RECEIVER, in English law, an officer or manager appointed by a court to administer property for its protection, to receive rent or other income and to pay authorized outgoings. Receivers may be either appointed pendente lite or by way of equitable execution, e.g. for the purpose of enabling a judgment creditor to obtain payment of his debt, when the position of the real estate is such that ordinary execution will not reach it. Formerly receivers were appointed only by the court of chancery, but by the Judicature Act 1873 it is now within the power of all divisions of the High Court to appoint receivers. Their powers and duties are exhaustively set by Kerr, On Receivers (5th ed., 1905), who classifies the cases in which they may be appointed under the following heads: (a) infants; (b) executors and trustees; (c) pending litigation as to probate; (d) mortgagor and mortgagee; (e) debtor and creditor; (f) public companies; (g) vendor and purchaser; (h) covenanter and covenantee; (i) tenant for life and remainderman; (j) partners; (k) lunacy; (1) tenants in common; (m) possession under legal title, and (n) other cases. The appointment of receivers is entirely within the discretion of the courts, and the power may be exercised "in all cases in which it shall appear just and convenient." Application for a receiver is usually made by motion, and the court will appoint the fittest person, without regard to who may propose him, the appointment of a receiver being for the benefit of all parties. Under the Conveyancing Act 1881, when a mortgagee has become entitled to exercise his powers of sale, he may, by writing under his hand, appoint such person as he think fit to be receiver. In bankruptcy practice a receiver, termed official receiver, is an officer of the court who in this capacity takes possession on the making of a receiving order, of all a debtor's assets. He is also an officer of the Board of Trade with the duty of taking cognisance of the conduct of the debtor and administering his estates (see Bank Ruptcy).
Receiver-general is the title given to a chief receiver, more especially as applied to the collection of public revenue. The title survived in the Inland Revenue up to 1891, but it is now only used as the designation of an officer of the duchy court of Lancaster, who receives the revenues, &c., of the duchy.
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