Bankruptcy laws originally applied only to traders. One who was not a trader could not become or be made a bankrupt. The law of 1800 applied to merchants actually using the trade of merchandizing, or engaged as a banker, broker, factor, underwriter or marine insurer. The present law, however, is a very wide one and has an extensive application. We shall consider the subject under these general headings: (A) In respect to the business or calling of the debtor, (B) In respect to the legal status of the debtor, (C) in respect to the amount which the debtor owes.
The bankrupt must come within the provisions of the law. Consent by one not subject to the law cannot confer jurisdiction.46