In law, a referee is a judicial official who acts as a master in proceedings (i.e. an official who assist the judge in limited manners, usually pertaining to fact-finding). The term referee, however, has a special significance in bankruptcy proceedings. Chapter V of the National Bankruptcy Act of 1898 created the office of referee to conduct duties such as, but not limited to, administering oaths, examining witnesses, and even taking possession of property. Chapter VI of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978, however, eliminated the office of referee and replaced it with a system of permanent bankruptcy judges.