Form of negotiation and requirements of due negotiation.
(a) The following rules apply to a negotiable tangible document of title:
(1) If the document's original terms run to the order of a named person, the document is negotiated by the named person's indorsement and delivery. After the named person's indorsement in blank or to bearer, any person may negotiate the document by delivery alone.
(2) If the document's original terms run to bearer, it is negotiated by delivery alone.
(3) If the document's original terms run to the order of a named person and it is delivered to the named person, the effect is the same as if the document had been negotiated.
(4) Negotiation of the document after it has been indorsed to a named person requires indorsement by the named person and delivery.
(5) A document is duly negotiated if it is negotiated in the manner stated in this subsection to a holder that purchases it in good faith, without notice of any defense against or claim to it on the part of any person, and for value, unless it is established that the negotiation is not in the regular course of business or financing or involves receiving the document in settlement or payment of a monetary obligation.
(b) The following rules apply to a negotiable electronic document of title:
(1) If the document's original terms run to the order of a named person or to bearer, the document is negotiated by delivery of the document to another person. Indorsement by the named person is not required to negotiate the document.
(2) If the document's original terms run to the order of a named person and the named person has control of the document, the effect is the same as if the document had been negotiated.
(3) A document is duly negotiated if it is negotiated in the manner stated in this subsection to a holder that purchases it in good faith, without notice of any defense against or claim to it on the part of any person, and for value, unless it is established that the negotiation is not in the regular course of business or financing or involves taking delivery of the document in settlement or payment of a monetary obligation.
(c) Indorsement of a nonnegotiable document of title neither makes it negotiable nor adds to the transferee's rights.
(d) The naming in a negotiable bill of lading of a person to be notified of the arrival of the goods does not limit the negotiability of the bill or constitute notice to a purchaser of the bill of any interest of that person in the goods.
Source:Laws 2005, LB 570, § 86.
Prior Uniform Statutory Provision: Former section 7-501.
Changes: To accommodate negotiable electronic documents of title.
1. Subsection (a) has been limited to tangible negotiable documents of title but otherwise remains unchanged in substance from the rules in former section 7-501. Subsection (b) is new and applies to negotiable electronic documents of title. Delivery of a negotiable electronic document is through voluntary transfer of control. Section 1-201 definition of "delivery". The control concept as applied to negotiable electronic documents of title is the substitute for both possession and indorsement as applied to negotiable tangible documents of title. Section 7-106.
Article 7 does not separately define the term "duly negotiated". However, the elements of "duly negotiated"
are set forth in subsection (a)(5) for tangible documents and (b)(3) for electronic documents. As under former section 7-501, in order to effect a "due negotiation", the negotiation must be in the "regular course of business or financing" in order to transfer greater rights than those held by the person negotiating. The foundation of the mercantile doctrine of good faith purchase for value has always been, as shown by the case situations, the furtherance and protection of the regular course of trade. The reason for allowing a person, in bad faith or in error, to convey away rights which are not its own has from the beginning been to make possible the speedy handling of that great run of commercial transactions which are patently usual and normal.
There are two aspects to the usual and normal course of mercantile dealings, namely, the person making the transfer and the nature of the transaction itself. The first question which arises is: Is the transferor a person with whom it is reasonable to deal as having full powers? In regard to documents of title the only holder whose possession or control appears, commercially, to be in order is almost invariably a person in the trade. No commercial purpose is served by allowing a tramp or a professor to "duly negotiate" an order bill of lading for hides or cotton not their own, and since such a transfer is obviously not in the regular course of business, it is excluded from the scope of the protection of subsection (a)(5) or (b)(3).
The second question posed by the "regular course" qualification is: Is the transaction one which is normally proper to pass full rights without inquiry, even though the transferor itself may not have such rights to pass, and even though the transferor may be acting in breach of duty? In raising this question the "regular course" criterion has the further advantage of limiting the effective wrongful disposition to transactions whose protection will really further trade. Obviously, the snapping up of goods for quick resale at a price suspiciously below the market deserves no protection as a matter of policy: It is also clearly outside the range of regular course.
Any notice on the document sufficient to put a merchant on inquiry as to the "regular course" quality of the transaction will frustrate a "due negotiation". Thus irregularity of the document or unexplained staleness of a bill of lading may appropriately be recognized as negating a negotiation in "regular" course.
A preexisting claim constitutes value, and "due negotiation" does not require "new value". A usual and ordinary transaction in which documents are received as security for credit previously extended may be in "regular" course, even though there is a demand for additional collateral because the creditor "deems himself or herself insecure". But the matter has moved out of the regular course of financing if the debtor is thought to be insolvent, the credit previously extended is in effect cancelled, and the creditor snatches a plank in the shipwreck under the guise of a demand for additional collateral. Where a money debt is "paid" in commodity paper, any question of "regular" course disappears, as the case is explicitly excepted from "due negotiation".
2. Negotiation under this section may be made by any holder no matter how the holder acquired possession or control of the document.
3. Subsections (a)(3) and (b)(2) make explicit a matter upon which the intent of the precode law was clear but the language somewhat obscure: A negotiation results from a delivery to a banker or buyer to whose order the document has been taken by the person making the bailment. There is no presumption of irregularity in such a negotiation; it may very well be in "regular course".
4. This article does not contain any provision creating a presumption of due negotiation to, and full rights in, a holder of
a document of title akin to that created by Uniform Commercial Code article 3. But the reason of the provisions of this code
(section 1-307) on the prima facie authenticity and accuracy of third party documents, joins with the reason of the present
section to work such a presumption in favor of any person who has power to make a due negotiation. It would not make sense for this code to authorize a purchaser to indulge the presumption of regularity if the courts were not also called upon to do so. Allocations of the burden of going forward with the evidence and the burden of proof are left to the procedural law of the
5. Subsections (c) and (d) are unchanged from prior law and apply to both tangible and electronic documents of title.
Sections 1-307, 7-502, and 7-503.
Definitional Cross References:
"Bearer". Section 1-201.
"Control". Section 7-106.
"Delivery". Section 1-201.
"Document of title". Section 1-201.
"Good faith". Sections 1-201 and 7-102.
"Holder". Section 1-201.
"Notice". Section 1-202.
"Person". Section 1-201.
"Purchase". Section 1-201.
"Rights". Section 1-201.
"Term". Section 1-201.
"Value". Section 1-204.