1. The state .or condition of one who is a bankrupt; amenability to the bankrupt laws; the condition of one who has committed an act of bankruptcy
, and is liable to be proceeded against by his creditors therefor, or of one whose circumstances are such that he is entitled, on his volimtary application, to take the banefit of the bankrupt laws. The term ls used in a looser sense as synonymous with "insolvency,"— inabliity to pay one's debts; the stopping and breaking up of business because the trader is broken down, insolvent, ruined. Phipps v. Harding, 70 Fed. 468, 17 C. O. A. 203, 30 Li R. A. 613; Arnold v. Maynard, 2 Story, 354, Fed. Cas. No. 561; Bernhardt v. Curtis, 109 La. 171, 33 South. 125, 94 Am. St Rep. 445.
2. The term denotes the proceedings taken under the bankrupt law, aguinst a person (or firm or company) to have him adjudged a bankrupt, and to have his estate administered for the benefit of the creditors, and divided among them.
3. That branch of jurisprudent, or system of law and practice, which is concerned with the definition and ascertainment of acts of bankruptcy and the administration of bankrupts' estates for the benefit of their creditors and the absolution
and restitution of bankrupts. As to the distinction between bankruptcy and insolvency, it may be said that insolvent laws operate at the instance of an imprisoned debtor; bankrupt laws, at the instance of a creditor. But the line or partition between bankrupt and Insolvent laws is not so distinctly marked as to define what belongs exclusively to the one and not to the other class of laws. Sfurges v. Crown-inshield, 4 Wheat. 122
, 4 In Ed. 529. Insolvency means a simple inability to pay. as debts should become payable, whereby the debtor's business would be broken up; bankruptcy means the particular legal status, to be ascertained and declared by a judicial decree. In re Black, 2 Ben. 196, Fed. Cas. No. 1,457. Classification. Bankruptcy (in the sense of proceedings taken under the bankruptcy law) is either voluntary or involuntary; the former where the proceeding is initiated by the debtor's own petition to be adjudged a bsnkrupt and have the banefit of the law (In re Murray [D. C.] 96 Fed. 600; Metsker v. Bonebrake, 108 U. S. 66
, 2 Sup. Ct. 351, 27 In Ed. 654), the latter where he is forced into bankruptcy on the petition of a sufficient number of his creditors.