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or order a new election. The judge at any time may, and, upon the request in writing of any creditor who has proved his claim, shall require the assignee to give good and sufficient bond to the United States, with a condition for the faithful performance and discharge of his duties; the bond shall be approved by the judge or register by his indorsement thereon, shall be filed with the record of the case, and inure to the benefit of all creditors proving their claims, and may be prosecuted in the name and for the benefit of any injured party. If the assignee fails to give the bond within such time as the judge orders, not exceeding ten days after notice to him of such order, the judge shall remove him and appoint another in his place.
SEC. 14. And be it further enacted, That as soon as said assignee is appointed and qualified, the judge, or, where there is no opposing interest, the register shall, by an instrument under his hand, assign and convey to the assignee all the estate, real and personal, of the bankrupt, with all his deeds, books, and papers relating thereto, and such assignment shall relate back to the commencement of said proceedings in bankruptcy, and thereupon, by operation of law, the title to all such property and estate, both real and personal, shall vest in said assignee, although the same is then attached on mesne process as the property of the debtor, and shall dissolve any such attachment made within four months next preceding the commencement of said proceedings: Provided, however, That there shall be excepted from the operation of the provisions of this section the necessary household and kitchen furniture, and such other articles and necessaries of such bankrupt as the said assignee shall designate and set apart, having reference in the amount to the family, condition, and circumstances of the bankrupt, but altogether not to exceed in value, in any case, the sum of five hundred dollars ; and also the wearing apparel of such bankrupt, and that of his wife and children, and the uniform, arms, and equipments of any person who is or has been a soldier in the militia or in the service of the United States; and such other property as now is, or hereafter shall be, exempted from attachment, or seizure, or levy on execution by the
laws of the United States, and such other property not included in the foregoing exceptions as is exempted from levy and sale upon execution or other process or order of any court by the laws of the State in which the bankrupt has his domicile at the time of the commencement of the proceedings in bankruptcy, to an amount not exceeding that allowed by such State exemption laws in force in the year eighteen hundred and sixty-four: Provided, That the foregoing exception shall operate as a limitation upon the conveyance of the property of the bankrupt to his assignees, and in no case shall the property hereby excepted pass to the assignees, or the title of the bankrupt there to be impaired or affected by any of the provisions of this act; and the determination of the assignee in the matter shall, on exception taken, be subject to the final decision of the said court: And provided further, That no mortgage of any vessel or of any other goods or chattels, made as security for any debt or debts, in good faith and for present considerations, and otherwise valid, and duly recorded, pursuant to any statute of the United States, or of any State, shall be invalidated or affected hereby; and all the property conveyed by the bankrupt in fraud of his creditors; all rights in equity, choses in action, patents and patent rights and copyrights; all debts due him, or any person for his use, and all liens and securities therefor; and all his rights of action for property or estate, real or personal, and for any cause of action which the bankrupt had against any person arising from contract or from the unlawful taking or detention of or injury to the property of the bankrupt; and all his rights of redeeming such property or estate, with the like right, title, power, and authority to sell, manage, dispose of, sue for, and recover or defend the same, as the bankrupt might or could have had if no assignment had been made, shall, in virtue of the adjudication of bankruptcy and the appointment of his assignee, be at once vested in such assignee; and he may sue for and recover the said estate, debts, and effects, and may prosecute and defend all suits at law or in equity, pending at the time of the adjudication of bankruptcy, in which such bankrupt is a party in his own name, in the same manner and with the like effect as they might have been presented or defended by such bankrupt; and a copy, duly certified by the clerk of the court under the seal thereof, of the assignment made by the judge or register, as the case may be, to him as assignee, shall be conclusive evidence of his title as such assignee to take, hold, sue for, and recover the property of the bankrupt, as hereinbefore mentioned; but no property held by the bankrupt in trust shall pass by such assignment. No person shall be entitled to maintain an action against an assignee in bankruptcy for any thing done by him as such assignee, without previously giving him twenty days' notice of such action, specifying the cause thereof, to the end that such assignee may have an opportunity of tendering amends, should he see fit to do so. No person shall be entitled, as against the assignee, to withhold from him possession of any books of account of the bankrupt, or claim any lien thereon; and no suit in which the assignee is a party shall be abated by his death or removal from office, but the same may be prosecuted and defended by his successor, or by the surviving or remaining assignee, as the case may be. The assignee shall have authority, under the order and direction of the court, to redeem or discharge any mortgage or conditional contract, or pledge or deposit, or lien upon any property, real or personal, whenever payable, and to tender due performance of the condition thereof, or to sell the same subject to such mortgage, lien, or other incumbrances. The debtor shall also, at the request of the assignee, and at the expense of the estate, make and execute any instruments, deeds, and writings which may be proper, to enable the assignee to possess himself fully of all the assets of the bankrupt. The assignee shall immediately give notice of his appointment, by publication at least once a week for three successive weeks, in such newspapers as shall, for that purpose, be designated by the court, due regard being had to their general circulation in the district, or in that portion of the district in which the bankrupt and his creditors shall reside, and shall, within six months, cause the assignment to him to be recorded in every registry of deeds or other office within the United States where a conveyance of any lands owned by the bankrupt ought by law to be recorded ; and the record of such assignment, or a duly certified copy thereof, shall be evidence thereof in all courts.
Sec. 15. And be it further enacted, That the assignee shall demand and receive from any and all persons holding the same all the estate assigned, or intended to be assigned, under the provisions of this act; that unless otherwise ordereil by the court, the assignee shall sell the property of the bankrupt, whether real or personal, at public auction, in such parts or parcels and at such times and places as shall be best calculated to produce the greatest amount with the least expense. All notices of public sales under this act by any assignee or officer of the court shall be published once a week for three consecutive weeks in the newspaper or newspapers, to be designated by the judge, which, in his opinion, shall be best calculated to give general notice of the sale. And the court, on the application of any party in interest, shall have complete supervisory power over such sales, including the power to set aside the same and to order a re-sale, so that the property sold shall realize the largest sum. And the court may, in its discretion, order any real estate of the bankrupt, or any part thereof, to be sold for one-fourth cash at the time of sale, and the residue within eighteen months in such instalments as the court may direct, bearing interest at the rate of seven per centum per annum, and secured by proper mortgage or lien upon the property so sold. And it shall be the duty of every assignee to keep a regular account of all moneys received or expended by him as such assignee, to which account every creditor shall, at reasonable times, have free access.
If any assignee shall fail or neglect to well and faithfully discharge his duties in the sale or disposition of property as above contemplated, it shall be the duty of the court to remove such assignee, and he shall forfeit all fees and emoluments to which he might be entitled in connection with such sale. And if any assignee shall, in any manner, in violation of his duty aforesaid, unfairly or wrongfully sell or dispose of, or in any manner fraudulently or corruptly combine, conspire, or agree with any person or persons, with intent to unfairly or wrongfully sell or dispose of the property committed to his charge, he shall, upon proof thereof, be removed, and forfeit all fees or other compensation for any and all services in connection with such bankrupt's estate, and, upon conviction thereof before any court of competent jurisdiction, shall be liable to a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars, or imprisonment in the penitentiary for a term of not exceeding two years, or both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.
And any person so combining, conspiring, or agreeing with such assignee for the purpose aforesaid shall
, upon conviction, be liable to a like punishment. That the assignee shall report, under oath, to the court, at least as often as once in three months, the condition of the estate in his charge, and the state of his accounts in detail, and at all other times when the court, on motion or otherwise, shall so order. And on any settlement of the accounts of any assignee, he shall be required to account for all interest, benefit, or advantage received, or in any manner agreed to be received, directly or indirectly, from the use, disposal, or proceeds of the bankrupt's estate. And he shall be required, upon such settlement, to make and file in court an affidavit declaring, according to the truth, whether he has or has not, as the case may be, received, or is or is not, as the case may be, to receive, directly or indirectly, any interest, benefit, or advantage from the use or deposit of such funds; and such assignee may be examined orally upon the same subject, and if he shall willfully swear falsely, either in such affidavit or examination, or to his report provided for in this section, he shall be deemed to be guilty of perjury, and, on conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary not less than one and not more than
Sec. 16. And be it further enacted, That the assignee shall have the like remedy to recover all said estate, debts, and effects, in his own name, as the debtor might have had if the decree in bankruptcy had not been rendered and no assignment had been made. If, at the time of the commencement of proceedings in bankruptcy, an action is