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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)

Negotiation (continued)

Marginal note:Presumption

 Except where an endorsement bears date after the maturity of the bill, every negotiation is, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, deemed to have been effected before the bill was overdue.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 71

Marginal note:Taking bill with notice of dishonour

 Where a bill that is not overdue has been dishonoured, any person who takes it with notice of the dishonour takes it subject to any defect of title attaching thereto at the time of dishonour, but nothing in this section affects the rights of a holder in due course.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 72

Marginal note:Reissue of bill

 Where a bill is negotiated back to the drawer, to a prior endorser or to the acceptor, that party may, subject to this Act, reissue and further negotiate the bill, but he is not entitled to enforce the payment of the bill against any intervening party to whom he was previously liable.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 73

Rights and Powers of Holder

Marginal note:Rights and powers of holder

 The rights and powers of the holder of a bill are as follows:

  • (a) he may sue on the bill in his own name;

  • (b) where he is a holder in due course, he holds the bill free from any defect of title of prior parties, as well as from mere personal defences available to prior parties among themselves, and may enforce payment against all parties liable on the bill;

  • (c) where his title is defective, if he negotiates the bill to a holder in due course, that holder obtains a good and complete title to the bill; and

  • (d) where his title is defective, if he obtains payment of the bill, the person who pays him in due course gets a valid discharge for the bill.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 74

Presentment for Acceptance

Marginal note:When presentment for acceptance necessary

  •  (1) Where a bill is payable at sight or after sight, presentment for acceptance is necessary in order to fix the maturity of the instrument.

  • Marginal note:Express stipulation

    (2) Where a bill expressly stipulates that it shall be presented for acceptance, or where a bill is drawn payable elsewhere than at the residence or place of business of the drawee, it must be presented for acceptance before it can be presented for payment.

  • Marginal note:Other cases

    (3) In no other case is presentment for acceptance necessary in order to render liable any party to the bill.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 75

Marginal note:Presentment excused

 Where the holder of a bill, drawn payable elsewhere than at the place of business or residence of the drawee, has not time, with the exercise of reasonable diligence, to present the bill for acceptance before presenting it for payment on the day that it falls due, the delay caused by presenting the bill for acceptance before presenting it for payment is excused and does not discharge the drawer and endorsers.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 76

Marginal note:Sight bill

  •  (1) Subject to this Act, when a bill payable at sight or after sight is negotiated, the holder must either present it for acceptance or negotiate it within a reasonable time.

  • Marginal note:If not presented

    (2) If the holder does not comply with the requirement of subsection (1), the drawer and all endorsers prior to that holder are discharged.

  • Marginal note:Reasonable time

    (3) In determining what is a reasonable time within the meaning of this section, regard shall be had to the nature of the bill, the usage of trade with respect to similar bills and the facts of the particular case.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 77

Marginal note:Rules for presenting for acceptance

 A bill is duly presented for acceptance that is presented in accordance with the following rules:

  • (a) the presentment must be made by or on behalf of the holder to the drawee or to a person authorized to accept or refuse acceptance on his behalf, at a reasonable hour on a business day and before the bill is overdue;

  • (b) where a bill is addressed to two or more drawees who are not partners, presentment must be made to all of them, unless one has authority to accept for all, in which case presentment may be made to him only;

  • (c) where the drawee is dead, presentment may be made to his personal representative; and

  • (d) where authorized by agreement or usage, a presentment through the post office is sufficient.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 78

Marginal note:Excuses

  •  (1) Presentment in accordance with the rules set out in section 77 is excused, and a bill may be treated as dishonoured by non-acceptance where

    • (a) the drawee is dead, or is a fictitious person or a person not having capacity to contract by bill;

    • (b) after the exercise of reasonable diligence, the presentment cannot be effected; or

    • (c) although the presentment has been irregular, acceptance has been refused on some other ground.

  • Marginal note:No excuse

    (2) The fact that the holder has reason to believe that the bill, on presentment, will be dishonoured does not excuse presentment.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 79

Marginal note:Time for acceptance

  •  (1) The drawee may accept a bill on the day of its due presentment to him for acceptance or at any time within two days thereafter.

  • Marginal note:Dishonour

    (2) When a bill is duly presented for acceptance and is not accepted within the time mentioned in subsection (1), the person presenting it must treat it as dishonoured by non-acceptance.

  • Marginal note:Loss of rights

    (3) If the person does not treat the bill as dishonoured, the holder loses his right of recourse against the drawer and endorsers.

  • Marginal note:Date of acceptance

    (4) In the case of a bill payable at sight or after sight, the acceptor may date his acceptance thereon as of any of the days mentioned in subsection (1) but not later than the day of his actual acceptance of the bill.

  • Marginal note:Refusing acceptance

    (5) If the acceptance is not dated as described in subsection (4), the holder may refuse to take the acceptance and may treat the bill as dishonoured by non-acceptance.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 80

Marginal note:Dishonour by non-acceptance

 A bill is dishonoured by non-acceptance when

  • (a) it is duly presented for acceptance and such an acceptance as is prescribed by this Act is refused or cannot be obtained; or

  • (b) presentment for acceptance is excused and the bill is not accepted.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 81

Marginal note:Recourse

 Subject to this Act, when a bill is dishonoured by non-acceptance, an immediate right of recourse against the drawer and endorsers accrues to the holder, and no presentment for payment is necessary.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 82

Marginal note:Qualified acceptance

  •  (1) The holder of a bill may refuse to take a qualified acceptance and, if he does not obtain an unqualified acceptance, may treat the bill as dishonoured by non-acceptance.

  • Marginal note:Presumption of assent

    (2) When the drawer or endorser of a bill receives notice of a qualified acceptance and does not within a reasonable time express his dissent to the holder, he shall be deemed to have assented thereto.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 83

Marginal note:Qualified acceptance without authority

  •  (1) Where a qualified acceptance is taken and the drawer or endorser has not expressedly or impliedly authorized the holder to take a qualified acceptance, or does not subsequently assent thereto, the drawer or endorser is discharged from his liability on the bill.

  • Marginal note:Partial acceptance

    (2) This section does not apply to a partial acceptance of which due notice has been given.

  • R.S., c. B-5, s. 84
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