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Bill of Sale

absolute, grantor, transfer, bills, called and execution

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BILL OF SALE of a ship.—Every transfer of a British ship is required to be by way of a bill of sale, that is to say in the form specified in the Mer chant Shipping Act, and of which a copy is reproduced in this work. The document must be under seal, attested by a witness and registered by the registrar of the port at which the ship is registered. The peculiar character istics of ships, their ownership, transfer, and mortgage, will be discussed in the article on SHIPS.

A bill of sale of goods and chattels may be either absolute or conditional ; the former of which will be first considered.

Absolute : of goods and chattels.—The party who, being the owner of goods and chattels, transfers or assigns them to another, is called the grantor; the other party is called the grantee. Wherever the grantor continues in the possession of the property at the time of and after the transfer or assign ment, the document of transfer is called a bill of sale ; when the transfer or assignment is absolute, the bill of sale is called absolute : w hen conditional, as where the property is to re-vest in the grantor upon the happening of some event, as e.g., the repayment of money lent, the bill of sale is called conditional. Broadly speaking, where a bill of sale is given by way of security for payment of money, it is a conditional one ; if given otherwise than such a security, it is absolute. Absolute bills of sale may be given in any form the parties desire ; thus the following may be absolute bills of sale: assignments, transfers, declarations of trust without transfer, inventories of goods with receipt thereto attached, or receipts for the purchase-moneys of goods. The following are not bills of sale : assignments for the benefit of creditors, ante-nuptial marriage settlements, transfers of goods in the ordinary course of business. Nor are : bills of lading, warehouse-keepers' certificates, warrants or orders for the delivery of goods, or any other documents used in the ordinary course of business as proof of the possession or control of goods; or authorising, either by indorsement or delivery, the possessor of such docu ment to transfer or receive goods thereby specified.

Necessary requirements.—In respect to documents which are absolute bills of sale, it is provided that they should be duly attested, registered within seven days, and duly set forth the consideration. We will deal with these three requisites in their order ; and first with the attestation. The execution of the bill of sale must be attested by a solicitor, and the attestation is required to state that before execution, the effect of the bill of sale had been explained to the grantor by the attesting solicitor. Registration is to be made in the central office of the Royal Courts of Justice within seven clear days after the making or giving of the bill of sale. A true copy of the bill is filed, and upon application for registration it must be accompanied by an affidavit. The copy must include everything contained in the bill of sale—schedules, inven tories, and attestations ; and the affidavit must state the time when the bill of sale was made and of its execution and attestation, also the residence and occupation of the grantor and of every attestine. witness. Registration, to be effective, is to be renewed once at least in every five years. The consideration must be truly stated in the bill of sale; that is to say, the latter must state clearly and accurately the value or advantage which passed to the grantor from the grantee and for which the bill of sale was given.

The effect of non-compliance with the above requisites is to render the bill of sale fraudulent and void as against the trustee in a subsequent bankruptcy of the grantor, or under an assignment for the benefit of his creditors ; and also as against the sheriff or other persons levying executions, and execution creditors. But as between grantor and grantee the bill of sale is good not withstanding such non-compliance.

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