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May sign appeal bonds, Moffet vs. Koch, 106 La. 371; Holmes vs. R. R., 49 A. 1466; Oil Co. vs. Matheson, 48 A. 1321.

Under Sec. 2, Act 203, 1908, p. 303, home fidelity and surety companies may organize with a capital of $100,000.

Deposit to Secure Company May Be Made.

3810. [Sec. 2.] It shall be unlawful for any party of whom a bond or understanding is required, to agree with such company, acting as surety for the deposit of any or all moneys for which such sureties are or may be held responsible with a trust company or bank authorized by law to receive deposits, if such deposit is otherwise proper; and also for the safekeeping of any or all other depositable assets for which such sureties may be held responsible with a safe deposit company, or bank authorized by law to do business as such, in such manner as to prevent the withdrawal of such money or assets or any part thereof, except with the written consent of such surety, or an order of court made on such notice to them as the court may direct.

Capital Investment.

[Sec. 3.]

3811. [Sec. 3.] No company shall act as surety on such bonds, undertakings or obligations unless at least one hundred thousand dollars of its cash capital is invested in securities created by the laws of the United States or by or under the laws of the State where it is incorporated, or in other safe, marketable, and interest-bearing stocks or securities, the value of which at the time of such deposit shall be at or above par, and unless such securities are deposited with and held by the insurance commissioner, auditor, comptroller, or other chief financial officer of the State, where said company is domiciled in trust for the benefit of all the obligees of such company in the United States, and not subject to withdrawal until all outstanding obligations of suretyship of such company in the United States are terminated and satisfied.

Deposit With State Treasurer.

3812. [Sec. 1, Act 71, 1904, p. 185.] All guaranty, fidelity, surety and bond companies doing business in this State shall deposit with the State Treasurer either in money, United States or State, levee district, or approved municipal bonds of the State, or the bonds of any other State of the United States, the bonds or stock of any city of the first or second-class under the latest Federal census, or the bonds of any first-class railroad

or railroad system, commanding not less than par at the time of the deposit, this approval to be by the Secretary of State, the value of said deposit to be maintained, the sum of at least fifty ($50,000.00) thousand dollars, to be held subject to any claims, liens or judgments that may be judicially obtained against them in the courts of this State, or the Federal courts in this State, or arising from any contract of insurance, or indemnity, or fidelity, of guaranty entered into in this State, and to be liable to seizure and sale at the instance of any judgment creditor of such companies, under judgment obtained in any of the courts of this State or of the Federal courts in this State against them. Company not good surety unless it has made this deposit, Ansley vs. Stewart, 121 La. 629.

Penalty.

3813. [Sec. 2.] Any company failing to deposit such sum on or before the first day of January, 1905, shall forfeit its right to do any business in this State, and the Secretary of State shall revoke its authority to do any further business. And any company doing business in this State after such revocation of authority by the Secretary of State shall be liable to all fines and penalties that now attach by existing laws to companies doing business in this State without proper authority.

Withdrawing from State.

3814. [Sec. 3.] Whenever any of the said companies desire to withdraw from doing business in this State it shall be permitted to do so upon furnishing the Secretary of State with satisfactory proof that it has paid and settled all claims against it on risks incurred in this State and shall then be permitted to withdraw any sums or bonds that it may have deposited under the provisions of this Act; provided, that for the purposes of said withdrawal, the Secretary of State shall not require evidence of the formal cancellation of the bonds of public officials, but shall accept the quietus issued to said official and in cases where no quietus issues under the law, the lapse of one year from the officer's term of office shall for the purpose of this withdrawal be tantamount to a quietus.

Application to do Business.

3815. [Sec. 4.] All such companies before transacting any such business in this State, shall file with the Secretary of State a written application to be authorized to do so, a copy of

its charter or act of incorporation, and a statement, signed and sworn to by its president and secretary, stating the amount of its paid-up cash capital particularizing each item of investment, the amount of premium on existing bonds upon which it is surety and the amount of liability for unearned portion thereof estimated at 50 per centum of the annual premium on all outstanding risks for one year or less, and pro rata for terms of more than one year; specifying also the amount of its outstanding debts. of all kinds; and the amount of its income and expenditures for the preceding year, specifying the item thereof. And if such company is incorporated under the laws of any other State than this State, it shall besides, file a power of attorney appointing some resident of this State upon whom service of process can be made as required by existing laws.

Agent for process, In re Curtis, 115 La. 918.

Annual Statement.

3816. [Sec. 5.] Every such company shall annually, in the month of January, file with the Secretary of State a similar statement to that required by the previous section and shall also furnish him with a certificate from the officer with whom the deposit required by Section 3 of this Act is made, showing the description of such securities and the manner in which they are held and stating that he is satisfied that such securities are fully worth one hundred thousand dollars; and shall besides, furnish the Secretary of State with such other information touching its condition and credit as he may require, signed and sworn to, as above directed.

Certificate of Authority.

3817. [Sec. 6.] If the Secretary of State be satisfied that such company is solvent; that it has the cash capital as provided in Section 1 hereof, and surplus assets in excess of its capital stock, its outstanding debts and the premium reserve in such Section 4 specified, and that it has complied in all respects with and is qualified under this Act, he shall issue to it, and to each of its agents in this State his certificate that it is authorized to become and be accepted as sole surety on all bonds, undertakings, or obligations required or permitted by law, or such ordinances, rules and regulations of any municipality, board, body, or public officers and such certificate shall be conclusive proof of its solvency and credit for all purposes, and of its right to be so accepted as such sole surety and its sufficiency as such.

Examinations by. Secretary of State.

3818. [Sec. 7.] The Secretary of State shall have the right at any time, and at the expense of the company to personally or by persons appointed by him, examine into the affairs of any such company, doing or desiring to do business in this State, and shall have free access to its books, papers, etc., and may examine under oath, its officers and agents in relation to its affairs, and shall revoke its authority to do such business whenever such examination shall be refused or whenever from its statement, or from such examination, it shall appear to him that it can not or does not comply with the provisions of this act or is not qualified to act as surety thereunder and thereupon cause notice of such revocation to be published, and thereafter such company shall cease doing such business in this State.

Estopped from Denying Power.

3819. [Sec. 8.] No company having signed such bond or bonds shall be permitted to deny its corporate power to execute said instrument, or incur such liability in any proceeding to enforce liability against it thereunder and such company shall be sueable in the same jurisdiction as the principal obligee on such bond, and citation shall be served on it, or its attorney for services of process, as is by law in such cases provided.

Scope of Act.

3820. [Sec. 9.] This act is not intended in any manner except as above provided to change existing laws on the subject of suretyship, and except to permit such a company to act and be accepted as sole surety on all bonds, undertakings and obligations required or permitted by the laws of this State, or the ordinances, rules or regulations of any municipality, board, or public officer.

INTEREST.

3821. [C. C. Art. 2924.] Interest is either legal or conventional. Legal interest is fixed at the following rates, to wit: At five per cent. on all sums which are the object of a judicial demand. Whence this is called judicial interest;

And on sums discounted at banks at the rate established by their charters.

The amount of the conventional interest cannot exceed eight per cent. The same must be fixed in writing; testimonial proof of it is not admitted in any case.

Except in the cases herein provided, if any persons shall pay on any contract a higher rate of interest than the above, as discount or otherwise, the same may be sued for and recovered within two years from the time of such payment.

The owner or discounter of any note or bond or other written evidence of debt for the payment of money, payable to order or bearer or by assignment, shall have the right to claim and recover the full amount of such note, bond or other written evidence of debt, and all interest not beyond eight per cent. per annum interest that may accrue thereon, notwithstanding that the rate of interest or discount at which the same may be or may have been discounted has been beyond the rate of eight per cent. per annum interest or discount; but this provision shall not apply to the banking institutions of this State in operation under existing laws.

The owner of any promissory note, bond or other written evidence of debt for the payment of money to order or bearer or transferrable by assignment shall have the right to collect the whole amount of such promissory note, bond or other written evidence of debt for the payment of money, notwithstanding such promissory note, bond or other written evidence of debt for the payment of money may include a greater rate of interest or discount than eight per cent. per annum; provided such obligation shall not bear more than eight per cent. per annum after maturity until paid.

Provided however where usury is a defense to a suit on a promissory note or other contract of similar character, that it is permissible for the defendant to show said usury whether same was given by way of discount or otherwise, by any competent evidence. (Amd. Act 68, 1908, p. 83.)

For authorities, see 899, p. 281.

Rate of Bank Discount.

3822. [R. S. 1887.] Bankers and banking companies shall be entitled to charge and receive discount at a rate not greater than the maximum allowed by law on conventional obligations; and their other contracts shall be regulated by the laws in regard to interest upon contracts between individuals.

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