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One who is the holder or possessor of an instrument that is negotiable—for example, a check, a draft, or a note—and upon which a specific payee is not designated.
A negotiable instrument that is payable to "bearer" or to "cash" or to "the order of cash," that is, not naming a payee, is a bearer instrument, and is called "bearer" paper.
n. anyone holding something, such as a check, promissory note, bank draft, or bond. This becomes important when the document (generally called a "negotiable instrument") states it is "payable to bearer," which means whoever holds this paper it can receive the funds due on it.
bearernoun acceptor, carrier, casher, check holder, draft holder, grantee, holder, possessor, receiver, recipient, taker, transferee
Associated concepts: bearer check, bearer instrument, bearer note, bearer paper, negotiable instruments
bearerthe person holding. Where a BILL OF EXCHANGE or a security is made payable ‘to bearer’, anyone who presents the bill or security may claim payment; in the case of a transfer, indorsement is not necessary. A bearer bill (of exchange) is therefore one made out to the bearer.
BEARER. One who bears or carries a thing.
2. If a bill or note be made payable to bearer, it will pass by delivery only, without endorsement; and whoever fairly acquires a right to it, may maintain an action against the drawer or acceptor.
3. It has been decided that the bearer of a bank note, payable to bearer, is not an assignee of a chose in action within the 11th section of the judiciary act of, 1789, c. 20, limiting the jurisdiction of the circuit court. 3 Mason, R. 308.
4. Bills payable to bearer are contra-distinguished from those payable to order, which can be transferred only by endorsement and delivery.
5. Bills payable to fictitious payees, are considered as bills payable to, bearer.