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KREITLEIN V. FERGER, 238 U. S. 21 (1915)

U.S. Supreme Court

Kreitlein v. Ferger, 238 U.S. 21 (1915)

Kreitlein v. Ferger

No. 157

Submitted January 22, 1915

Decided June 1, 1915

238 U.S. 21


Under § 21 of the Bankruptcy Act of 1898, a certified copy of the order of discharge is evidence of the jurisdiction of the court making it, the regularity of the proceedings and of the fact that the order was made.

While the introduction of the order in discharge may make out a prima facie defense, that case may be disproved by introduction by the defendant of the bankruptcy record, if the latter shows that the debt scheduled was not the same as the one sued on, was not a provable debt, was not properly scheduled, or that notice was not properly given to the creditor.

A judgment may be a provable debt even if rendered in a suit where the creditor elected to bring an action in trover as for a fraudulent conversion instead of assumpsit for a balance due on open account.

It is not a fatal defect because the schedule shows the debt as a balance on open account for merchandise instead of a judgment into which the liability for the merchandise had been merged, or because there may have been a difference between the amount of the original debt as scheduled and the amount of the judgment. In such a case, the burden is on the creditor to show that the judgment was not the identical claim scheduled.

The Bankruptcy Act failing to prescribe the form of designation to be

Page 238 U. S. 22

used in listing creditors in the schedule, the use of an initial instead of the use of a full Christian name is not a fatal mistake.

While failure to comply with the statutory requirements to file a list of creditors showing their residence, if known, will render the discharge inoperative against those not receiving actual notice in time to have their claims allowed, quaere where the burden under § 17(3) lies as to proving sufficiency or insufficiency of notice.

Bearing in mind that the Bankruptcy Act does not expressly require the use of initials and addresses, and that its general purpose is to relieve honest bankrupts, held in this case that, as no rules have been made as to addresses in the district in which Indianapolis is located, a schedule listing a creditor's residence simply as Indianapolis is prima facie sufficient.

The facts, which involve the effect of a discharge in bankruptcy, the obligation of the bankrupt to schedule the debts of the creditor, and sufficiency of notice to the creditor, are stated in the opinion.

Page 238 U. S. 24

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