Chapter 006:04 - Debtors

Link to law: http://legalaffairs.gov.gy/information/laws-of-guyana/454-chapter-604-debtors/file

L.R.O. 1/2012
LAWS OF GUYANA
DEBTORS ACT
CHAPTER 6:04
Act
9 of 1884
Amended by
25 of 1893 28 of 1900 26 of 1924
Current Authorised Pages
Pages
(inclusive)
Authorised
by L.R.O.
1 – 8 ... 1/2012





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Note on
of
Subsidiary Legislation
This Chapter contains no subsidiary legislation.
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CHAPTER 6:04
DEBTORS ACT
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
SECTION
1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. (1) Abolition of imprisonment for debt.
(2) Exceptions.
4. Committal of debtor to prison in certain cases.
5. Saving of power of imprisonment.
6. Liability of debtor for debt incurred by fraud.
7. Prosecution by Official Receiver in certain cases.
8. Committal for trial of insolvent in certain cases.
9. Liability for criminal offence, notwithstanding discharge in insolvency.
__________________________ 1929 Ed.
c. 183
1953 Ed.
c. 42 _______________________________________________________
9 of 1844 An Act for the Abolition of Imprisonment for Debt and for
other purposes relating to Debtors.
[1ST JANUARY, 1885]
Short title.
Interpretation.
1. This Act may be cited as the Debtors Act.
2. In this Act—
“the Court” means the High Court in its civil jurisdiction;
“debtor” includes any person, whether a Commonwealth
citizen or not, who, at the time when any act of
insolvency was done or suffered by him—
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Abolition of
imprisonment
for debt.
Exceptions.
(a) was personally present in Guyana; or
(b) ordinarily resided or had a place or
residence therein; or
(c) was carrying on business therein personally
or by means of an agent, attorney or
manager; or
(d) was a member of a firm or partnership
which carried on business therein;
“insolvency Act” means any Act relating to insolvency in
force, whether passed before or after the commencement
hereof;
“receiving order” means a receiving order made under any
insolvency Act.
3. (1) With the exceptions hereinafter mentioned, no
person shall be arrested or imprisoned on process in
execution for making default in payment of a sum of money.
(2) There shall be excepted from the operation of
the above enactment default in payment—
(a) of a penalty or sum in the nature of a
penalty, other than a penalty in
respect of any contract;
(b) of any sum recoverable summarily
before a magistrate or a justice of the
peace;
(c) by a person acting in a fiduciary
capacity and ordered by the court to
pay any sum in his possession or
under his control;
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Committal of
debtor to prison
in certain cases.
(d) by a solicitor of costs when ordered to
pay costs for misconduct as a solicitor,
or of a sum of money when ordered
to pay it in his character of an officer
of the court making the order;
(e) for the benefit of creditors of any
portion of a salary or other income in
respect of the payment of which any
court having jurisdiction in
insolvency is authorised to make an
order; and
(f) of sums in respect of the payment of
which orders are in this Act
authorised to be made:
Provided that—
(i) no person shall be imprisoned in any
case excepted from the operation of
this section for a longer period than
one year; and
(ii) nothing in this section shall alter the
effect of any judgment or order of a
court for payment of money except as
regards the arrest and
imprisonment of the person making
default in paying that money.
4. (1) Subject to the provisions hereinafter contained,
the court may commit to prison, for any term not exceeding
six weeks or until payment of the sum due, any person who
makes default in payment of any debt or instalment of any
debt due from him in pursuance of any order or judgment of
a court for the payment of any sum:
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Provided that that jurisdiction shall only be exercised
where it is proved, to the satisfaction of the Court, that the
person making default either has, or has had since the date of
the order or judgment, the means to pay the sum in respect of
which he has made default, and has refused or neglected, or
refuses or neglects, to pay it.
(2) Proof of the means of the person making
default may be given in any manner the Court thinks just;
and, for the purposes of that proof, the debtor and any
witnesses may be summoned and examined upon oath.
(3) Any jurisdiction by this section given to the
Court may be exercised by a judge of the Court.
(4) For the purposes of this section, the Court may
direct any debt due from any person in pursuance of any
order or judgment of that or any other competent court to be
paid by instalments and may from time to time rescind or
vary the direction.
(5) A person committed under this section by the
Court may be committed to any county prison.

(6) No imprisonment under this section shall
operate as a satisfaction or extinguishment of any debt,
demand, or cause of action, or deprive any person of any
right to take out execution against the movable or immovable
property of the person imprisoned, in the same manner as if
the imprisonment had not taken place.
(7) Any person imprisoned under this section shall
be discharged out of custody upon a certificate signed by the
creditor at whose instance the debtor was imprisoned, or by
any officer of the Court or in the registry, to the effect that he
has satisfied the debt or instalment of a debt in respect of
which he was imprisoned, together with any prescribed costs.

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c. 12:21
Saving of
power of
imprisonment

Liability of
debtor for debt
incurred by
fraud.
Prosecution by
Official
Receiver in
certain cases.
(8) The Court may, if it thinks fit, decline to
commit, and in lieu thereof, with the consent of the judgment
creditor, his counsel or solicitor, and on payment by him of
any necessary fees, make a receiving order against the debtor,
and in that case the judgment debtor shall be deemed to have
committed an act of insolvency at the time the order is made.
(9) Where a receiving order is made against a
judgment debtor under this section, the insolvency of the
debtor shall be deemed to have relation back to and to
commence at the time of the order, or, if the insolvent is
proved to have committed any previous act of insolvency,
then to have relation back to and to commence at the time of
the first of the acts of insolvency proved to have been
committed by the debtor within three months next preceding
the date of the order, and section 46 of the Insolvency Act, or
any corresponding provision in any Act for the time being in
force relating to insolvency, shall apply as if the debtor had
been adjudged insolvent on an insolvency petition presented
at the date of the receiving order.
5. Nothing in this Act shall in any way affect any right
or power under any insolvency Act to arrest or imprison
anyone.
6. Where a debtor makes any arrangement or
composition with his creditors under any insolvency Act, he
shall remain liable for the unpaid balance of any debt which
he incurred or increased, or whereof before the date of the
arrangement or composition he obtained forbearance, by any
fraud, provided the defrauded creditor has not assented to
the arrangement or composition otherwise than by proving
his debt and accepting dividends.

7. Where the Official Receiver or assignee in the
insolvency is of opinion that any person who has been
adjudged insolvent, or in respect of whose estate a receiving
order has been made, has been guilty of any offence under the
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Committal for
trial of
insolvent in
certain cases.
Liability for
criminal
offence,
notwithstand-
ing discharge in
insolvency,
provisions of any Act for the time being in force for the
punishment of fraudulent debtors or under the provisions of
any insolvency Act for the time being in force, and he is
requested in writing to do so by a majority in number and
value of the creditors, or is himself of opinion that there is a
reasonable probability that the person may be convicted, he
shall prefer a charge or complaint against that person for the
offence and prosecute it in due course of law.
8. Where there is, in the opinion of the Court or judge,
ground to believe that an insolvent or any other person has
been guilty of any offence which is, by any Act for the time
being in force, made a misdemeanour in cases of insolvency,
the Court or judge may commit that insolvent or other person
for trial, and, for the purpose of the committal, shall have all
the powers of a magistrate as to taking depositions, binding
over witnesses to appear, admitting the accused person to
bail, or otherwise.
9. Where the debtor has been guilty of any criminal
offence, he shall not be exempt from proceedings against him
therefor by reason that he has obtained his discharge or that a
composition or scheme of arrangement has been accepted or
approved.
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