Insolvent Debtor's Petitions, 1724-1850

Insolvent Debtor Petitions and Bonds are papers filed by an insolvent debtor to institute proceedings that will enable him to take advantage of provisions for the benefit of insolvents. Debtors surrendered their property and upon assent of creditors, were discharged from all further liabilities. Papers vary depending on laws of the period. They include petitions to give bond, bonds from the insolvent debtors, proof of service and petitions for benefit of insolvent laws. *

After 1850, insolvent debtor cases may be found in the Court of Common Pleas Miscellaneous Dockets.

The following information may be found in each file:

Statement of all estate, effects and property of petitioner; statement of debts owed with names of creditors and amounts due to each; cause of insolvency and extent of losses; name of assignee to whom debtor transferred his estate; date of petition, occupation and place of residence of debtor; type of paper, date and decision of court whether debtor was to be discharged or remanded to prison; name of appointed assignee, and amount of bond.

Not solvent; not having sufficient estate to pay 1’s debts; unable to pay 1’s debts as they fall due or having ceased to pay 1’s debts

* Catanese, Lynn Ann. Guide to Records of the Court of Common Pleas Chester County, Pennsylvania 1681 - 1900 (West Chester: Chester County Historical Society, 1987), 83 - 84