Debt recovery

Unpaid bills in Germany

All parties who have signed the bill prior to the holder are sureties for the payment of it. Thus an indorser who receives notice of dishonour will give notice to the person who indorsed it to him, and so forth, until the drawer receives notice. After the acceptor, the debtor is, of course, primarily liable. Moreover, failure to present for acceptance (where this is required) will discharge the deptor and previous lawyers.
Unless a bill is payable on demand it need not normally be presented for acceptance; moreover, if it is so payable, we have already seen that a German holder need not present it if he transfers the bill to another person in Germany within a reasonable time.
All bills must be presented for payment at the proper time. A bill payable on demand must be presented by the holder within a reasonable time of receiving it (unless he indorses it to someone else). A bill payable by a customer in Germany upon a fixed date must be presented for payment upon that date. If the acceptor refuses to pay, his refusal constitutes 'dishonour'' and the holder must give notice to prior holders, as in the case of dishonour by non-acceptance.
The effect of dishonour is, as has been stated, that the acceptor, and all parties who are prior in order of time to the present holder, are liable upon the bill. Any one of these parties who pays has rights against parties prior to him. Thus, suppose that W is drawer, X acceptor, Y indorser and Z holder; X dishonours the bill by nonpayment, and Z is paid by Y. Y may claim against W or X. If W pays Y, he may still sue X.
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