Re Dennis (A Bankrupt): CA 22 May 1995

A joint tenancy was severed (under the former law) on the event of an act of bankruptcy, and not only by the later actual adjudication of bankruptcy. The vesting of the debtor’s property in the trustee which occurred on adjudication was automatic; the trustee had no choice in the matter. ‘the debtor’s interest in the property was divested on the commission of the act of bankruptcy, in which event the joint tenancy was severed.’ ‘It was a peculiarity of the former law of bankruptcy that the effect of an act of bankruptcy on a joint tenancy depended on whether it was followed by adjudication or not. But it did not depend on whether it was the solvent or the insolvent joint tenant who died before adjudication.’


Ind Summary 22-May-1995, [1995] 3 All ER 171, [1995] 3 WLR 367


Bankruptcy Act 1914 37


England and Wales


CitedCooper v Chitty 1756
An action of trover was brought by the assignees of the bankrupt against the Sheriffs of London who had taken and sold the bankrupt’s goods under a writ of fi. fa. The debtor committed an act of bankruptcy on 4th. December 1753. On the 5th. December . .
Appeal fromRe Dennis ChD 15-Jul-1992
Property was held in joint names. The husband failed to comply with a statutory demand, and so committed an act of bankruptcy. The wife later died, and the husband was then made bankrupt a month later.
Held: An act of bankruptcy did not . .
CitedFox v Hanbury 1776
One of two partners committed an act of bankruptcy. The solvent partner later disposed of partnership property to the defendant. A commission was afterwards issued against the bankrupt partner, and the plaintiffs as assignees under the commission . .
CitedFraser v Kershaw 1856
It was settled law that the bankruptcy of one of two partners puts an end at once to the partnership and that the one partner being bankrupt, his assignee, the trustee, became tenant in common with the other. . .
DisapprovedEx parte Smith 1800
Two partners, Strickland and Richardson, held property as joint tenants at law. Richardson committed an act of bankruptcy by absenting himself, and a commission was issued against him. The commissioners then declared Richardson bankrupt and executed . .
CitedSmith v Stokes 1801
After a bankruptcy goods belonging to his partnership were received by the defendant Stokes. The commission in bankruptcy then issued. His partner died and his will was proved by Stokes and another. The assignees under the commission then brought an . .
CitedDoe d Lloyd v Powell 1826
A lessee executed a deed by which he conveyed all his real and personal property to trustees for the benefit of his creditors. This was an act of bankruptcy. A commission was issued against him and he was declared bankrupt. He then sought to forfeit . .
CitedMorgan v Marquis 2-Nov-1853
The defendants had possession of some flour for sale under instructions from Perrin. The jury found that the sale was to be for the account of Perrin and one Shute and not Perrin alone, and that Perrin and Shute were joint tenants. Perrin committed . .
CitedRe Bonham ex parte the Postmaster-General 1879
A bankrupt presented his own petition. It was contended that the relation back of the title of the assignees in bankruptcy to the anterior act of bankruptcy did not affect the rights of the Crown was altered by the 1869 Act
Held: The Act made . .
CitedTitterton v Cooper CA 1882
The bankrupt was a lessee. His trustee did not disclaim the lease, and the question was whether he was personally liable for the rent which had fallen due between the date of his appointment and the date on which he elected not to disclaim.
CitedRe Lewis ex parte Helder CA 26-Jul-1883
An agent, in obedience to a previous instruction of his principal, paid away money of the principal which was in his hands knowing, before he made the payment, that when completed it would constitute an act of bankruptcy on the part of his . .
CitedRe Chapman ex parte Edwards CA 4-Aug-1884
The solicitor for the petitioning creditor was liable to account to the trustee for money which he had received from the debtor after he (necessarily) had notice of the act of bankruptcy on which the petition was founded and which he had paid to his . .
CitedRe Badham ex parte Palmer 1893
The debtor made payments to creditors after the bankruptcy petition had been presented, and after the act of bankruptcy. After the debtor had been adjudicated bankrupt the trustee in bankruptcy sought to recover the payments as fraudulent . .
CitedRe Pollitt CA 1893
The debtor had put his solicitor in funds to meet future costs. The solicitor then prepared a deed of assignment for the benefit of the creditors which the debtor executed. The debtor was afterwards adjudicated bankrupt, the act of bankruptcy being . .
CitedRe Hirth CA 1899
The debtor, already in financial difficulties, transferred his business to a limited company which he had formed for the purpose. Within three months he committed an act of bankruptcy by failing to comply with a bankruptcy notice. He was adjudicated . .
CitedMontefiore v Guedalla 1901
The bankrupt had a protected life interest in a trust fund under the will of his late father which was defeasible inter alia if he should do or omit to do or should suffer to be done any act whereby the income of the trust fund if payable to himself . .
CitedStein v Pope CA 1902
A lessee assigned the lease by an assignment which constituted an act of bankruptcy. He was subsequently adjudicated bankrupt and his trustee disclaimed the lease. During the interval between the assignment of the lease and the date of the . .
CitedRe Gunsbourg CA 1920
The debtor transferred his assets to a company formed by him. He later committed an act of bankruptcy on which he was adjudicated bankrupt. The company had sold some of the assets to a bona fide purchaser without notice of the act of bankruptcy. The . .
CitedPonsford, Baker and Co v Union of London and Smith’s Bank CA 1906
Was a debtor who had committed an act of bankruptcy but who had not yet been adjudicated bankrupt free to require his secured creditor, who had notice of it, to hand over his securities on payment of the amount due thereon?
Held: He could not. . .
CitedRe Gershon and Levy 1915
An order was made by consent in a partnership action to tax the costs of the parties and the receiver was ordered to pay the costs when taxed out to the solicitors for the parties out of the partnership assets. When the order was made all parties . .
CitedRe Ashwell ex parte Salaman Chd 1912
After the presentation of a bankruptcy petition against him, the debtor obtained an adjournment of the petition by paying the petitioning creditors money which he falsely represented to be that of a third party. The debtor was afterwards adjudicated . .
CitedIn Re Palmer, Deceased (A Debtor) ChD 25-Mar-1994
The court considered the effect of the doctrine of relation back on a property of which the bankrupt was formerly a joint tenant where the bankrupt had died after the act of bankruptcy but before adjudication.
Held: A deceased’s share in . .

Cited by:

Appealed toRe Dennis ChD 15-Jul-1992
Property was held in joint names. The husband failed to comply with a statutory demand, and so committed an act of bankruptcy. The wife later died, and the husband was then made bankrupt a month later.
Held: An act of bankruptcy did not . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Insolvency, Trusts

Updated: 21 January 2023; Ref: scu.85752