A seller receives a check from the buyer for the price of goods. When presented to the bank on which it was drawn, payment is refused. The buyer may, or may not, have had sufficient funds on deposit at the time the check was drawn, but insufficient when refused now although becoming sufficient immediately after the check was presented. Or the buyer may have known or have had reason to know that there would be insufficient funds to meet the check. Or the buyer never had an account at the bank. Or the one obtaining the goods may give a fictitious name and indorse the check with that name. Or he may impersonate another person and the check be a forgery. What property, if any, is transferred to the buyer? May the seller reclaim the goods from creditors of the buyer or even from a bona fide purchaser for value and without notice (including mortgagees and pledgees)? Is the answer in any, or all, of the above situations that if the check is bad no property passes except a wrongful possession? Does the property pass conditionally in reference to the buyer and his general creditors? Does the property pass subject only to avoidance for fraud (if present) on equitable principles?


Fraud and Deceit (A Symposium)