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Bills of Exchange Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. B-4)

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Act current to 2020-01-27 and last amended on 2007-04-20. Previous Versions

PART IIBills of Exchange (continued)

Liabilities of Parties (continued)

Marginal note:Liability by signature

 No person is liable as drawer, endorser or acceptor of a bill who has not signed it as such, but when a person signs a bill otherwise than as a drawer or acceptor, he thereby incurs the liabilities of an endorser to a holder in due course and is subject to all the provisions of this Act respecting endorsers.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 131

Marginal note:Trade-name or assumed name

  •  (1) Where a person signs a bill in a trade-name or assumed name, he is liable thereon as if he had signed it in his own name.

  • Marginal note:Firm name

    (2) The signature of the name of a firm is equivalent to the signature, by the person so signing, of the names of all persons liable as partners in that firm.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 132

Marginal note:Endorser

 The endorser of a bill by endorsing it, subject to the effect of any express stipulation authorized by this Act,

  • (a) engages that on due presentment it shall be accepted and paid according to its tenor, and that if it is dishonoured he will compensate the holder or a subsequent endorser who is compelled to pay it, if the requisite proceedings on dishonour are duly taken;

  • (b) is precluded from denying to a holder in due course the genuineness and regularity in all respects of the drawer’s signature and all previous endorsements; and

  • (c) is precluded from denying to his immediate or a subsequent endorsee that the bill was, at the time of his endorsement, a valid and subsisting bill, and that he had then a good title thereto.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 133

Marginal note:Measure of damages

 Where a bill is dishonoured, the measure of damages, which shall be deemed to be liquidated damages, are

  • (a) the amount of the bill;

  • (b) interest thereon from the time of presentment for payment, if the bill is payable on demand, and from the maturity of the bill in any other case; and

  • (c) the expenses of noting and protesting.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 134

Marginal note:Recovery of damages

 In the case of a bill that has been dishonoured, the holder may recover from any party liable on the bill, the drawer who has been compelled to pay the bill may recover from the acceptor, and an endorser who has been compelled to pay the bill may recover from the acceptor or from the drawer, or from a prior endorser, the damages prescribed in section 133.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 135

Marginal note:Re-exchange and interest

 In the case of a bill that has been dishonoured abroad, in addition to the damages prescribed in section 133, the holder may recover from the drawer or any endorser, and the drawer or an endorser who has been compelled to pay the bill may recover from any party liable to him, the amount of the re-exchange with interest thereon until the time of payment.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 136

Marginal note:Transferor by delivery

  •  (1) Where the holder of a bill payable to bearer negotiates it by delivery without endorsing it, he is called a “transferor by delivery”.

  • Marginal note:Liability of transferor

    (2) A transferor by delivery is not liable on the instrument.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 137

Marginal note:Warranty by transferor

 A transferor by delivery who negotiates a bill thereby warrants to his immediate transferee, being a holder for value, that

  • (a) the bill is what it purports to be;

  • (b) he has a right to transfer it; and

  • (c) at the time of transfer, he is not aware of any fact that renders it valueless.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 138

Discharge of Bill

Marginal note:Payment

  •  (1) A bill is discharged by payment in due course by or on behalf of the drawee or acceptor.

  • Marginal note:Payment in due course

    (2) Payment in due course means payment made at or after the maturity of the bill to the holder thereof in good faith and without notice that his title to the bill is defective.

  • Marginal note:Accommodation bill

    (3) Where an accommodation bill is paid in due course by the party accommodated, the bill is discharged.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 139

Marginal note:Payment by drawer or endorser

 Subject to the provisions of section 138 with respect to an accommodation bill, when a bill is paid by the drawer or endorser, it is not discharged, but,

  • (a) where a bill payable to, or to the order of, a third party is paid by the drawer, the drawer may enforce payment thereof against the acceptor, but may not reissue the bill; and

  • (b) where a bill is paid by an endorser, or where a bill payable to drawer’s order is paid by the drawer, the party paying it is remitted to his former rights as regards the acceptor or antecedent parties, and he may, if he thinks fit, strike out his own and subsequent endorsements and again negotiate the bill.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 140

Marginal note:Acceptor holding at maturity

 When the acceptor of a bill is or becomes the holder of it, at or after its maturity, in his own right, the bill is discharged.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 141

Marginal note:Renouncing rights

  •  (1) When the holder of a bill, at or after its maturity, absolutely and unconditionally renounces his rights against the acceptor, the bill is discharged.

  • Marginal note:Against one party

    (2) The liabilities of any party to a bill may in like manner be renounced by the holder before, at or after its maturity.

  • Marginal note:In writing

    (3) A renunciation must be in writing, unless the bill is delivered to the acceptor.

  • Marginal note:Holder in due course

    (4) Nothing in this section affects the rights of a holder in due course without notice of renunciation.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 142

Marginal note:Cancellation of bill

  •  (1) Where a bill is intentionally cancelled by the holder or his agent and the cancellation is apparent thereon, the bill is discharged.

  • Marginal note:Of any signature

    (2) In like manner, any party liable on a bill may be discharged by the intentional cancellation of his signature by the holder or his agent.

  • Marginal note:Discharge of endorser

    (3) In any case described in subsection (2), any endorser who would have had a right of recourse against the party whose signature is cancelled is also discharged.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 143

Marginal note:Unintentional cancellation

 A cancellation made unintentionally, or under a mistake, or without the authority of the holder, is inoperative, but where a bill or any signature thereon appears to have been cancelled, the burden of proof lies on the party who alleges that the cancellation was made unintentionally, or under a mistake, or without authority.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 144

Marginal note:Alteration of bill

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), where a bill or an acceptance is materially altered without the assent of all parties liable on the bill, the bill is voided, except as against a party who has himself made, authorized or assented to the alteration and subsequent endorsers.

  • Marginal note:Right of holder in due course

    (2) Where a bill has been materially altered, but the alteration is not apparent, and the bill is in the hands of a holder in due course, the holder may avail himself of the bill as if it had not been altered and may enforce payment of it according to its original tenor.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 145

Marginal note:Material alteration

 In particular, any alteration

  • (a) of the date,

  • (b) of the sum payable,

  • (c) of the time of payment,

  • (d) of the place of payment, or

  • (e) by the addition of a place of payment without the acceptor’s assent where a bill has been accepted generally,

is a material alteration.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 146
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