PART 17
ADMINISTRATION IN BANKRUPTCY
Division 1 — Bankruptcy
Commencement and duration of bankruptcy
326.  The bankruptcy of any person who has been adjudged bankrupt by a bankruptcy order (whether made against the person or against the firm in which the person is a partner) —
(a)commences on the day the bankruptcy order is made; and
(b)continues until the person is discharged under Part 18.
Effect of bankruptcy order
327.—(1)  On the making of a bankruptcy order —
(a)the property of the bankrupt —
(i)vests in the Official Assignee without any further conveyance, assignment or transfer; and
(ii)becomes divisible among the bankrupt’s creditors;
(b)the Official Assignee is constituted the receiver of the bankrupt’s property; and
(c)unless otherwise provided by Parts 3 and 13 to 22 —
(i)no creditor to whom the bankrupt is indebted in respect of any debt provable in bankruptcy has any remedy against the person or property of the bankrupt in respect of that debt; and
(ii)no action or proceedings may be proceeded with or commenced against the bankrupt in respect of that debt,
except by the leave of the Court and in accordance with such terms as the Court may impose.
(2)  Where a bankruptcy order is made against a firm, the order operates as if it were a bankruptcy order made against each of the persons who, at the time of the order, is a partner in the firm.
(3)  This section does not affect the right of any secured creditor to realise or otherwise deal with the secured creditor’s security in the same manner as the secured creditor would have been entitled to realise or deal with it if this section had not been enacted.
(4)  Despite subsection (3) and section 356, a secured creditor is not entitled to any interest in respect of the secured creditor’s debt after the making of a bankruptcy order unless the secured creditor —
(a)notifies the Official Assignee within 30 days after the date of the bankruptcy order of the secured creditor’s intention to claim such interest; and
(b)realises the secured creditor’s security within —
(i)12 months after the date of the bankruptcy order (called in this section the realisation period); or
(ii)such further period as the Official Assignee may determine on the application of the secured creditor made at least 30 days (or such shorter period as the Official Assignee may allow) before the expiry of the realisation period.
Restrictions on dispositions of property by bankrupt
328.—(1)  Where a person is adjudged bankrupt, any disposition of property made by the bankrupt during the period beginning on the day of the making of the bankruptcy application and ending on the day of the making of the bankruptcy order is void except to the extent that such disposition has been made with the consent of, or been subsequently ratified by, the Court.
(2)  For the purpose of this section, a disposition of property includes any payment (whether in cash or otherwise) made to any person by the bankrupt and accordingly, where any payment is void by virtue of this section, the person to whom the payment was made holds the sum paid for the bankrupt as part of the bankrupt’s estate.
(3)  Nothing in this section gives a remedy against any person in respect of —
(a)any property or payment which the person received from the bankrupt before the commencement of the bankruptcy in good faith, for value and without notice that the bankruptcy application had been made; or
(b)any interest in property which derives from an interest in respect of which there is, by virtue of this subsection, no remedy.
(4)  Where, after the commencement of his or her bankruptcy, the bankrupt has incurred a debt to a banker or any other person by reason of the making of a payment which is void under this section, that debt is deemed for the purposes of Parts 3 and 13 to 22 to have been incurred before the commencement of the bankruptcy unless —
(a)that banker or person had notice of the bankruptcy before the debt was incurred; or
(b)it is not reasonably practicable for the amount of the payment to be recovered from the person to whom it was made.
(5)  A disposition of property is void under this section notwithstanding that the property is not or, as the case may be, would not be comprised in the bankrupt’s estate, but nothing in this section affects any disposition made by a person of property held by that person on trust for any other person.
Description of bankrupt’s property divisible amongst creditors
329.—(1)  The property of the bankrupt divisible among the bankrupt’s creditors (called in Parts 3 and 13 to 22 the bankrupt’s estate) comprises —
(a)all such property as belongs to or is vested in the bankrupt at the commencement of his or her bankruptcy or is acquired by or devolves on him or her before his or her discharge; and
(b)the capacity to exercise and to take proceedings for exercising all such powers in or over or in respect of property as might have been exercised by the bankrupt for his or her own benefit at the commencement of his or her bankruptcy or before his or her discharge.
(2)  Subsection (1) does not apply to —
(a)property held by the bankrupt on trust for any other person;
(b)such tools, books, vehicles and other items of equipment as are needed by the bankrupt for the bankrupt’s personal use in the bankrupt’s employment, business or vocation;
(c)such clothing, bedding, furniture, household equipment and provisions as are necessary for satisfying the basic domestic needs of the bankrupt and the bankrupt’s family;
(d)property of the bankrupt which is excluded under any other written law;
(e)the remainder of the bankrupt’s monthly income after deducting the bankrupt’s monthly contribution; and
(f)any annual bonus or annual wage supplement paid as part of the bankrupt’s income.
Division 2 — Inquiry into bankrupt’s affairs,
dealings and property
Meeting of creditors
330.—(1)  The Official Assignee may, at any time after the making of a bankruptcy order, summon a meeting of the bankrupt’s creditors.
(2)  Despite subsection (1), the Official Assignee must summon a meeting of the bankrupt’s creditors whenever directed by the Court to do so or whenever requested in writing by one-fourth in value of the bankrupt’s creditors to do so.
(3)  Every meeting summoned under this section must be conducted in accordance with the regulations.
Creditors’ committee
331.—(1)  At any meeting convened by the Official Assignee under section 330(1), the creditors qualified to vote at the meeting, including the holders of general proxies or general powers of attorney from such creditors, may by ordinary resolution appoint from amongst themselves a committee (called in this section the creditors’ committee) of not more than 3 persons for the purpose of advising the Official Assignee on matters relating to the administration of the property of the bankrupt.
(2)  The Official Assignee may convene the creditors’ committee at such times as the Official Assignee thinks necessary, but must convene the committee whenever requested in writing to do so by all or a majority of the members of the committee.
(3)  Any member of the creditors’ committee may resign from office by notice in writing, signed by the member and delivered to the Official Assignee.
(4)  If a member of the creditors’ committee becomes bankrupt, or compounds or arranges with any of the member’s creditors, or is absent from and not represented at 3 consecutive meetings of the committee, the member’s office becomes vacant.
(5)  Any member of the creditors’ committee may be removed by an ordinary resolution at any meeting of creditors, of which 7 days’ notice has been given stating the object of the meeting.
(6)  On a vacancy occurring in the office of a member of the creditors’ committee, the Official Assignee must forthwith summon a meeting of creditors for the purpose of filling the vacancy, and the meeting may by ordinary resolution appoint another creditor or eligible person in subsection (1) to fill the vacancy.
(7)  In this section, “general powers of attorney” includes lasting powers of attorney registered under the Mental Capacity Act.
Bankrupt’s statement of affairs
332.—(1)  Where a bankruptcy order has been made against an individual otherwise than on a debtor’s bankruptcy application, the bankrupt must submit a statement of the bankrupt’s affairs to the Official Assignee within 21 days after the date of the bankruptcy order.
(2)  Where a bankruptcy order has been made against a firm —
(a)on a creditor’s bankruptcy application, the bankrupts, being the partners in the firm at the time of the order, must submit a joint statement of their partnership affairs, and each partner in the firm must submit a statement of the partner’s separate affairs; or
(b)on a debtor’s bankruptcy application, every person who at the time of the order is a partner in the firm but who did not join in the application must submit a statement of the partner’s separate affairs,
to the Official Assignee within 21 days after the date of the bankruptcy order.
(3)  A statement of affairs mentioned in subsection (1) or (2)(a) or (b) must be submitted in the form and manner prescribed (if any), and must contain —
(a)such particulars of all or any of the following matters as may be prescribed:
(i)the bankrupt’s assets;
(ii)the bankrupt’s creditors, debts and other liabilities;
(iii)the bankrupt’s current income from any source;
(iv)the bankrupt’s current employment status and employment history;
(v)the educational and vocational qualifications, age and work experience of the bankrupt;
(vi)the members of the bankrupt’s family;
(vii)the monthly expenses necessary for the maintenance of the bankrupt and the bankrupt’s family;
(b)in the case of a firm, such particulars of the firm’s assets, creditors, debts and other liabilities as may be prescribed; and
(c)such other information as may be prescribed.
(4)  The Official Assignee may, if the Official Assignee thinks fit —
(a)release the bankrupt from the bankrupt’s duty under subsection (1) or (2), as the case may be;
(b)extend the period specified in subsection (1) or (2); or
(c)direct the bankrupt in writing to submit, within 21 days after the date of the direction, such supplementary information specified in the direction as the Official Assignee considers necessary to make the statement of the bankrupt’s affairs complete.
(5)  Where the Official Assignee has refused to exercise a power conferred by this section, the Court, if it thinks fit, may exercise it.
(6)  A bankrupt who —
(a)without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with the obligation imposed by subsection (1) or (2), or with a direction under subsection (4)(c);
(b)without reasonable excuse, submits a statement of affairs that does not comply with the prescribed requirements;
(c)submits a statement of affairs, or any supplementary information, that is false, and which the bankrupt either knows or believes to be false or does not believe to be true; or
(d)submits a statement of affairs, or any supplementary information, that is misleading in any material particular or contains any material omission,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both and, in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding $200 for every day or part of a day during which the offence continues after conviction.
(7)  Any person who claims, in writing, to be a creditor of the bankrupt may personally or by agent inspect the statement of affairs filed by the bankrupt under this section at all reasonable times and, upon payment of the prescribed fee, take any copy of or extract from the statement of affairs.
(8)  Any person untruthfully claiming to be a creditor under subsection (7) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.
(9)  Where a trustee in bankruptcy is appointed to administer a bankrupt’s estate, the trustee must, not later than 30 days after receiving the statement of affairs or, where the bankrupt has been directed to submit any supplementary information under subsection (4)(c), not later than 30 days after receiving such supplementary information —
(a)notify the Official Assignee of the administration date for the bankruptcy; and
(b)submit a copy of the statement of affairs and supplementary information (if any) to the Official Assignee.
Bankrupt to submit accounts
333.—(1)  A bankrupt who has not obtained a discharge must, when directed by the Official Assignee, submit to the Official Assignee an account of —
(a)all moneys and property that have come to the bankrupt’s hands for the bankrupt’s own use during such period as the Official Assignee may specify; and
(b)the moneys and property that have been expended in the expenses necessary for the maintenance of the bankrupt and the bankrupt’s family during the same period.
(2)  A bankrupt who fails to comply with subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both and, in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding $200 for every day or part of a day during which the offence continues after conviction.
Powers of Official Assignee to examine persons, etc.
334.—(1)  The Official Assignee or any officer authorised by the Official Assignee may at any time, before or after a bankrupt’s discharge, by notice in writing —
(a)summon any person listed in subsection (2) to appear before the Official Assignee, on such date and at such time as may be specified in the notice, to be examined on oath in relation to the bankrupt’s affairs, dealings and property; and
(b)require that person to produce and surrender any book, document or copy of a book or document in that person’s possession or control that relates to the bankrupt’s affairs, dealings and property, and without payment, inspect, keep, copy, photograph or take extracts from the book, document or copy.
(2)  The persons referred to in subsection (1) are —
(a)the bankrupt;
(b)the bankrupt’s spouse;
(c)a person known or suspected by the Official Assignee to possess any of the bankrupt’s property or any document relating to the bankrupt’s affairs, dealings and property;
(d)a person believed by the Official Assignee to owe the bankrupt money;
(e)a person believed by the Official Assignee to be able to give information regarding —
(i)the bankrupt; or
(ii)the bankrupt’s affairs, dealings and property; and
(f)a trustee of a trust of which the bankrupt is a settlor or is or has been a trustee.
(3)  The Official Assignee may apply to the Court for a warrant to be issued for the arrest of a person summoned under subsection (1)(a), where —
(a)the person without reasonable excuse fails to appear for the examination on the date and at the time specified in the notice; or
(b)there are reasonable grounds for believing that the person has absconded, or is about to abscond, with a view to avoiding compliance with this section.
(4)  The Court may authorise any person arrested under subsection (3) to be kept in custody until that person is brought before the Court or until such other time as the Court may order.
(5)  Where a person has been arrested under subsection (3), the Court may order the person’s release, either with or without security to the satisfaction of the Court that the person will abide by such conditions as the Court may think fit to impose.
(6)  Any person who, without reasonable excuse, does any of the following shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,500 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month or to both:
(a)fails to appear before the Official Assignee as required by a notice under subsection (1)(a);
(b)fails to answer any question relating to the bankrupt’s affairs, dealings or property that is posed to that person in an examination under subsection (1)(a);
(c)fails to produce or surrender any book, document or copy of a book or document, in that person’s possession or control, as required by a notice under subsection (1)(b).
Examination of bankrupt and others
335.—(1)  Where a bankruptcy order has been made, the Court may, upon an application made by the Official Assignee at any time (whether before or after the discharge of the bankrupt), or upon an application made by a creditor (who has tendered a proof) at any time before the discharge of the bankrupt —
(a)summon the bankrupt to appear before it on an appointed day and examine the bankrupt as to the bankrupt’s affairs, dealings and property; and
(b)summon any other person to appear before the Court on the same or another appointed day and examine the person, if it appears to the Court that the person would be able to give information concerning the bankrupt or the bankrupt’s affairs, dealings or property.
(2)  Every person summoned before the Court under this section is to be examined on oath, whether orally or by interrogatories.
(3)  Without prejudice to subsection (2), the Court may at any time require any person mentioned in subsection (1)(b) to submit an affidavit to the Court containing an account of the person’s dealings with the bankrupt or to produce any documents in the person’s possession or under the person’s control relating to the bankrupt or the bankrupt’s affairs, dealings or property.
(4)  The Court may adjourn any examination under this section from time to time.
(5)  Any creditor who has tendered a proof or the representative of such creditor who has been authorised in writing, may question the bankrupt or such other person as may have been summoned by the Court under subsection (1) concerning the bankrupt’s affairs, dealings or property and the causes of the bankrupt’s failure.
(6)  The Official Assignee must take part in the examination of the bankrupt under this section and may, for the purpose of taking part in the examination, employ a solicitor.
(7)  Where a special manager of the bankrupt’s estate or business (other than the bankrupt himself or herself) is appointed by the Official Assignee under section 379, the special manager may take part in the examination of the bankrupt or any other person summoned under this section and may, for the purpose of taking part in the examination, employ a solicitor.
(8)  No solicitor is allowed to take part in the examination under this section on behalf of the bankrupt.
(9)  The Court may put such questions as it thinks expedient to the bankrupt or to such other person summoned by it.
(10)  It is the duty of the bankrupt and any other person summoned by the Court under this section to answer all such questions as the Court puts or allows to be put to the bankrupt or other person.
(11)  The Court must cause to be made such record of the examination as the Court thinks proper and any record so made may, after the record is made, be used in evidence against the person in the course of whose examination the record was made.
(12)  Any record made under subsection (11) must, at all reasonable times and upon payment of the prescribed fee, be made available to any creditor for review at the premises of the Court.
(13)  Where the Court is of the opinion that the affairs of the bankrupt have been sufficiently investigated, the Court may, by order, conclude the examination.
(14)  The order under subsection (13) does not preclude the Court from directing a further examination of the bankrupt or any other person as to the bankrupt’s affairs, dealings and property whenever the Court sees fit to do so, whether before or after the bankrupt has been discharged from bankruptcy.
(15)  Where a bankrupt or any other person summoned by the Court under this section without reasonable excuse fails at any time to attend before the Court, or where there are reasonable grounds for believing that the bankrupt or such other person has absconded, or is about to abscond, with a view to avoiding his or her appearance before the Court under this section, the Court may cause a warrant to be issued for the arrest of the bankrupt or that other person and for the seizure of any books, papers, records, money or goods in the possession of the bankrupt or that other person.
(16)  The Court may authorise —
(a)any person arrested under subsection (15) to be kept in custody; and
(b)anything seized from such person to be held,
until that person is brought before the Court or until such other time as the Court may order.
(17)  The Court may, if it thinks fit, order that any person, who if within Singapore would be liable to be summoned to appear before it and examined under this section, is to be examined in Singapore or elsewhere.
Power of Court following examination of bankrupt and others
336.—(1)  If it appears to the Court, on consideration of any evidence obtained under section 335 that any person is in possession of any property comprised in the bankrupt’s estate, the Court may, on the application of the Official Assignee, order that person to deliver the whole or any part of the property to the Official Assignee at such place and time and in such manner and on such terms as the Court may think fit.
(2)  If it appears to the Court, on consideration of any evidence obtained under section 335 that any person is indebted to the bankrupt, the Court may, on the application of the Official Assignee, order that person to pay to the Official Assignee, at such place and time and in such manner as the Court may direct, the whole or part of the amount due, whether in full discharge of the debt or otherwise as the Court thinks fit.
Unenforceability of liens on books, etc.
337.—(1)  Subject to this section, a lien or other right to retain possession of any of the books, papers or other records relating to the affairs or property of a bankrupt is unenforceable to the extent that its enforcement would deny possession of any books, papers or other records to the Official Assignee.
(2)  Subsection (1) does not apply to a lien on documents which give a title to property and are held as such.
Official Assignee to settle list of debtors to bankrupt’s estate
338.—(1)  The Official Assignee may, after a bankruptcy order has been made, prepare and file in Court a list of persons supposed to be indebted to the bankrupt (called in this section a list of debtors), with the amounts in which they are supposed to be so indebted set out opposite to their names respectively.
(2)  Before finally settling the name and amount of the debt of any person on the list of debtors, the Official Assignee must give notice in writing to that person stating that —
(a)the Official Assignee has placed that person on the list of debtors to the bankrupt’s estate in the amount specified in the notice; and
(b)unless that person on or before a day specified in such notice gives to the Registrar and the Official Assignee notice in writing of that person’s intention to dispute that person’s indebtedness, that person is deemed to admit that the amount set out opposite that person’s name in the list of debtors is due and owing by that person to the bankrupt, and that person is to be settled on the list accordingly.
(3)  Any person included in the list of debtors who does not give notice of the person’s intention to dispute the person’s indebtedness within the time limited in that behalf is to be settled on that list, and execution may be issued against the person for the amount set out opposite the person’s name in the list in the same way as if judgment had been entered against the person for such amount in favour of the Official Assignee.
(4)  A certificate by the Registrar that the person named in the certificate has been settled on a list of debtors as a debtor to the bankrupt’s estate in the amount specified in the certificate is proof of the facts stated in the certificate.
(5)  A person settled on a list of debtors under this section may apply to the Court in a summary way for leave to dispute the person’s indebtedness or the amount of the person’s indebtedness.
(6)  The Court may if it thinks fit make such order for determining the question of the person’s indebtedness or amount of indebtedness mentioned in subsection (5) as may seem expedient, upon the terms of the person giving security for costs and either paying into Court or giving security for the whole or such part of the alleged debt as under the circumstances may seem reasonable, and may stay all further proceedings.
Division 3 — Monthly contribution and target contribution
Determination of monthly contribution and target contribution
339.—(1)  The Official Assignee must, not later than 2 months after the administration date of a bankruptcy —
(a)determine the bankrupt’s monthly contribution and target contribution in respect of the bankruptcy; and
(b)serve a notice of the determination on —
(i)the bankrupt;
(ii)every creditor who has filed a proof of debt in respect of the bankruptcy; and
(iii)in a case where the determination is made before the expiry of the period mentioned in section 347(2), every creditor who is mentioned in the statement of the bankrupt’s affairs but has not filed a proof of debt.
(2)  For the purposes of determining the monthly contribution mentioned in subsection (1)(a), the Official Assignee must take into account —
(a)the current monthly income of the bankrupt;
(b)the extent to which the current monthly income of the bankrupt’s spouse may contribute to the maintenance of the bankrupt’s family;
(c)the monthly income that the bankrupt may reasonably be expected to earn over the duration of the bankruptcy, taking into account —
(i)the previous and current monthly income of the bankrupt;
(ii)the educational and vocational qualifications, age and work experience of the bankrupt;
(iii)the range of monthly income earned by persons who are employed in occupations, positions or roles similar to that in which the bankrupt is, or can be expected to be, employed;
(iv)the effect which the bankruptcy may have on the bankrupt’s earning capacity or other income;
(v)the prevailing economic conditions; and
(vi)the period of time during which the bankrupt is likely to be capable of earning a meaningful income; and
(d)the reasonable expenses for the maintenance of the bankrupt and the bankrupt’s family.
(3)  Where the determination under subsection (1) is made by a trustee in bankruptcy, the trustee must also serve the notice of the determination, together with an explanation of the basis for making the determination, on the Official Assignee.
Review by Court of determination of monthly contribution and target contribution
340.—(1)  If a bankrupt or any creditor of the bankrupt is dissatisfied with the monthly contribution and target contribution determined under section 339, the bankrupt or the creditor (as the case may be) may, within 21 days after the service of the notice of the determination, apply to the Court to review the determination.
(2)  The Court may, in any particular case, extend the period for the making of the application under subsection (1), if the Court is satisfied that it is just to do so.
(3)  An application under subsection (1) must be served, within 3 days after the date on which the application is filed, on —
(a)the Official Assignee, or the trustee in bankruptcy, whose determination under section 339 is the subject of the application; and
(b)the bankrupt, unless the application was made by the bankrupt.
(4)  Upon being served with the application under subsection (3)(a), the Official Assignee or the trustee in bankruptcy (as the case may be) must forthwith give notice of the application to every person on whom the notice of the determination was served under section 339(1)(b)(ii) and (iii) and (3) (except, where the application was made by a creditor, that creditor).
(5)  On hearing an application under subsection (1), the Court may —
(a)confirm or vary the monthly contribution and target contribution in respect of which the application is brought; or
(b)give such directions to the Official Assignee or trustee in bankruptcy (as the case may be), or make such order, as the Court may think fit.
(6)  Unless the Court orders otherwise, a variation under subsection (5)(a) of the monthly contribution and target contribution takes effect on the date of the order.
(7)  A variation of the monthly contribution and target contribution made under subsection (5)(a) does not affect any payment made by the bankrupt in respect of the monthly contribution or target contribution prior to the date of the variation.
(8)  The Official Assignee or trustee in bankruptcy (as the case may be) must, within 14 days after the variation of the monthly contribution and target contribution under subsection (5)(a), serve a notice of the variation order on —
(a)the bankrupt;
(b)every creditor who has filed a proof of debt in respect of the bankruptcy; and
(c)in a case where the variation is made before the expiry of the period mentioned in section 347(2), every creditor who is mentioned in the statement of the bankrupt’s affairs but who has not filed a proof of debt.
Power of Court to vary monthly contribution and target contribution
341.—(1)  Where the Court is satisfied, on the application of the Official Assignee or the trustee in bankruptcy, a bankrupt or any creditor of the bankrupt, that any of the conditions described in subsection (2) apply, the Court may make such order as it thinks fit to vary the bankrupt’s monthly contribution and target contribution.
(2)  The conditions mentioned in subsection (1) are as follows:
(a)before the determination of the monthly contribution and target contribution under section 339 was made, the bankrupt concealed from, or failed to disclose to, the Official Assignee or trustee in bankruptcy (as the case may be) information which the bankrupt knows or ought reasonably to know would have a material impact on the determination;
(b)information which would have a material impact on the determination of the bankrupt’s monthly contribution and target contribution under section 339 —
(i)was not available to the bankrupt before the making of that determination; and
(ii)is now available;
(c)it is otherwise just and equitable to vary the monthly contribution and target contribution determined under section 339.
(3)  An application under subsection (1) must be served, within 3 days after the date of filing, on —
(a)the Official Assignee, or the trustee in bankruptcy, whose determination under section 339 is the subject of the application, unless the application was made by the Official Assignee or the trustee, as the case may be; and
(b)the bankrupt, unless the application was made by the bankrupt.
(4)  Upon —
(a)the filing of an application under subsection (1) by the Official Assignee or trustee in bankruptcy; or
(b)being served with an application under subsection (3)(a), where the application is not filed by the Official Assignee or trustee in bankruptcy,
the Official Assignee or trustee in bankruptcy (as the case may be) must forthwith give notice of the application to every person on whom the notice of the determination was served under section 339(1)(b)(ii) and (iii) and (3) (except, where the application was made by a creditor, that creditor).
(5)  Unless the Court orders otherwise, a variation under subsection (1) of the monthly contribution and target contribution takes effect on the date of the order.
(6)  A variation of the monthly contribution and target contribution made under subsection (1) does not affect any payments made by the bankrupt in respect of the monthly contribution or target contribution prior to the date of the variation.
(7)  The Official Assignee must, within 14 days after the variation of the monthly contribution and target contribution under subsection (1), serve a notice of the variation order on —
(a)the bankrupt;
(b)every creditor who has filed a proof of debt; and
(c)in a case where the variation is made before the expiry of the period mentioned in section 347(2), every creditor who is mentioned in the statement of the bankrupt’s affairs but who has not filed a proof of debt.
Power of Official Assignee to reduce monthly contribution and target contribution
342.—(1)  The Official Assignee may, on the application of a bankrupt, issue a certificate reducing the bankrupt’s monthly contribution and target contribution to such extent as the Official Assignee thinks fit, if the Official Assignee is satisfied that one or more of the conditions described in subsection (2) arose after the determination of the monthly contribution and target contribution.
(2)  The conditions mentioned in subsection (1) are as follows:
(a)the reasonable expenses for the maintenance of the bankrupt’s family have increased as a result of an increase in the number of the members of the bankrupt’s family;
(b)the contribution by the bankrupt’s spouse to the maintenance of the bankrupt’s family has been substantially reduced as a result of a substantial reduction in the monthly income earned by the bankrupt’s spouse, and that reduction in income is not likely to be transient in nature;
(c)the bankrupt is unable to pay the monthly contribution in full due to the personal circumstances of the bankrupt, including but not limited to a debilitating illness, which resulted in a substantial reduction in the bankrupt’s income, and that reduction in income is not likely to be transient in nature.
(3)  A certificate issued under subsection (1) takes effect on the date it is issued.
(4)  A certificate issued under subsection (1) does not affect any payments made by the bankrupt in respect of the monthly contribution or target contribution prior to the date of issue of the certificate.
(5)  The Official Assignee must, within 14 days after the issue of a certificate under subsection (1), serve a notice of the issue of the certificate on —
(a)the bankrupt;
(b)every creditor who has filed a proof of debt; and
(c)in a case where the reduction is made before the expiry of the period mentioned in section 347(2), every creditor who is mentioned in the statement of the bankrupt’s affairs but who has not filed a proof of debt.
(6)  Where the bankruptcy is being administered by a trustee in bankruptcy, and the certificate under subsection (1) was issued by the trustee, the trustee must also serve the notice of the issue of the certificate, together with an explanation of the basis for issuing the certificate, on the Official Assignee.
Review by Court of decision of Official Assignee under section 342
343.—(1)  Where a bankrupt or any creditor of the bankrupt is dissatisfied with the decision of the Official Assignee under section 342(1), the bankrupt or the creditor (as the case may be) may, within 21 days after the service of the notice mentioned in section 342(5), apply to the Court to review the decision.
(2)  The Court may, in any particular case, extend the period for the making of an application under subsection (1) if the Court is satisfied that it is just to do so.
(3)  An application under subsection (1) must be served, within 3 days after the date of filing, on the Official Assignee, who must forthwith —
(a)serve a copy of the application on the bankrupt, unless the application was made by the bankrupt; and
(b)give notice of the application to every creditor who was, under section 342(5)(b) or (c), entitled to service of the notice mentioned in section 342(5) (except, where the application was made by a creditor, that creditor).
(4)  On hearing an application under subsection (1), the Court may —
(a)confirm, vary or cancel the certificate under section 342(1) in respect of which the application is brought; or
(b)give such directions to the Official Assignee, or make such order, as the Court may think fit.
(5)  Unless the Court orders otherwise, a variation made under subsection (4)(a) of the certificate under section 342(1) takes effect from the date of issue of the certificate.
(6)  A variation of the certificate does not affect any payment made by the bankrupt, prior to the date of the variation, in respect of any reduced monthly contribution pursuant to the certificate.
(7)  The Official Assignee must, within 14 days after a variation under subsection (4)(a) of the certificate under section 342(1), serve a notice of the variation order on every person who was, under section 342(5) or (6), entitled to service of the notice of the issue of the certificate.
Review by Official Assignee of administration by trustee in bankruptcy
344.—(1)  A trustee in bankruptcy must, not later than 30 days after each relevant anniversary of the administration date for the bankruptcy, submit to the Official Assignee a report (in such form as may be prescribed) of the trustee’s administration of the bankruptcy.
(2)  The report under subsection (1) is to contain particulars of —
(a)the total amount of debts owed to creditors who have filed their proof of debt;
(b)the property of the bankrupt comprised in the bankruptcy estate and the status of the realisation of such property;
(c)the monthly contribution and target contribution for the bankruptcy;
(d)the payments that have been made by the bankrupt to the bankruptcy estate; and
(e)any other payments that have been made to the bankruptcy estate.
(3)  Upon receipt of a report under subsection (1), if the Official Assignee is of the opinion that the monthly contribution and target contribution determined by the trustee in bankruptcy are excessive, the Official Assignee may issue a certificate reducing the monthly contribution and target contribution.
(4)  In this section, “relevant anniversary”, in relation to the administration date for a bankruptcy, means —
(a)in any case where the bankruptcy is a repeat bankruptcy, the seventh and every subsequent anniversary of the administration date; and
(b)in any other case, the fifth and every subsequent anniversary of the administration date.
Division 4 — Proof of debts
Description of debts provable in bankruptcy
345.—(1)  Subject to this section and section 352, the following are provable in bankruptcy:
(a)any debt or liability to which a bankrupt —
(i)is subject at the date of the bankruptcy order; or
(ii)may become subject before the bankrupt’s discharge by reason of any obligation incurred before the date of the bankruptcy order;
(b)any interest payable by the bankrupt on any debt or liability mentioned in paragraph (a) for any period before the date of the bankruptcy order.
(2)  A person having notice of the making of a bankruptcy application may not prove under the bankruptcy order made on the application, for any debt or liability contracted by the bankrupt subsequent to the date of the person so having notice.
(3)  Demands in the nature of unliquidated damages arising otherwise than by reason of a contract, promise, breach of trust, tort or bailment, or an obligation to make restitution, are not provable in bankruptcy.
(4)  For the purposes of subsection (1), in determining whether any liability in tort is provable in bankruptcy, the bankrupt is deemed to be subject to that liability by reason of an obligation incurred at the time when the cause of action for that tort accrued.
(5)  An estimate is to be made by the Official Assignee of the value of any debt or liability provable under this section which, by reason of its being subject to any contingency or contingencies, or for any other reason, does not bear a certain value.
(6)  Any person aggrieved by any such estimate may appeal to the Court.
(7)  If in the opinion of the Court the value of the debt or liability is incapable of being fairly estimated, the Court may make an order to that effect and, upon the making of the order, the debt or liability is, for the purposes of Parts 16 to 21, deemed to be a debt not provable in bankruptcy.
(8)  If in the opinion of the Court the value of the debt or liability is capable of being fairly estimated, the Court may assess the same and may give all necessary directions for this purpose, and the amount of the value when assessed is deemed to be a debt provable in bankruptcy.
(9)  An amount payable under any order made by a court under any written law relating to the confiscation of the proceeds of crime is provable in bankruptcy.
Mutual credit and set‑off
346.—(1)  Where there have been any mutual credits, mutual debts or other mutual dealings between a bankrupt and any creditor, the debts and liabilities to which each party is or may become subject as a result of such mutual credits, debts or dealings are to be set off against each other and only the balance is to be a debt provable in bankruptcy.
(2)  The following are excluded from any set-off under subsection (1):
(a)any debt or liability of the bankrupt that is not a debt provable in bankruptcy;
(b)any debt or liability that arises by reason of an obligation incurred at a time when the creditor had notice that a bankruptcy application relating to the bankrupt was pending.
Creditors to file proof of debts within time limited
347.—(1)  The Official Assignee must, not later than 30 days after the administration date for a bankruptcy, give notice, in the manner prescribed (if any), of the bankruptcy order and of the time within which creditors are required under subsection (2) to file their proof of debt, to —
(a)every creditor mentioned in the statement of affairs or supplementary information (if any); and
(b)every other person who, to the Official Assignee’s knowledge, claims to be a creditor.
(2)  Subject to subsections (3) and (4), a creditor cannot prove a debt in a bankruptcy unless the creditor files a proof in respect of the debt not later than 4 months after the administration date of the bankruptcy.
(3)  The Court may, on the application of a creditor made at any time, extend the period during which the creditor may prove a debt, if the Court considers it just to do so.
(4)  The Official Assignee may, on the application of a creditor made at any time, extend the period during which the creditor may prove a debt, if the Official Assignee is satisfied that —
(a)the creditor did not know, and could not reasonably be expected to know, of the bankruptcy order before the expiry of the period mentioned in subsection (2); or
(b)the creditor could not reasonably be expected to prove the debt before the expiry of the period mentioned in subsection (2).
Surrender of security for non-disclosure
348.—(1)  If a secured creditor omits to disclose the secured creditor’s security, the secured creditor must surrender the security for the general benefit of creditors, unless the Court, on application by the secured creditor, relieves the secured creditor from the effect of this section on the ground that the omission is inadvertent or the result of an honest mistake.
(2)  If the Court grants relief to the secured creditor, the Court may direct that the secured creditor’s proof of debt be amended on such terms as the Court thinks just.
(3)  An order of the Court relieving a secured creditor of a bankrupt from the effect of this section must be served on the Official Assignee.
Valuation of property
349.—(1)  If a secured creditor does not either realise or surrender the secured creditor’s security, the secured creditor must, before ranking for dividend, state in the secured creditor’s proof the particulars of the security, the date when it was given and the value at which the secured creditor assesses it, and the secured creditor is entitled to receive a dividend only in respect of the balance due to the secured creditor after deducting the value so assessed.
(2)  If the Official Assignee is dissatisfied with the value at which a security is assessed, the Official Assignee may require that the property comprised in any security so valued be offered for sale and on such terms and conditions as are agreed on between the creditor and the Official Assignee, and, in default of agreement, as the Court may direct.
Failure to comply
350.  If a secured creditor contravenes section 348 or 349 or any regulation mentioned in section 351, the secured creditor is excluded from all share in any dividend.
Regulations as to proof of debts
351.  The prescribed regulations must be observed with respect to the mode of proving debts, the quantification of proofs, the admission and rejection of proofs and any other matters relating to proof of debts.
Priority of debts
352.—(1)  Subject to the provisions of this Act, in the distribution of the property of a bankrupt, the following are to be paid in priority to all other debts:
(a)first, the costs and expenses of administration or otherwise incurred by the Official Assignee;
(b)second, the costs of the applicant for the bankruptcy order (whether taxed or agreed) and the costs and expenses properly incurred by a nominee in respect of the administration of any voluntary arrangement under Part 14;
(c)third, subject to subsection (2), all wages or salary (whether or not earned wholly or in part by way of commission), including any amount payable by way of allowance or reimbursement under any contract of employment or any award or agreement regulating the conditions of employment of any employee;
(d)fourth, subject to subsection (2), the amount due to an employee as a retrenchment benefit or an ex gratia payment under any contract of employment or any award or agreement that regulates the conditions of employment, whether such amount becomes payable before, on or after the date of the bankruptcy order;
(e)fifth, all amounts due in respect of any work injury compensation under the Work Injury Compensation Act 2019 or the Work Injury Compensation Act repealed by that Act accrued before, on or after the date of the bankruptcy order;
[Act 27 of 2019 wef 01/09/2020]
(f)sixth, all amounts due in respect of contributions payable, during a period of 12 consecutive months commencing not earlier than 12 months before and ending not later than 12 months after the date of the bankruptcy order, by the bankrupt as the employer of any person, under any written law relating to employees’ superannuation or provident funds or under any scheme of superannuation which is an approved scheme under the Income Tax Act;
(g)seventh, subject to subsection (2), all remuneration payable to any employee in respect of vacation leave, or in the case of the employee’s death, to any other person in the employee’s right, accrued in respect of any period before, on or after the date of the bankruptcy order;
(h)eighth, the amount of all taxes assessed, and any goods and services tax due, under any written law before the date of the bankruptcy order, or assessed at any time before the time fixed for the proving of debts has expired;
(i)ninth, all premiums (including interest and penalties for late payment) and other sums payable in respect of the bankrupt’s insurance cover under the MediShield Life Scheme mentioned in section 3 of the MediShield Life Scheme Act 2015, and the CareShield Life Scheme established by section 5 of the CareShield Life and Long-Term Care Act 2019, respectively, before the time fixed for the proving of debts has expired.
[Act 26 of 2019 wef 01/10/2020]
(2)  The amount payable under subsection (1)(c), (d) and (g) must not exceed such amount as the Minister may prescribe by order in the Gazette.
(3)  In subsection (1)(c), (d), (f) and (g) and this subsection —
“employee” means an individual who has entered into or works under a contract of service with the bankrupt and includes a subcontractor of labour;
“ex gratia payment” means an amount payable to an employee on the bankruptcy of the employee’s employer or on the termination of the employee’s service by his or her employer on the ground of redundancy or by reason of any re‑organisation of the employer, profession, business, trade or work, and “an amount payable to an employee” for these purposes means an amount ascertained from any contract of employment, award or agreement;
“retrenchment benefit” means an amount payable to an employee on the bankruptcy of the employee’s employer or on the termination of the employee’s service by his or her employer on the ground of redundancy or by reason of any re‑organisation of the employer, profession, business, trade or work, and “an amount payable to an employee” for these purposes means an amount ascertained from any contract of employment, award or agreement, or if no amount is so ascertainable, such amount as is determined by the Commissioner for Labour or by an Employment Claims Tribunal constituted under section 4 of the State Courts Act;
“wages or salary” includes —
(a)all arrears of money due to a subcontractor of labour;
(b)any amount payable to an employee on account of wages or salary during a period of notice of termination of employment or in lieu of notice of such termination, whether such amount becomes payable before, on or after the date of the bankruptcy order; and
(c)any amount payable to an employee, on termination of the employee’s employment, as a gratuity under any contract of employment or any award or agreement that regulates the conditions of the employee’s employment, whether such amount becomes payable before, on or after the date of the bankruptcy order.
(4)  The debts in each class specified in subsection (1) rank in the order specified in that subsection, but debts of the same class rank equally between themselves, and are to be paid in full, unless the property of the bankrupt is insufficient to meet them, in which case the debts of the same class are to abate in equal proportions between themselves.
(5)  Where any payment has been made to any employee of the bankrupt on account of wages, salary or vacation leave out of money advanced by a person for that purpose, the person by whom the money was advanced, in a bankruptcy —
(a)has a right of priority in respect of the money so advanced and paid, up to the amount by which the sum in respect of which the employee would have been entitled to priority in the bankruptcy has been diminished by reason of the payment; and
(b)has the same right of priority in respect of that amount as the employee would have had if the payment had not been made.
(6)  Where any creditor has given any indemnity or made any payment of moneys by virtue of which any asset of the bankrupt has been recovered, protected or preserved, the Court may make such order as it thinks just with respect to the distribution of such asset with a view to giving that creditor an advantage over other creditors in consideration of the risks run by the creditor in so doing.
(7)  Where an interim receiver has been appointed under section 324 before the making of the bankruptcy order, the date of the appointment is, for the purposes of this section, deemed to be the date of the bankruptcy order.
Payment of partnership debts
353.—(1)  In the case of partners, the joint estate is applicable in the first instance in payment of their joint debts, and the separate estate of each partner is applicable in the first instance in payment of the partner’s separate debts.
(2)  If there is surplus of the separate estates, it is to be dealt with as part of the joint estate.
(3)  If there is surplus of the joint estate, it is to be dealt with as part of the respective separate estates in proportion to the right and interest of each partner in the joint estate.
Right of landlord to distrain for rent
354.—(1)  The right of any landlord or other person to whom rent is payable to distrain upon the goods and effects of a bankrupt for rent due to the landlord or other person from the bankrupt is, subject to subsection (5), available against goods and effects comprised in the bankrupt’s estate in respect only of not more than 3 months’ rent accrued due before the commencement of the bankruptcy.
(2)  Where a landlord or other person to whom rent is payable has distrained for rent upon the goods and effects of an individual to whom a bankruptcy application relates and a bankruptcy order is subsequently made on that application, any amount recovered by way of that distress which —
(a)is in excess of the amount which by virtue of subsection (1) would have been recoverable after the commencement of the bankruptcy; or
(b)is in respect of rent for a period or part of a period after the distress was levied,
is held by the landlord or other person in trust for the bankrupt as part of the bankrupt’s estate and the landlord or other person must, upon being given notice by the Official Assignee to do so, make over to the Official Assignee the amount so held in trust by the landlord or other person for the bankrupt.
(3)  Where any person (whether or not a landlord or person entitled to rent) has distrained upon the goods or effects of an individual who is adjudged bankrupt before the end of the period of 3 months beginning with the distraint, so much of those goods or effects, or of the proceeds of their sale, as is not held by the person in trust for the bankrupt under subsection (2) are to be charged for the benefit of the bankrupt’s estate with the preferential debts of the bankrupt to the extent that the bankrupt’s estate is for the time being insufficient for meeting those debts.
(4)  Where by virtue of any charge under subsection (3) any person surrenders any goods or effects to the Official Assignee, that person ranks, in respect of the amount of the proceeds of the sale of those goods or effects by the Official Assignee or (as the case may be) the amount of the payment, as a preferential creditor of the bankrupt, except as against so much of the bankrupt’s estate as is available for the payment of preferential creditors by virtue of the surrender or payment.
(5)  A landlord or other person to whom rent is payable is not entitled at any time after the discharge of a bankrupt to distrain upon any goods or effects comprised in the bankrupt’s estate.
(6)  Any right to distrain against property comprised in a bankrupt’s estate is exercisable despite that the property has vested in the Official Assignee.
(7)  The provisions of this section do not affect a landlord’s right in a bankruptcy to prove for any debt due to the landlord from the bankrupt in respect of rent.
Contracts to which bankrupt is party
355.—(1)  This section applies where a contract has been made with a person who is subsequently adjudged bankrupt.
(2)  The Court may, on the application of any other party to the contract, make an order discharging obligations under the contract on such terms as to payment by the applicant or the bankrupt of damages for non-performance or otherwise as appear to the Court to be equitable.
(3)  Any damages payable by the bankrupt by virtue of an order of the Court under this section is a debt provable in bankruptcy.
(4)  Where an undischarged bankrupt is a party to any contract jointly with any person, that person may sue or be sued in respect of the contract without the joinder of the bankrupt.
Interest on debts
356.—(1)  Where interest on a debt was not previously reserved or agreed, interest is allowed on the debt at a rate not exceeding the prescribed rate of interest in the following circumstances:
(a)in any case where the debt is due by virtue of a written instrument and payable at a certain date, interest is allowed for the period starting on (and including) the day after that date and ending on (and including) the date of the bankruptcy order;
(b)in any other case, if a demand for payment was made in writing by or on behalf of the creditor before the making of the bankruptcy application, and notice was given that interest would be payable from the date of the demand to the date of the payment, interest is allowed for the period starting on (and including) the day after the date of the demand and ending on (and including) the date of the bankruptcy order.
(2)  For the purposes of distribution of dividend —
(a)where a debt which has been proved in a bankruptcy includes interest, and the rate of such interest was previously agreed or reserved, the interest is calculated —
(i)for the period starting on (and including) the date the interest was payable and ending on (and including) the date of the bankruptcy order; and
(ii)at the rate previously agreed or reserved; and
(b)where a debt which has been proved in a bankruptcy includes interest, and the rate of such interest was not previously agreed or reserved, the interest is calculated —
(i)for the period starting on (and including) the date the interest was payable and ending on (and including) the date of the bankruptcy order; and
(ii)at the prescribed rate of interest.
(3)  Interest on preferential debts ranks equally with interest on other debts.
(4)  In this section, “interest” includes any pecuniary consideration in lieu of interest and any penalty or late payment charge by whatever name called.
Division 5 — Composition or scheme of arrangement
Creditors may accept composition or scheme by special resolution
357.—(1)  Where a bankruptcy order has been made, the creditors who have proved their debts may, if they think fit —
(a)at a general meeting of creditors; or
(b)in writing,
by special resolution, resolve to accept a proposal for a composition in satisfaction of the debts due to them under the bankruptcy, or for a scheme of arrangement of the bankrupt’s affairs.
(2)  A meeting under subsection (1)(a) is to be summoned by the Official Assignee by not less than 21 days’ notice.
(3)  A special resolution in writing under subsection (1)(b) is to be sought by a notice from the Official Assignee giving the creditors 21 days to reply.
(4)  Any notice under this section must state generally the terms of the proposal and must be accompanied by a report of the Official Assignee thereon.
(5)  Where a special resolution is sought at a general meeting of creditors under subsection (1)(a), any creditor who has proved the creditor’s debt may assent to or dissent from the composition or scheme by a letter addressed to the Official Assignee in the prescribed form, and attested by a witness, and sent or posted so as to be received by the Official Assignee not later than 3 days before the meeting, and a creditor so assenting or dissenting is taken as having been present and voting at that meeting.
(6)  Where a special resolution is sought in writing under subsection (1)(b), any creditor who has proved the creditor’s debt may assent to or dissent from the composition or scheme by a letter addressed to the Official Assignee, and sent or posted so as to be received by the Official Assignee not later than 21 days after the date of the Official Assignee’s notice.
(7)  The composition or scheme is not binding on the creditors unless the bankruptcy order to which it relates is discharged or annulled under section 358.
(8)  In this section, “special resolution” means —
(a)in relation to a special resolution sought under subsection (1)(a), a resolution passed at a general meeting of creditors by a majority in number and at least three‑fourths in value of the creditors who have proved their debts, taking those creditors who do not attend personally or by proxy at the meeting as having voted in favour of the resolution; and
(b)in relation to a special resolution sought under subsection (1)(b), a resolution approved in writing by a majority in number and at least three‑fourths in value of the creditors who have proved their debts, taking those creditors who fail to assent to or dissent from the composition or scheme in writing as having assented to the resolution.
Discharge or annulment of bankruptcy order by certificate of Official Assignee where composition or scheme accepted by creditors
358.—(1)  Where a composition or scheme is accepted by the creditors by a special resolution under section 357, the Official Assignee may —
(a)discharge the bankrupt by issuing a certificate of discharge; or
(b)if the composition or scheme is accepted by all creditors, annul the bankruptcy order by issuing a certificate of annulment.
(2)  Notice of every discharge or annulment under subsection (1) must be given to the Registrar and be published in the Gazette and in such other manner as the Official Assignee thinks fit.
(3)  The Official Assignee must, upon the application of a bankrupt or the bankrupt’s creditor or any other interested person, issue to the applicant a copy of the certificate of discharge or certificate of annulment upon the payment of the prescribed fee.
(4)  A certificate of discharge or certificate of annulment issued under subsection (1) is binding on all the creditors so far as it relates to any debts due to them from the bankrupt and provable in bankruptcy.
(5)  The Court may, on an application by the Official Assignee or any creditor, annul the composition or scheme by revoking the certificate of discharge or certificate of annulment (as the case may be), if —
(a)the bankrupt defaults in paying any instalment due under the composition or scheme; or
(b)the Court is satisfied that —
(i)the composition or scheme cannot, in consequence of legal difficulties or for any sufficient cause, proceed without injustice or undue delay to the creditors or to the bankrupt; or
(ii)the acceptance of the proposal by the creditors was obtained by fraud.
(6)  An annulment of the composition or scheme under subsection (5) does not affect the validity of any sale, disposition or payment duly made or thing duly done under or pursuant to the composition or scheme.
(7)  Where the Official Assignee annuls a bankruptcy order under this section, any sale or other disposition of property, payment duly made or other thing duly done by or under the authority of the Official Assignee or by the Court is valid except that the property of the bankrupt reverts to the bankrupt or, on an application by any person interested, vests in such person as the Court may appoint and on such terms as the Court may direct.
(8)  The Court may include in its order such supplemental provisions as may be authorised by the Rules.
Effect of composition or scheme
359.  A composition or scheme accepted under section 357 is not binding on any creditor so far as regards a debt or liability from which, under Parts 16 to 21, the bankrupt would not be discharged by an order of discharge in bankruptcy, unless the creditor assents to the composition or scheme.
Division 6 — Effect of bankruptcy on antecedent transactions
Provisions as to second or subsequent bankruptcy, etc.
360.—(1)  Where —
(a)a second or subsequent bankruptcy order is made against a bankrupt; or
(b)an order is made for the administration in bankruptcy of the estate of a deceased bankrupt,
then for the purposes of any proceedings consequent upon any such order, the Official Assignee is deemed to be a creditor in respect of any unsatisfied balance of the debts provable in the last preceding bankruptcy against the property of the bankrupt in the second or subsequent bankruptcy or administration in bankruptcy, as the case may be.
(2)  For the purposes of subsection (1) —
(a)any unsatisfied debts provable in the last preceding bankruptcy, which were under section 352(1) to be paid in priority to all other debts in that bankruptcy, continue to enjoy the same priority and the same rank in the order specified in section 352(1) in the second or subsequent bankruptcy or administration in bankruptcy; and
(b)any unsatisfied debts of a class specified in section 352(1) in the last preceding bankruptcy rank equally with debts of the same class in the second or subsequent bankruptcy or administration in bankruptcy.
(3)  Where —
(a)a second or subsequent bankruptcy order is made against a bankrupt; or
(b)an order is made for the administration in bankruptcy of the estate of a deceased bankrupt,
any property acquired by the bankrupt since the bankrupt was last adjudged bankrupt, which at the date when the subsequent application was made had not been distributed amongst the creditors in the last preceding bankruptcy, vests (subject to any disposition thereof made by the Official Assignee in that bankruptcy without knowledge of the making of the subsequent application) in the Official Assignee on account of the subsequent bankruptcy or administration in bankruptcy, as the case may be.
(4)  Where the Official Assignee in any bankruptcy receives notice of a subsequent application in bankruptcy against the bankrupt or after the bankrupt’s death of an application for the administration of the bankrupt’s estate in bankruptcy, the Official Assignee holds any property then in the Official Assignee’s possession which has been acquired by the bankrupt since the bankrupt was adjudged bankrupt until the subsequent application has been disposed of.
(5)  If on a subsequent application a bankruptcy order or an order for the administration of the estate in bankruptcy is made, the Official Assignee holds all the property or the proceeds of the property (after deducting the Official Assignee’s costs and expenses) to the account of the subsequent bankruptcy, or administration in bankruptcy, as the case may be.
(6)  Where a second or subsequent bankruptcy order is made against a bankrupt —
(a)section 371(1) ceases to apply to the last preceding bankruptcy, with effect from the date of that order; and
(b)section 395(2) does not apply to the last preceding bankruptcy for the duration of the second or subsequent bankruptcy.
Transactions at undervalue
361.—(1)  Subject to this section and sections 363 and 365, where an individual is adjudged bankrupt and the individual has at the relevant time (as defined in section 363) entered into a transaction with any person at an undervalue, the Official Assignee may apply to the Court for an order under this section.
(2)  The Court may, on such an application, make such order as it thinks fit for restoring the position to what it would have been if that individual had not entered into that transaction.
(3)  For the purposes of this section and sections 363 and 365, an individual enters into a transaction with a person at an undervalue if —
(a)the individual makes a gift to that person or the individual otherwise enters into a transaction with that person on terms that provide for the individual to receive no consideration;
(b)the individual enters into a transaction with that person in consideration of marriage; or
(c)the individual enters into a transaction with that person for a consideration the value of which, in money or money’s worth, is significantly less than the value, in money or money’s worth, of the consideration provided by the individual.
Unfair preferences
362.—(1)  Subject to this section and sections 363 and 365, where an individual is adjudged bankrupt and the individual has, at the relevant time (as defined in section 363), given an unfair preference to any person, the Official Assignee may apply to the Court for an order under this section.
(2)  The Court may, on such an application, make such order as it thinks fit for restoring the position to what it would have been if that individual had not given that unfair preference.
(3)  For the purposes of this section and sections 363 and 365, an individual gives an unfair preference to a person if —
(a)that person is one of the individual’s creditors or a surety or guarantor for any of the individual’s debts or other liabilities; and
(b)the individual does anything or suffers anything to be done which (in either case) has the effect of putting that person into a position which, in the event of the individual’s bankruptcy, will be better than the position that person would have been in if that thing had not been done.
(4)  The Court must not make an order under this section in respect of an unfair preference given to any person unless the individual who gave the preference was influenced in deciding to give it by a desire to produce in relation to that person the effect mentioned in subsection (3)(b).
(5)  An individual who has given an unfair preference to a person who, at the time the unfair preference was given, was an associate of the individual (otherwise than by reason only of being the individual’s employee) is presumed, unless the contrary is shown, to have been influenced in deciding to give it by such a desire as is mentioned in subsection (4).
(6)  The fact that something has been done pursuant to the order of a court does not, without more, prevent the doing or suffering of that thing from constituting the giving of an unfair preference.
Relevant time under sections 361 and 362
363.—(1)  Subject to this section, the time at which an individual enters into a transaction at an undervalue or gives an unfair preference is a relevant time if the transaction is entered into or the preference given —
(a)in the case of a transaction at an undervalue —
(i)where the bankruptcy application on which the individual is adjudged bankrupt is based on a presumption mentioned in section 312(d), within the period commencing 3 years before the day on which the relevant bankruptcy application is made and ending on the day of the making of the bankruptcy application on which the individual is adjudged bankrupt; or
(ii)in any other case, within the period of 3 years ending on the day of the making of the bankruptcy application on which the individual is adjudged bankrupt;
(b)in the case of an unfair preference which is not a transaction at an undervalue and which is given to a person who is an associate of the individual (otherwise than by reason only of being the individual’s employee) —
(i)where the bankruptcy application on which the individual is adjudged bankrupt is based on a presumption mentioned in section 312(d), within the period commencing 2 years before the day on which the relevant bankruptcy application is made and ending on the day of the making of the bankruptcy application on which the individual is adjudged bankrupt; or
(ii)in any other case, within the period of 2 years ending on the day of the making of the bankruptcy application on which the individual is adjudged bankrupt; or
(c)in any other case of an unfair preference which is not a transaction at an undervalue —
(i)where the bankruptcy application on which the individual is adjudged bankrupt is based on a presumption mentioned in section 312(d), within the period commencing one year before the day on which the relevant bankruptcy application is made and ending on the day of the making of the bankruptcy application on which the individual is adjudged bankrupt; or
(ii)in any other case, within the period of one year ending on the day of the making of the bankruptcy application on which the individual is adjudged bankrupt.
(2)  Where an individual enters into a transaction at an undervalue or gives an unfair preference at a time mentioned in subsection (1)(a), (b) or (c), that time is not a relevant time for the purposes of sections 361 and 362 unless the individual —
(a)is insolvent at that time; or
(b)becomes insolvent in consequence of the transaction or preference.
(3)  Where a transaction is entered into at an undervalue by an individual with a person who is an associate of the individual (otherwise than by reason only of being the individual’s employee), the requirements under subsection (2) are presumed to be satisfied unless the contrary is shown.
(4)  For the purposes of subsection (2), an individual is insolvent if —
(a)the individual is unable to pay his or her debts as they fall due; or
(b)the value of the individual’s assets is less than the amount of his or her liabilities, taking into account his or her contingent and prospective liabilities.
(5)  Where any of the periods mentioned in subsection (6) in respect of an individual coincides with any period mentioned in subsection (1)(a), (b) or (c) in respect of the individual, the time at which a transaction at an undervalue is entered into or an unfair preference is given by that individual is a relevant time if that transaction is entered into or that preference is given during the period, immediately preceding that period mentioned in subsection (1)(a), (b) or (c) (as the case may be) that is equal to the aggregate of all such periods mentioned in subsection (6) coinciding with the period mentioned in subsection (1)(a), (b) or (c), as the case may be.
(6)  The periods mentioned in subsection (5) are as follows:
(a)the period during which an order under section 278 staying any bankruptcy application is in force;
(b)the period during which an interim order on an application under section 276 is in force in relation to the individual.
(7)  In this section, “relevant bankruptcy application” means the bankruptcy application made against an individual that resulted in the debt repayment scheme mentioned in section 312(d) in respect of that individual.
Meaning of associate
364.—(1)  For the purposes of sections 362, 363 and 365, any question whether a person is an associate of another person is to be determined in accordance with this section.
(2)  A person is an associate of an individual if that person is —
(a)the individual’s spouse; or
(b)a relative of —
(i)the individual; or
(ii)the individual’s spouse; or
(c)the spouse of a relative of —
(i)the individual; or
(ii)the individual’s spouse.
(3)  A person is an associate of —
(a)any individual with whom the person is in partnership; and
(b)any spouse or relative of any individual with whom the person is in partnership.
(4)  A person is an associate of any individual whom the person employs or by whom the person is employed, and for this purpose, any director or other officer of a company is treated as employed by that company.
(5)  A person in the person’s capacity as trustee of a trust is an associate of an individual if the beneficiaries of the trust include, or the terms of the trust confer a power that may be exercised for the benefit of, that individual or an associate of that individual.
(6)  A company is an associate of an individual if that individual has control of it or if that individual and persons who are that individual’s associates together have control of it.
(7)  For the purposes of this section, a person is a relative of an individual if the person is that individual’s brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, lineal ancestor or lineal descendant, treating —
(a)any relationship of the half blood as a relationship of the whole blood and the stepchild or adopted child of any person as that person’s child; and
(b)an illegitimate child as the legitimate child of the child’s mother and reputed father.
(8)  References in this section to a spouse include a former spouse.
(9)  For the purposes of this section, an individual is taken to have control of a company (C) if —
(a)the directors of C or of another company which has control of C (or any of those directors) are accustomed to act in accordance with the individual’s directions or instructions; or
(b)the individual is entitled to exercise, or control the exercise of, one‑third or more of the voting power at any general meeting of C or of another company which has control of C,
and where 2 or more persons together satisfy paragraph (a) or (b), they are taken to have control of C.
(10)  In this section, “company” includes any body corporate (whether incorporated in Singapore or elsewhere), and references to directors and other officers of a company and to voting power at any general meeting of a company have effect with any necessary modifications.
Orders under sections 361 and 362
365.—(1)  Without limiting sections 361(2) and 362(2), an order under either of those sections with respect to a transaction or preference entered into or given by an individual who is subsequently adjudged bankrupt may, subject to this section —
(a)require any property transferred as part of the transaction, or in connection with the giving of the preference, to be vested in the Official Assignee;
(b)require any property to be so vested if it represents in any person’s hands the application of the proceeds of sale of property so transferred or of money so transferred;
(c)release or discharge (in whole or in part) any security given by the individual;
(d)require any person to pay, in respect of benefits received by the person from the individual, such sums to the Official Assignee as the Court may direct;
(e)provide for any surety or guarantor whose obligations to any person were released or discharged (in whole or in part) under the transaction or by the giving of the preference to be under such new or revived obligations to that person as the Court thinks appropriate;
(f)provide for security to be provided for the discharge of any obligation imposed by or arising under the order, for such an obligation to be charged on any property and for the security or charge to have the same priority as a security or charge released or discharged (in whole or in part) under the transaction or by the giving of the unfair preference; and
(g)provide for the extent to which any person whose property is vested by the order in the Official Assignee, or on whom obligations are imposed by the order, is to be able to prove in the bankruptcy for debts or other liabilities which arose from, or were released or discharged (in whole or in part) under or by, the transaction or the giving of the unfair preference.
(2)  An order under section 361 or 362 may affect the property of, or impose any obligation on, any person whether or not that person is the person with whom the individual in question entered into the transaction or (as the case may be) the person to whom the unfair preference was given.
(3)  An order under section 361 or 362 does not —
(a)prejudice any interest in property which was acquired from a person other than that individual and was acquired in good faith and for value, or prejudice any interest deriving from such an interest; or
(b)require a person who received a benefit from the transaction or unfair preference in good faith and for value to pay a sum to the Official Assignee, except where the person was a party to the transaction or the payment is to be in respect of an unfair preference given to that person at a time when that person was a creditor of that individual.
(4)  For the purposes of subsection (3)(a) and (b), a person (called in this section the relevant person) who has acquired an interest in property from a person other than the individual in question, or who has received a benefit from the transaction or unfair preference, is presumed (unless the contrary is shown) to have acquired the interest or received the benefit (as the case may be) otherwise than in good faith if, at the time of the acquisition or receipt —
(a)the relevant person had notice of the relevant surrounding circumstances and of the relevant proceedings; or
(b)the relevant person was an associate of, or was connected with —
(i)the individual in question; or
(ii)the person with whom the individual in question entered into the transaction, or to whom the individual gave the unfair preference, as the case may be.
(5)  Any sums required to be paid to the Official Assignee in accordance with an order under section 361 or 362 are to be comprised in the bankrupt’s estate.
(6)  For the purposes of subsection (4)(a), the relevant surrounding circumstances are —
(a)the fact that the individual in question entered into the transaction at an undervalue; or
(b)the circumstances which amounted to the giving of the unfair preference by the individual in question.
(7)  For the purposes of subsection (4)(a), the relevant person has notice of the relevant proceedings if the relevant person has notice of —
(a)the making of the bankruptcy application on which the individual in question is adjudged bankrupt; or
(b)the fact that the individual in question has been adjudged bankrupt.
(8)  Despite section 364(1), for the purposes of subsection (4)(b)(ii), a company is regarded as an associate of another company if —
(a)the same person controls both companies;
(b)a person controls one company and either an associate of that person controls, or that person and the associate control, the other company; or
(c)each company is controlled by a group of 2 or more persons, and the groups —
(i)consist of the same persons; or
(ii)can be regarded as consisting of the same persons if (in one or more cases) a member of either group is replaced by an associate of that member.
(9)  For the purposes of subsection (4)(b), the relevant person is connected with a company if the relevant person —
(a)is a director of the company; or
(b)is an associate of —
(i)the company; or
(ii)a director of the company.
(10)  In subsection (9), “director” has the meaning given by section 4(1) of the Companies Act.
Extortionate credit transactions
366.—(1)  This section applies where a person who is adjudged bankrupt is or has been a party to a transaction for or involving the provision to that person of credit.
(2)  The Court may, on the application of the Official Assignee, make an order with respect to the transaction if the transaction is or was extortionate and was entered into within 3 years before the commencement of the bankruptcy.
(3)  For the purposes of this section, a transaction is presumed to be extortionate, unless the contrary is proved, if, having regard to the risk accepted by the person providing the credit —
(a)the terms of it are or were such as to require grossly exorbitant payments to be made (whether unconditionally or in certain contingencies) in respect of the provision of the credit; or
(b)it is harsh and unconscionable or substantially unfair.
(4)  An order under this section may contain one or more of the following:
(a)provision setting aside the whole or part of any obligation created by the transaction;
(b)provision varying the terms of the transaction or varying the terms on which any security for the purposes of the transaction is held;
(c)provision requiring any person who is or was party to the transaction to pay the Official Assignee any sums paid to that person;
(d)provision requiring any person to surrender to the Official Assignee any property held by that person as security for the purposes of the transaction;
(e)provision directing accounts to be taken between any persons.
(5)  Any sums or property required to be paid or surrendered to the Official Assignee in accordance with an order under this section are to be comprised in the bankrupt’s estate.
Restriction of rights of creditor under execution or attachment
367.—(1)  Where the creditor of a bankrupt has issued execution against the goods or lands of the bankrupt or has attached any debt due or property belonging to the bankrupt, the creditor is not entitled to retain the benefit of the execution or attachment against the Official Assignee unless the creditor has completed the execution or attachment before the date of the bankruptcy order, except that —
(a)a person who purchases in good faith under a sale by the Sheriff any goods of a bankrupt on which an execution has been levied acquires a good title in all cases to them against the Official Assignee; and
(b)the rights conferred by this subsection on the Official Assignee may be set aside by the Court in favour of the creditor to such extent and subject to such terms as the Court thinks fit.
(2)  For the purposes of this Act —
(a)an execution against goods is completed by seizure and sale;
(b)an attachment of a debt is completed by receipt of the debt; and
(c)an execution against land or any interest in land is completed by registering under any written law relating to the registration of land a writ of seizure and sale attaching the interest of the bankrupt in the land described in the writ of seizure and sale.
Duties of Sheriff as to property taken in execution
368.—(1)  Where any property of a debtor is taken in execution, then, if before the completion of the execution, notice is given to the Sheriff that a bankruptcy order has been made against the debtor, the Sheriff must deliver the property or the possession of the property and any such moneys to the Official Assignee.
(2)  The costs of and incidental to the execution under subsection (1) are a first charge on the property or moneys, and the Official Assignee may sell the property or any adequate part of the property for the purpose of satisfying the charge.
(3)  Where a writ of seizure and sale has been issued in respect of a judgment for a sum exceeding $2,000, the Sheriff must hold all moneys coming to the Sheriff’s hands under the writ of seizure and sale for 14 days starting from the receipt of the moneys.
(4)  If within the time mentioned in subsection (3) —
(a)notice is served on the Sheriff of a bankruptcy application having been made against or by the debtor; and
(b)a bankruptcy order is made against the debtor on the bankruptcy application or on any other application of which the Sheriff has notice,
the Sheriff must deduct the costs of and incidental to the execution and pay the balance to the Official Assignee, who is entitled to retain the same as against the execution creditor.
Division 7 — Possession, control and realisation of
bankrupt’s property
Possession of property by Official Assignee
369.—(1)  The Official Assignee must forthwith after the bankruptcy order, take possession of —
(a)the deeds, books and documents which relate to the bankrupt’s estate or affairs and which belong to the bankrupt or are under the bankrupt’s control (including any which would be privileged from disclosure in any proceedings); and
(b)all other parts of the bankrupt’s property capable of manual delivery.
(2)  The Official Assignee is, in relation to and for the purpose of acquiring or retaining possession of the property of the bankrupt, in the same position as if the Official Assignee were a receiver of the property appointed by the Court, and the Court may on the Official Assignee’s application enforce the acquisition or retention accordingly.
(3)  Where any part of the property of the bankrupt consists of stock, shares in ships, shares or any other property transferable in the books of any company, office or person, the Official Assignee may exercise the right to transfer the property to the same extent as the bankrupt might have exercised it if the bankrupt had not become bankrupt.
(4)  Where any part of the property of the bankrupt consists of things in action, those things are deemed to have been duly assigned to the Official Assignee.
(5)  Any banker or agent of the bankrupt or any other person who holds any property to the account of, or for, the bankrupt must pay and deliver to the Official Assignee all moneys and securities in the possession or under the control of the banker, agent or other person which the banker, agent or other person (as the case may be) is not by law entitled to retain as against the bankrupt or the Official Assignee.
(6)  Any person who fails to comply with subsection (5) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both.
Seizure of bankrupt’s property held by bankrupt or other person
370.—(1)  At any time after a bankruptcy order has been made, the Official Assignee or any person authorised by the Official Assignee may take an inventory of and seize any property comprised in the bankrupt’s estate which is, or any books, papers or records relating to the bankrupt’s estate or affairs which are, in the possession or under the control of the bankrupt (including any which would be privileged from disclosure in any proceedings) or any other person who is required to deliver the property, books, papers or records to the Official Assignee.
(2)  The Official Assignee or any person authorised by the Official Assignee may, for the purposes of taking an inventory of or seizing any property comprised in the bankrupt’s estate or any books, papers or records relating to the bankrupt’s estate or affairs (including any which would be privileged from disclosure in any proceedings), break open any premises where the bankrupt or anything that may be seized under subsection (1) is or is believed to be and any receptacle of the bankrupt which contains or is believed to contain anything that may be so seized.
(3)  If, after a bankruptcy order has been made, the Court is satisfied that any property comprised in the bankrupt’s estate is, or any books, papers or records relating to the bankrupt’s estate or affairs (including any which would be privileged from disclosure in any proceedings) are, concealed in any premises not belonging to the bankrupt, the Court may issue a warrant authorising any public officer to search those premises for the property, books, papers or records.
(4)  A warrant under subsection (3) must be executed in accordance with the Rules and in accordance with its terms.
Payment of monthly contribution
371.—(1)  Subject to subsection (2), a bankrupt who is not discharged must pay to the Official Assignee, on or before such day of each month as the Official Assignee may specify in writing, an amount not less than the bankrupt’s monthly contribution.
(2)  Where the target contribution for a bankruptcy has been paid in full, whether through payments by the bankrupt or otherwise, subsection (1) ceases to apply to the bankrupt.
(3)  To avoid doubt, subsection (1) does not prevent any person other than the bankrupt from paying, to the Official Assignee, any amount towards the bankrupt’s target contribution.
Appropriation of portion of pay or salary to creditors
372.—(1)  Where the bankrupt is an officer of the Singapore Armed Forces or a public officer or otherwise employed or engaged in the public service of the Government, the Official Assignee is to receive for distribution amongst the creditors so much of the bankrupt’s pay or salary as the Court, on the application of the Official Assignee, directs.
(2)  Where a bankrupt is —
(a)in receipt of a salary or income other than as mentioned in subsection (1); or
(b)entitled to any half-pay, pension or compensation granted by the Government or any other employer,
the Court may, on the application of the Official Assignee, subject to any written law relating to pensions, make such order as the Court thinks just for the payment of the salary, income, half‑pay, pension or compensation or of any part of the salary, income, half-pay, pension or compensation to the Official Assignee, to be applied by the Official Assignee in such manner as the Court directs.
(3)  Nothing in this section abrogates the right of the Government to dismiss a bankrupt or to declare the half‑pay, pension or compensation of any bankrupt to be forfeited.
(4)  In fixing the amount to be received by the Official Assignee under this section, the Court, without affecting subsection (5)(a) but subject to subsection (5)(b), is to have regard to the scale of appropriation of salary in any regulation made for the purposes of this section by the Minister under section 449.
(5)  The Court —
(a)may, in its discretion, fix a larger or smaller amount than the amount provided in the scale; but
(b)must not do any of the following:
(i)order the payment, on a monthly basis out of the bankrupt’s monthly income, of any amount which exceeds the bankrupt’s monthly contribution;
(ii)order the payment of any amount which exceeds the difference between the bankrupt’s target contribution and what has been paid towards the bankrupt’s target contribution;
(iii)order the payment of any amount that is needed for the maintenance of the bankrupt and the bankrupt’s family.
Power to disclaim onerous property
373.—(1)  The Official Assignee may, by the giving of the prescribed notice, disclaim any onerous property and may do so despite having taken possession of it, endeavoured to sell it, or otherwise exercised rights of ownership in relation to it.
(2)  The following is onerous property for the purposes of this section:
(a)any unprofitable contract;
(b)any other property comprised in the bankrupt’s estate which —
(i)is unsaleable;
(ii)is not readily saleable; or
(iii)may give rise to a liability to pay money or perform any other onerous act.
(3)  A disclaimer under this section —
(a)determines, as from the date of the disclaimer, the rights, interests and liabilities of the bankrupt and the bankrupt’s estate in or in respect of the property disclaimed; and
(b)discharges the Official Assignee from all personal liability in respect of that property as from the commencement of the Official Assignee’s trusteeship,
but does not, except so far as is necessary for the purpose of releasing the bankrupt, the bankrupt’s estate and the Official Assignee from any liability, affect the rights and liabilities of any other person.
(4)  A notice of disclaimer may not be given under subsection (1) in respect of any property —
(a)in the case of property subject to any written law set out in the first column of the Second Schedule, unless —
(i)the Official Assignee has given written notice of the Official Assignee’s intention to disclaim the property, to the relevant person set out opposite in the second column; and
(ii)a period of 28 days starting on the date of the notice mentioned in sub‑paragraph (i) has elapsed; or
(b)in any case, if —
(i)a person interested in the property has applied in writing to the Official Assignee or one of the Official Assignee’s predecessors as trustee requiring the Official Assignee or that predecessor to decide whether or not the Official Assignee or that predecessor will disclaim the property; and
(ii)the notice of disclaimer is not given under this section in respect of that property within a period of 28 days, or such longer period as the Court may allow, starting on the date of the application mentioned in sub‑paragraph (i).
(5)  The Official Assignee is deemed to have adopted any contract which by virtue of this section the Official Assignee is not entitled to disclaim.
(6)  Any person sustaining loss or damage in consequence of the operation of a disclaimer under this section is deemed to be a creditor of the bankrupt to the extent of the loss or damage and accordingly may prove for the loss or damage as a bankruptcy debt.
Disclaimer of leaseholds
374.—(1)  A disclaimer under section 373 of any property of a leasehold nature does not take effect unless a copy of the notice of disclaimer has been served (so far as the Official Assignee is aware of their addresses) on every person claiming under the bankrupt as sub‑lessee or mortgagee and either —
(a)no application under section 375 is made with respect to the property before the end of the period of 14 days starting on the date on which the last notice served under this subsection was served; or
(b)where an application under section 375 has been made, the Court directs that the disclaimer is to take effect.
(2)  Where the Court gives a direction under subsection (1)(b), the Court may also, instead of or in addition to any order the Court makes under section 375, make such orders with respect to fixtures, tenant’s improvements and other matters arising out of lease as the Court thinks fit.
Court order vesting disclaimed property
375.—(1)  This section and section 376 apply where the Official Assignee has disclaimed property under section 373.
(2)  An application may be made to the Court under this section by —
(a)any person who claims an interest in the disclaimed property;
(b)any person who is under any liability in respect of the disclaimed property, not being a liability discharged by the disclaimer; or
(c)where the disclaimed property is property in a dwelling‑house, any person who at the time when the bankruptcy order was made was in occupation of or entitled to occupy the dwelling‑house.
(3)  The Court may, on an application under this section, make an order on such terms as it thinks fit for the vesting of the disclaimed property in, or for its delivery to —
(a)a person entitled to the disclaimed property or a trustee for such a person;
(b)a person subject to such a liability as is mentioned in subsection (2)(b) or a trustee for such a person; or
(c)where the disclaimed property is property in a dwelling‑house, any person who at the time when the bankruptcy order was made was in occupation of or entitled to occupy the dwelling‑house.
(4)  The Court may not make any order by virtue of subsection (3)(b) except where it appears to the Court that it would be just to do so for the purpose of compensating the person subject to the liability in respect of the disclaimer.
(5)  The effect of any order under this section is to be taken into account in assessing for the purposes of section 373(6) the extent of any loss or damage sustained by any person in consequence of the disclaimer.
(6)  An order under this section vesting property in any person —
(a)need not be completed by any conveyance, assignment or transfer; but
(b)does not have any effect or operation in transferring or otherwise vesting land until the appropriate entries are made with respect to the vesting of that land by the appropriate authority.
Order under section 375 in relation to leaseholds
376.—(1)  The Court must not make any order under section 375 vesting property of a leasehold nature in any person, except on terms making that person —
(a)subject to the same liabilities and obligations as the bankrupt was subject to under the lease on the day the bankruptcy order was made; or
(b)if the Court thinks fit, subject to the same liabilities and obligations as that person would be subject to if the lease had been assigned to that person on that day.
(2)  For the purposes of an order under section 375 relating to only part of any property comprised in a lease, the requirements of subsection (1) apply as if the lease comprised only the property to which the order relates.
(3)  Where subsection (1) applies and no person is willing to accept an order under section 375 on the terms mentioned in subsection (1), the Court may (by order under section 375) vest the estate or interest of the bankrupt in the property in —
(a)any person who is liable (whether personally or in a representative capacity and whether alone or jointly with the bankrupt) to perform the lessee’s covenants in the lease; or
(b)such person mentioned in paragraph (a) freed and discharged from all estates, encumbrances and interests created by the bankrupt.
(4)  Where subsection (1) applies, and a person declines to accept any order under section 375, that person is excluded from all interest in the property.
Power of Official Assignee to deal with property
377.—(1)  Subject to Parts 3 and 13 to 22, the Official Assignee may —
(a)sell all or any part of the property of a bankrupt, including the goodwill of the bankrupt’s business, if any, and the book debts due or accruing due to the bankrupt, by tender, public auction or private contract, with power to transfer the whole of the property to any person or to sell the property in parcels;
(b)give receipts for any money received by the Official Assignee, being receipts which effectually discharge the person paying the money from all responsibility in respect of the application of the money;
(c)prove, rank, claim, and draw a dividend in respect of any debt due to the bankrupt;
(d)exercise any power, the capacity to exercise which is vested in the Official Assignee under Parts 3 and 13 to 22, and execute any power of attorney, deeds and other instrument for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of those Parts; and
(e)deal with any property to which the bankrupt is beneficially entitled as tenant in tail, or other owner of an estate of inheritance less than an estate in fee simple, in the same manner as the bankrupt might have dealt with it.
(2)  Any such dealing with any property mentioned in subsection (1)(e) to which the bankrupt is, before the bankrupt’s discharge, so entitled is, although the bankrupt is dead at the time of that dealing, as valid and has the same operation as though the bankrupt were then alive.
General powers of Official Assignee
378.  The Official Assignee may exercise any of the following powers:
(a)carry on any business of the bankrupt so far as is necessary for winding it up beneficially;
(b)bring, institute or defend any action or legal proceedings relating to the property of the bankrupt;
(c)employ an advocate and solicitor to take any proceedings or do any business;
(d)accept, as the consideration for the sale of any property of the bankrupt, a sum of money payable at a future time, subject to such stipulations as to security or otherwise as the Official Assignee thinks fit;
(e)mortgage or pledge any part of the property of the bankrupt for the purpose of raising money for the payment of the bankrupt’s debts;
(f)refer any dispute to arbitration, or compromise all debts, claims and liabilities, whether present or future, certain or contingent, liquidated or unliquidated, subsisting or supposed to subsist, between the bankrupt and any person who may have incurred any liability to the bankrupt, on the receipt of such sums payable at such times, and generally on such terms as are agreed on;
(g)make such compromise or other arrangement as is thought expedient with creditors or persons claiming to be creditors in respect of any debts provable under the bankruptcy;
(h)make such compromise or other arrangement as is thought expedient with respect to any claim arising out of or incidental to the property of the bankrupt, made or capable of being made on the Official Assignee by any person or by the Official Assignee on any person;
(i)divide in its existing form, amongst the creditors according to its estimated value, any property which from its peculiar nature or other special circumstances cannot be readily or advantageously sold.
Power to appoint special manager
379.—(1)  The Official Assignee may, if satisfied that the nature of the bankrupt’s estate or business or the interests of the creditors generally require the appointment of a special manager of the estate or business other than the Official Assignee, appoint a manager of the estate or business to act, with such powers, including any of the powers of a receiver, as are entrusted to the manager by the Official Assignee.
(2)  The bankrupt may be appointed special manager.
(3)  A special manager must give such security and account in such manner as the Official Assignee may direct.
(4)  The special manager is to receive such remuneration as the Official Assignee may determine.
Power to allow bankrupt to manage property and make allowance to bankrupt, etc.
380.—(1)  The Official Assignee may appoint the bankrupt to superintend the management of the bankrupt’s property or any part of the property, or to carry on the bankrupt’s trade (if any) for the benefit of the bankrupt’s creditors, and in any other respect to aid in administering the property in such manner and on such terms as the Official Assignee directs.
(2)  The Official Assignee may make such allowance as the Official Assignee thinks just to the bankrupt out of the bankrupt’s property for the support of the bankrupt and the bankrupt’s family, or in consideration of the bankrupt’s service if the bankrupt is engaged in winding up the bankrupt’s estate, but the Court may reduce the allowance and limit the time for which it may be made.
(3)  Where the bankrupt has died, the Official Assignee may make an allowance to members of the bankrupt’s family for their support.
(4)  The Official Assignee may also make an allowance to defray the funeral expenses of the bankrupt.
(5)  In fixing the amount of the allowance, the Official Assignee may take into account any assistance rendered by the bankrupt in the administration or management of the bankrupt’s property or the carrying on of the bankrupt’s trade.
Re-direction of bankrupt’s letters, etc.
381.—(1)  Where a bankruptcy order has been made, the Official Assignee may from time to time direct a postal licensee under the Postal Services Act (Cap. 237A) to re‑direct and send or deliver to the Official Assignee or otherwise any postal article which would otherwise be sent or delivered by it to the bankrupt at such place or places as may be specified in the direction.
(2)  A direction under this section has effect for such period, not exceeding 3 months, as may be specified in the direction.
Power to impound passport, etc., of bankrupt
382.—(1)  The Official Assignee may, if the Official Assignee thinks it necessary for the purposes of ensuring that a bankrupt does not leave Singapore during the administration of the bankrupt’s estate, issue a direction to the Controller of Immigration to request that the bankrupt be prevented from leaving Singapore.
(2)  Subject to any order issued or made under any written law relating to banishment or immigration, the Controller of Immigration must pursuant to the direction under subsection (1) take, or cause to be taken by any immigration officer, such measures as may be necessary to prevent the bankrupt named in the direction from leaving Singapore, including the detention of the bankrupt’s passport, certificate of identity or travel document authorising the bankrupt to leave or enter Singapore.
(3)  Where the Controller of Immigration has detained the passport, certificate of identity or other travel document of a bankrupt under subsection (2), the Controller must forthwith forward the passport, certificate of identity or travel document to the Official Assignee.
(4)  Despite subsections (1), (2) and (3), the Official Assignee may, if the Official Assignee thinks fit, detain any passport, certificate of identity or other travel document authorising the bankrupt to leave or enter Singapore.
(5)  The Official Assignee may, if the Official Assignee thinks fit, retain or return to the bankrupt the passport, certificate of identity or travel document forwarded to the Official Assignee by the Controller of Immigration under subsection (3) or detained by the Official Assignee under subsection (4).
Incurring expenses where property insufficient
383.—(1)  Subject to this section and section 384, the Official Assignee is not liable to incur any expense in relation to the realisation and distribution of a bankrupt’s property unless there is sufficient available property in the bankrupt’s estate.
(2)  The Court may, on the application of a creditor, direct the Official Assignee to incur a particular expense on condition that the creditor indemnifies the Official Assignee in respect of the recovery of the amount expended and, if the Court so directs, gives such security to secure the amount of the indemnity as the Court thinks reasonable.
(3)  Nothing in this section relieves the Official Assignee of any obligation under section 339, 340, 341, 342, 343 or 344.
(4)  Nothing in this section relieves a trustee in bankruptcy of any obligation to submit or serve a document (including a report) to or on the Official Assignee under any provision of Parts 3 and 16 to 22 by reason only that the trustee in bankruptcy would be required to incur expense in order to perform that obligation.
Official Assignee not to incur further expenses if majority in value of debts owed to institutional creditors
384.—(1)  The Official Assignee is not liable to incur any expense in relation to the realisation and distribution of a bankrupt’s property, other than expenses in relation to payments made towards the target contribution —
(a)if, and only so long as, the relevant condition is met; and
(b)if the Official Assignee has given to every creditor who has filed a proof of debt, a notice in writing in accordance with subsection (2).
(2)  After the expiry of the time within which creditors are required under section 347(2) to file their proof of debt, if the Official Assignee is satisfied that the relevant condition is met, the Official Assignee may give to each of the bankrupt’s creditors who has filed a proof of debt, a notice in writing —
(a)informing the creditors that the Official Assignee is satisfied that the relevant condition is met;
(b)informing the creditors that they may wish to consider making an application under section 36 for the appointment of a person other than the Official Assignee to act as the trustee of the bankrupt’s estate; and
(c)providing a summary of the administration of the bankrupt’s estate that contains such particulars as may be prescribed.
(3)  Nothing in this section relieves the Official Assignee of any obligation under section 339, 340, 341, 342, 343, 344 or 347.
(4)  In this section —
“institutional creditor” has the meaning given by section 36(4), except that the reference, in paragraph (d)(ii) of the definition of “institutional creditor” in that section, to the date of the application for the bankruptcy order mentioned in section 36(2) is to be read as a reference to the date of the bankruptcy application on which the bankrupt was adjudged bankrupt;
“relevant condition” means a majority in value of the total debts of the bankrupt that have been proved (and are not withdrawn) are owed to one or more persons who are either an institutional creditor or a subsidiary of an institutional creditor.
Division 8 — Distribution of property
Distribution by means of dividend
385.—(1)  Whenever the Official Assignee has sufficient funds in hand for the purpose, the Official Assignee must, subject to the retention of such sums as may be necessary for the expenses of the bankruptcy, declare and distribute dividends among the creditors in respect of the debts which the creditors have respectively proved.
(2)  The Official Assignee must give notice of the Official Assignee’s intention to declare and distribute a dividend.
(3)  Where the Official Assignee has declared a dividend, the Official Assignee must give notice of the dividend and of how the Official Assignee proposes to distribute it.
(4)  The notice given under subsection (3) must contain the prescribed particulars of the bankrupt’s estate.
(5)  In the calculation and distribution of a dividend, the Official Assignee must make provision —
(a)for any provable debt which is the subject of any claim which has not yet been determined; and
(b)for disputed proofs and claims.
(6)  No dividend is to be paid to any creditor which does not amount to $50.
Claims by unsatisfied creditors
386.—(1)  A creditor who has not proved the creditor’s debt before the declaration of any dividend is not entitled to disturb, by reason that the creditor has not participated in it, the distribution of that dividend or any other dividend declared before the debt was proved.
(2)  When a creditor has proved the creditor’s debt, the creditor is entitled to be paid out of any money for the time being available for the payment of any further dividend, any dividend or dividends which the creditor has failed to receive.
(3)  Any dividend or dividends payable under subsection (2) must be paid before that money is applied to the payment of any such further dividend.
Final distribution
387.—(1)  When the Official Assignee has realised all the bankrupt’s estate or so much of it as can, in the opinion of the Official Assignee, be realised without needlessly protracting the proceedings in bankruptcy, the Official Assignee may give notice in the prescribed manner of the Official Assignee’s intention to declare a final dividend.
(2)  The notice under subsection (1) must contain the prescribed particulars and must require claims against the bankrupt’s estate to be established by a date (called in this section the final date) specified in the notice.
(3)  The Court may, on the application of any person, postpone the final date.
(4)  After the final date, the Official Assignee must —
(a)defray any outstanding expenses of the bankruptcy out of the bankrupt’s estate; and
(b)if the Official Assignee intends to declare a final dividend, declare and distribute that dividend without regard to the claim of any person in respect of a debt not already proved in the bankruptcy.
Joint and separate dividends
388.—(1)  Where one partner of a firm is adjudged bankrupt, a creditor to whom the bankrupt is indebted jointly with the other partners of the firm, or any of them, is not entitled to receive any dividend out of the separate property of the bankrupt until all the separate creditors have received the full amount of their respective debts.
(2)  Where joint and separate properties are being administered, dividends of the joint and separate properties are, subject to any order to the contrary that is made by the Court on the application of the Official Assignee or any person interested, to be declared together.
(3)  The expenses of and incidental to the dividends are to be fairly apportioned by the Official Assignee between the joint and separate properties, regard being had to the work done for and the benefit received by each property.
No action for dividend
389.—(1)  No action for a dividend lies against the Official Assignee.
(2)  If the Official Assignee refuses to pay any dividend, the Court may, if it thinks fit, order the Official Assignee to pay the dividend, and also to pay out of the Consolidated Fund interest on the dividend for the period that it is withheld and the costs of the application to the Court.
Payment of interest exceeding what is allowed under section 356 out of surplus
390.—(1)  Where any amount remains after the debts and expenses of the bankruptcy have been paid (called in this section the surplus), the interest mentioned in subsection (2) must be paid before the bankrupt is entitled under section 391 to any of the surplus.
(2)  The surplus is to be paid towards interest on each debt proved in bankruptcy, from (and including) the day after the date of the bankruptcy order to (and including) the date that debt was paid, calculated at such rate of interest as the creditor may be entitled under an agreement or, in the absence of any such agreement, at such rate as may be prescribed.
(3)  For the purposes of subsection (2) —
(a)interest on preferential debts ranks equally with interest on other debts;
(b)interest of the same class ranks equally between themselves; and
(c)if the surplus is insufficient to pay all interest of the same class, the interest in that class is to abate in equal proportions between themselves.
Right of bankrupt to surplus
391.—(1)  The bankrupt is entitled to any surplus remaining after payment in full of the bankrupt’s creditors, with interest as provided by Parts 3 and 13 to 22, and of the costs, charges and expenses of the proceedings under the bankruptcy application.
(2)  Despite subsection (1), the Court may make an order directing the Official Assignee not to pay the surplus or part of the surplus to the bankrupt if —
(a)the Attorney-General applies for an order under this section; and
(b)the Court is satisfied that —
(i)proceedings under any written law dealing with confiscation of the proceeds of crime are pending; and
(ii)the property of the bankrupt may become subject to a confiscation order or be required to meet some other order made on those proceedings.
(3)  The Court may, on an application, vary or revoke an order made under subsection (2).