L 720. Mr Jago wished to know what consideration the bank gave. The Assignee: It is quite clear tbat they made an advance of L2OO. This 1720 bill seems to have been deposited for L2OO. Debtor, continuing, said that his account at the National Bank was overdrawn about L2OO. He did not know how much his father's account was overdrawn.
Sir K. Stout: It is very little. I can tell you that.
Debtor, continuing, said tbat ho meant by not expecting tbat the L 720 bill would be presented that be did not expect it while things went straight. He promised to pay bis father all he had paid to the Bank of Australasia. No time was mentioned, but he did not expect to be pressed for it. He would not have got the further advanoe unless he signed the L 720 bill. The condition was made by his father and his father's solicitor, Mr W. I>. Stewart, Debtor was not present at any interview between his father and the bank re the advance. He did not know the L 720 bill was in the bank until Monday, when he got notice of demand for payment. He considered that he would be nearly solvent but for that bill. Mr Jago again asked what consideration was given by the bank for the L 720 bill which they now hold and claim upon? Was there only LIOO olaimed upon it?
Sir R. Stout said that the bank held the L 720 as security for the L2OO overdraft and another L2OO to George Ford. A Creditor: Very good busujew, I|ehould say,
Sir R. Stout said that the bonk could not be Warned for taking the beat secnrity they could get. ; .; ..- .' Mr Jago: George Foul, after :naving given a discharge in full for a dividend «n account of thh estate) then get*'his son wilfully, or unwilfully, to accepta bill for 1,11% for which he knows he only advanoed LIOO. sir Robert Stout: That is so; Mr Jago: estate is liable ? Sir Robert Stout: Not this estate, but the son is liable.
Mr Harty said the bankrupt bad had a wet blanket over him for a long time, and the creditors knew nothing about it. Mr Gregg said he felt so strongly about this matter that he was inolined to move that the bank's claim be thrown out.—(Hear, hear.) The Assignee said that this could not be done, but if the creditors liked they could pass a motion instructing him to dispute it. Sir Robfrt Btout said that if the Assignee thought on inquiry ithatthe proof was incorrect, hi should fight the thing; but it was monstrous to ask the meeting to guide him in the performance of his duties. A Creditor: A bad case, Sir Robert. Debtor, continuing, said that hia wife abandoned all claim to the furniture under bailment; but she claimed the furniture which was hers at marriage, worth about LIOO. The marriage took placeaboutfouryears ago. Ho took Btockon the 'il&t March last, and was a little behind then—that was by debiting the estate with the bank overdraft, but not wi'h the L 720. Ho thought he could have pulled through if he had had a little time. He got a summons from M'Leod Bros., Limited, and his orcdit was stopped, so he called his creditors together, and was fcstruoted to file. He had made representations that he was all right, because, leaving out what he was owing to his father, which he did not tako into account, he considered he would have enough to pay everyone if ho had g t time. He did not mention the L 720 to his,creditors. He never paid any interest on renewals. He twice paid interest on his father's mortgage, L 24 each time. Mr W. D. Stewart waß the mortgagee. He (debtor) thought it stood at L6OO, but now thought it was LBOO. The Assignee: Do you think your father intends to press his claim upon the estate, because if so wc must taks some steps with regard to this bill ? The Bankrupt: lam sure I can't say what my father intends to do.
The Assignee said he thought it would be necessary to examine the father, and also people of the bank. Mr Esther said he would move—" That as the bank's claim seems to be worth looking into, in consequence of its very peculiar nature, this meeting asks the Offioial Assignee to examine same and report to an adjourned meeting."
Sir R. Stout: I will vote for the motion if you remove the epithets from it. I don't think it is fair of you to put your resolution in that form. It is casting a slur on the bank, which is not neceseary, Mr Esther: The feeling seems universal. Sir R. Stout: I don't care whether it is. Mr Hazlett: The transaction looks very shady, Sir Robert. Sir R. Stout denied that there was anything Bhady about it. Mr Harty: It looks very like it. The Assignee did not see any objeotion to the wording of the motion, The claim of the bank was peculiar.
Sir Robert Stout said it was not usual for a Judge to pronounce an opinion before he investigated. Mr W. Duthie seconded the motion, which, on being put to the vote, was declared to be carried unanimously. The Assignee said he understood that there was an offer to place before the meeting. Mr Smith made an offer of L2BO for the estate (exclusive of book debts); LBO to be paid in cadh, and the remainder to be divided in bills of two, three, and four months; immediate possession to be given; and no obstruction to be placed in the way of carrying on the business. But it was perhaps advisable to first settle the question of whether supervisors should be appointed. Sir R. Stout objected to the appointment of supervisors, The estate was to>> small, and it was not right to saddle it with extra expense. Mr R. WilcOn (Rose, Wilson and Co.) said that he for one was willing to act without pay. Mr Marty said that he would make another. Mr R. Wilson (Bond street) said that Sir Robert would of course not offer any objtction now.
Sir Robert Stout said he did object, and ho thought he was the best jodge of what was riyht or wrong, notwithstanding Mr Wilson was such a high authority on such matters. If the Assignee was not able to manage the estate, then he was not fit to be Official Assignee. The Assignee said if the bank objected, of course the supervisors could not be appointed; but after this expression of opinion from the meeting he would be justified in giving great weight to the opinions and advice of the two gentlemen named. Sir Robert fctout: I think you have no right to take the advice of two creditors more than any othorß. It simply means that you are going to set the Act at defiance. The Assignee said ho had a right to consult the creditors.
Sir Robert Stout: What right have you to take the advice of any particular creditor ? Tbe Assignee: I am going to do it at any rate, Sir Robert.—(Hear, hear, and laughter.) Kir K. btout: Ther--. may be an appeal even from you, though you are so high and mighty. You are only a servant, and there nuy bo appeal from you to the Minister of Justice. I'll not be bullied in this way. The Assignee: I think it is you who are bullying, Sir Robert. Mr Wilson (Rose, Wilson, and Co.) moved—"That tho offer of Mr Smith be accepted, subject to the endorsements being to the satisfaction of the Assignee or to the amount being paid in cash, less btnk discount," Mr if arty seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously. On the question as to whether the bankrupt should be allowed his furniture, Mr Uarty said this was not a ca?e for sympathy. Tho creditors had bean deceived all along by the bankrupt. He would move—"That the bankrupt be granted the furniture allowed by the Act and nothing more."
Sir Robert Stout: I move that this matter be adjourned. Mr Jago said that the matter of the furniture might be left over until ths creditors had the full report with regard to the bank's claim. So far as he could see tho bankrupt had been innocently led iuto a very serious difficulty, which ho had unwittingly committed himself to; and if anyono was culpable in this matter, it was someone behind the bankrupt and not tbe bankrupt himself.
Debtor denied that be had ever misled the creditorc
The Assignee said whether the bankrupt ought to have mentioned it or not was a matter of opinion; but his not mentioning the L 720 bill had had the effeotof deoeiving people, MrHazlett: If it had been mentioned, he would never have got one penny of credit. After further discussion, Mr Harty's motion was withdrawn and Sir Robert Stoat's carried.
It was also resolved, on the motion of Mr Gregg, seooided by Mr Jago—"That the Assignee bo authorised to call for tenders for the book debts; to be submitted at next meeting." The meeting then adjourned for a week. EE D. B&THUNE. The first meeting of creditors in the estate of David Bethune, of Dunedir, was held at the office of the Official Assignee this morning. Mr A. Bathgate appeared on behalf of the bankrupt, and six creditors were present. Bankrupt's statement wasaß follows: Liabili ties, L 1.659 17s lOd ; assets, L4O; deficiency, LI, 619 17s lOd. The unsecured creditors areJohn Metson (Christchurch), LI, 400; NewZealandLuanand Mercantile Agency Company, L2l; D. KeKi a..d Co.. L 4 6; British and New Zealand Company, L2O; Mutual Agency Company, U0; Dr Aiaunsell, LlO 10s; A. U. Fenwiek, L 6 iOa; Robert Hay, L2O; R. Findlay, L 7; Findlay and Co, Limited, L2 15s; D. Mason, L4O; W. Owen, L2O; A. King, Ll2; 8. M'Donald, L2O; D. Anderson, L 7; A. Bathgate, Ll7 2s lOd. The Imperial Building Society*is seoured to the extent of Ll7o—tbe full amount of debt—being a mortgage over two sections at Kelvin Grove. The assets are L4O, being value of furniture owned by bankrupt.
The Assignee said tbat Gleeson'a claim was the result of a deficiency on a mortgage sold by the Begistrar. The properly was owned by Gleeson now. Of course the property, when sold by the Registrar, did not realise itß full value, but Gleeson had proved his olaim. He might state that the furniture bad been revalued at L 73, and the clothing at L 5. Bankrupt stated that the book debts owing some years back had been written off as they were paid in. They were old debts, some of four or five years' standing. He had given up business and sold through the Registrar, the mortgage at tbat time amounting to L 3.000. A claim of L 1.400 had been It ft, however, and ho then collected all available assets and paid his creditors as far as he could. He was compelled to file through being pressed, lie had offered a composition of 2s 6<l in the £, but oould not make that offer now. His principal losses had been in connection with the timber trade; the butchery business had paid. The property whioh he some time ago assigned to his sou was burdened with more than it was worth. Bankrupt possessed no property, and had no expectations. After disoussion it was decided to grant bankrupt bis furniture to the value of L 73; and to rooomffitnd him for his, discharge.
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MEETINGS OF CREDITORS., Evening Star, Issue 7952, 6 July 1889
MEETINGS OF CREDITORS. Evening Star, Issue 7952, 6 July 1889
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