Chapter

Insolvency outside Bankruptcy: Imprisonment for Debt in the Nineteenth Century

V. Markham Lester

in Victorian Insolvency

Published in print February 1995 | ISBN: 9780198205180
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191676536 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205180.003.0003

Series: Oxford Historical Monographs

Insolvency outside Bankruptcy: Imprisonment for Debt in the Nineteenth Century

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This chapter examines the policy of imprisonment for debt in England during the 19th century. During this period, imprisonment for debt as a method of debt collection slowly came to be used exclusively by creditors of small debtors. This evolution may be attributed to the establishment of legal bankruptcy, which led debt collection to operate as a dual system. Under this system, bankruptcy was limited to traders and they could avoid imprisonment or have their pre-bankruptcy debts discharged. However, for those non-trader not covered by legal bankruptcy, there was little protection and they could be arrested and imprisoned even before their creditor could obtain a judgement against them.

Keywords: imprisonment; debt collection; legal bankruptcy; creditors; debtors

Chapter.  14660 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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