107 US 676 First Nat Bank v. Stewart

107 U.S. 676

2 S.Ct. 778

27 L.Ed. 592

FIRST NAT. BANK of Xenia, Ohio,
STEWART and another, Adm'rs, etc.

April 30, 1883.

John Little, for plaintiff in error.

Geo. Hoadly, E. M. Johnson, and Edwd. Colston, for defendants in error.


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Section 5201 of the Revised Statutes declares that 'no association shall make any loan or discount on the security of the shares of its own capital stock, nor be the purchaser or holder of any such shares, unless such security or purchase shall be necessary to prevent loss upon a debt previously contracted in good faith, and stock so purchased or acquired shall, within six months from the time of its purchase, be sold or disposed of at public or private sale; or, in default thereof, a receiver may be appointed to close up the business of the association.' While this section in terms prohibits a banking association from making a loan upon the security of shares of its own stock, it imposes no penalty, either upon the bank or borrower, if a loan upon such security be made. If, therefore, the prohibition can be urged against the validity of the transaction by any one except the government, it can only be done before the contract is executed, while the security is still subsisting in the hands of the bank. It can then, if at all, be invoked to restrain or defeat the enforcement of the security. When the contract has been executed, the security sold, and the proceeds applied to the payment of the debt, the courts will not interfere with the matter. Both bank and borrower are in such case equally the subjects of legal censure, and they will be left by the courts where they have placed themselves. There is another view of this case. The deceased authorized the bank, in a certain contingency, to sell his shares. Supposing it was unlawful for the bank to take those shares as security for a loan, it was not unlawful to authorize the bank to sell them when the contingency occurred. The shares being sold pursuant to the authority, the proceeds would be in the bank as his property. Ths administrators, indeed, affirm the validity of that sale by suing for the proceeds. As against the deceased, however, the money loaned was an offset to the proceeds. In either view the administrators cannot recover.


The judgment of the court, therefore, must be reversed and the cause remanded for a new trial; and it is so ordered.