Negotiable Instruments Law [Sec. 51-59]

IV. RIGHTS OF THE HOLDER

Sec. 51. Right of holder to sue; payment. – The holder of a negotiable instrument may to sue thereon in his own name; and payment to him in due course discharges the instrument.

Sec. 52. What constitutes a holder in due course. – A holder in due course is a holder who has taken the instrument under the following conditions:

(a) That it is complete and regular upon its face;

(b) That he became the holder of it before it was overdue, and without notice that it has been previously dishonored, if such was the fact;

(c) That he took it in good faith and for value;

(d) That at the time it was negotiated to him, he had no notice of any infirmity in the instrument or defect in the title of the person negotiating it.

Sec. 53. When person not deemed holder in due course. – Where an instrument payable on demand is negotiated on an unreasonable length of time after its issue, the holder is not deemed a holder in due course.

Sec. 54. Notice before full amount is paid. – Where the transferee receives notice of any infirmity in the instrument or defect in the title of the person negotiating the same before he has paid the full amount agreed to be paid therefor, he will be deemed a holder in due course only to the extent of the amount therefore paid by him.

Sec. 55. When title defective. – The title of a person who negotiates an instrument is defective within the meaning of this Act when he obtained the instrument, or any signature thereto, by fraud, duress, or force and fear, or other unlawful means, or for an illegal consideration, or when he negotiates it in breach of faith, or under such circumstances as amount to a fraud.

Sec. 56. What constitutes notice of defect. – To constitutes notice of an infirmity in the instrument or defect in the title of the person negotiating the same, the person to whom it is negotiated must have had actual knowledge of the infirmity or defect, or knowledge of such facts that his action in taking the instrument amounted to bad faith.

Sec. 57. Rights of holder in due course. – A holder in due course holds the instrument free from any defect of title of prior parties, and free from defenses available to prior parties among themselves, and may enforce payment of the instrument for the full amount thereof against all parties liable thereon.

Sec. 58. When subject to original defense. – In the hands of any holder other than a holder in due course, a negotiable instrument is subject to the same defenses as if it were non-negotiable. But a holder who derives his title through a holder in due course, and who is not himself a party to any fraud or illegality affecting the instrument, has all the rights of such former holder in respect of all parties prior to the latter.

Sec. 59. Who is deemed holder in due course. – Every holder is deemed prima facie to be a holder in due course; but when it is shown that the title of any person who has negotiated the instrument was defective, the burden is on the holder to prove that he or some person under whom he claims acquired the title as holder in due course. But the last-mentioned rule does not apply in favor of a party who became bound on the instrument prior to the acquisition of such defective title.

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