Handcuffing of a bankrupt is the act of banning a person from administering, litigating or disposing of his personal property and assigning that to a trustee (administrator of bankruptcy). It comes forth in execution and pursuance of the judgement of declaration of bankruptcy.

In ancient days, the body of the debtor as well as his personal property were exposed to execution. He was sold or slaved, or his corpse was apportioned among his creditors. It was well known that " He who cannot pay with his purse pays with his skin”.

The object of handcuffing a bankrupt is twofold: (a) To provide for equality in the distribution of the debtor's property among creditors of the same rank, and,,

(b) To enable a person embarrassed with debts to rid himself of his liabilities in a proper manner so that he can make a fresh start.

Handcuffing of a bankrupt is immediately effective from the day in which the judgement of declaration of bankruptcy is issued. Actions taken by the bankrupt on the day the afore-mentioned judgement is issued are considered as having taken place after its issue. The Operation of handcuffing of a bankrupt persists until the occurrence of.

(1) A court settlement is concluded between the bankrupt and the majority of the creditors; or (2) A state of union of creditors comes into being.