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SECTION 7.–That this Act shall take effect from and after the date of its passage.

Approved, March 10, 1904.

AN ACT

AUTHORIZING AGRICULTURISTS TO CONTRACT LOANS GUARAN

TEED BY PRODUCTS AND AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENTS,
AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Be it enacted by the Legislative Assembly of Porto Rico:

SECTION 1.–The agriculturists may contract loans upon products and agricultural implements, which they shall keep in their hands carefully and gratuitously while serving as guaranty for money loaned.

SECTION 2.—There shall be admitted, as guaranty for this special kind of loans, crops gathered, or to be gathered, farm products, grain, seeds, vegetables, alcoholic beverages, molasses, sugar, tobacco, sea salts, building lumber, dry plants, cattle, fowls, carts and portable agricultural machinery and implements.

SECTION 3.—The agriculturist desirous of contracting a loan upon said articles shall appear before the municia pal court with two responsible witnesses, and sign, together with the municipal judge of the town where said articles may be found, and on the stub book kept for the purpose by the municipal court, a sworn statement clearly detailing the amount, class and current price on said day of the goods which are to act as guaranty, which goods must be of his own property, stating also the amount he is to solicit with the said guaranty. This document shall bear the seal of the municipal court and be signed by the judge and the agriculturist, or by the clerk of said court if the said agriculturist does not know how to sign. The part taken off the stub book, which shall be the same as the original, shall be the certificate enabling the agriculturist to procure the loan.

SECTION 4.-In the said certificate there shall be stated whether the products are insured or not, and if they be insured, the name and address of the insurer. The holders of the certificate shall have the same right on the insurance as they have on the article insured.

SECTION 5.-Any person may discount and indorse the said certificates. Credit institutions may negotiate them as commercial articles and dispense with one of the signatures required by their statutes.

SECTION 6.-Within twenty days following the maturity of the loan, if this be not paid, the holder of the certificate may solicit from the municipal court the sale at public auction of the goods specified in the said certificate, and for which the said certificate must necessarily be exhibited. At least three days' public notice of said sale shall be posted at the front door of the municipal court. The sale at public auction shall take place at the municipal court on the fifth day after application has been made therefor, taking as a basis the price stipulated in the certificate, the goods going to the highest bidder, to whom they shall be immediately delivered by the bailiff (alguacil) upon an order from the judge.

SECTION 7.–The creditor shall collect his loan from the proceeds of the sale in preference to any other creditor or person who may claim rights upon the agriculturist or upon the goods given as guaranty, except actions originating under the mortgage. Law and the municipal court shall immediately deliver to said creditor the amount of his loan, deducting only the legal costs if there be no resulting excess.

SECTION 8.-The holder of a certificate who shall allow twenty days to elapse after maturity without claiming payment therefor shall forfeit the preference that this law grants him to effect collection, and can only do so thereafter at a proper trial.

SECTION 9.-The agriculturist may redeem his loan before maturity by paying the value thereof to the holder

of the certificate. If the said holder refuses to accept it, he shall deposit the amount in the municipal court, and may deduct interest at the rate of six per cent per annum for advanced payment from the date on which the said payment is made to the date of maturity of the loan. The judge shall give him a receipt and shall order that the charges then standing upon the goods be transferred upon the amount deposited.

SECTION 10.–Any agriculturist who shall exchange, sell, or wilfully injure, to the detriment of his creditor, the articles pledged to him and of which he has been acting as keeper, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

The agriculturist who shall appraise the goods at a price higher than the market price on the date that he signed the said certificate shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. And the agriculturist who shall not deliver the goods of which he agreed to be the keeper, when he is required to so deliver them by the municipal court, shall be punished for contempt, accordiog to the provisions of the Penal Code.

SECTION 11.-Every certificate issued by the municipal court, in accordance with this law, shall bear an internal revenue stamp equivalent to one cent for each dollar up to one hundred dollars, and for amounts in excess thereof one cent additional for every five dollars or fraction thereof.

SECTION 12.–The municipal court shall charge the following fees: For acknowledgment of certificate, forty cents; for conducting the sale at public auction until the final adjudication thereof, three dollars. These fees shall be distributed between the judge, the clerk and the marshal (alguacil).

SECTION 13.-The Auditor of Porto Rico shall deliver to the municipal judges stub books, in binding containing one hundred folios, numbered, having printed on each folio the attached form.

SECTION 14.-All laws, orders, or parts of them, except the Mortgage Law, in conflict with this Act, be and same are hereby repealed.

SECTION 15.-This Act shall take effect from and after

its passage.

Approved, March 10, 1904.

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