This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Bankruptcy Laws. The legal regulations under which the property of an insolvent may be distributed among his creditors, with the double object of enforcing a complete discovery and an even distribution of the property, and of discharging the debtor from his obligations and from being molested in the future by his creditors. Formerly only a merchant or a trader could be made a bankrupt under the Bankruptcy Laws, all other persons who were unable to meet their debts being termed insolvents, but this distinction is now abolished in the United States, and all debtors come under the same head. Congress has the sole power of enacting Bankruptcy Laws which shall be uniform throughout all the states. Those laws are administered by the United States Court. Involuntary Bankruptcy is adjudged on the petition of creditors, showing cause why the debtor should not be allowed to continue in possession of his assets. Voluntary Bankruptcy is adjudged on the petition of the debtor, indicating his desire to surrender his assets and be discharged. [See Inventory, Schedule]