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Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning Chapter 32 Nature of the Debtor-Creditor Relationship Twomey Jennings Anderson’s Business Law and the Legal Environment, Comprehensive 20e Anderson’s Business Law and the Legal Environment, Standard 20e Business Law: Principles for Today’s Commercial Environment 2e
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 2 Suretyship and Guaranty A suretyship and guaranty both promise to answer for the debt or default of another, but are not the same. –A surety is equally liable for the debtor’s debt. –A guarantor is ordinarily only secondarily liable, which means that the guarantor does not pay until the creditor has exhausted all avenues of recovery.
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 3 Suretyship and Guaranty Creditor Debtor/PrincipalSurety Absolute GuarantyDebtor/Principal Creditor Debtor/Principal Guaranty Surety and Absolute Guaranty are both liable to the creditor immediately upon the debtor’s default. A (non-absolute) Guaranty is liable only after the creditor has exhausted all options for collecting from the debtor.
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 4 Sureties have a number of rights to protect them. They are: –Exoneration, –Subrogation, –Indemnity, and –Contribution. Rights and Defenses of Sureties
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 5 Sureties also have certain defenses: –Ordinary contract defenses –Some defenses peculiar to suretyship, such as release of collateral, change in loan terms, substitution of debtor, and fraud by the creditor. Rights and Defenses of Sureties
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 6 1.Fraud by Debtor 2.Misrepresentation by Debtor 3.Changes in Loan Terms (e.g., extension of payment, compensated surety) 4.Release of principal Debtor 5.Bankruptcy of Principal Debtor 6.Insolvency of Principal Debtor 7.Death of Principal Debtor 8.Incapacity of Principal Debtor 9.Lack of Enforcement by Creditor 10.Creditor’s Failure to Give Notice of Default 11.Failure of Creditor to Resort to Collateral No Release of Surety
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 7 Release of Surety 1.Proper Performance by Debtor 2.Release, Surrender, or Destruction of Collateral (to extent of value of collateral) 3.Substitution of Debtor 4.Fraud/Misrepresentation by Creditor 5.Refusal by Creditor to Accept Payment from Debtor 6.Change in Loan Terms (uncompensated surety only) 7.Statute of Frauds 8.Statute of Limitations
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 8 ABC Bank 2038 First Avenue Camden, NJ October 7, 2003 Letter #3133 For:John Hoskins 14 Smith Lane _ _ _, _ _ By order of:Jan Kent Kent Products, Inc Lee Blvd. Camden, NJ ABC Bank has established in your favor an irrevocable letter of credit up to an amount of $400,000 (four hundred thousand dollars) available by your drafts on or before [date] accompanied by a bill of lading showing shipment of [identify goods] by you to [name and address of buyer] by [identify carrier], an invoice covering such shipment, and an insurance policy providing [state coverage] of the goods for the benefit of [name of insured]. ____________________________ ABC Bank Manager IssuerBeneficiary; Drawer of Drafts Under the Letter of Credit Customer of Issuer Letters of Credit
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 9 Letters of Credit A letter of credit is a three-party agreement that the issuer (usually a bank) will pay drafts drawn by the beneficiary of the letter. The parties to a letter of credit are the issuer, the customer who makes the arrangement with the issuer, and the beneficiary, who will be the drawer of the drafts. The letter of credit continues for any time it specifies.
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 10 Letters of Credit (cont’d) The letter of credit must be in writing and signed by the issuer. Consideration is not required to establish or modify a letter of credit. If the conditions in the letter of credit have been complied with, the issuer is obligated to honor drafts drawn under the letter of credit.
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