Any payment to the lender in addition to legal interest whether called by the name of bonus or commission, or by any other name is usurious,62 And even if anything contracted for in excess of legal interest is contingent and may prove of no value, the principle is applicable.63 But a so-called commission is unobjectionable if when the agreed interest is added thereto the total is not more than legal interest.64
If a bonus is paid by a third person for his own reasons to the lender without the borrower's knowledge, the transaction of money of the defendant, entered into a new agreement when the money became due, stipulating at a certain day to deliver in payment, as much stock as the money would have purchased at the time the agreement was made, or the money, at the option of the lender, and, in the meantime to pay lawful interest on the principal sum. In giving judgment the court said, "the lender is at the election to have his principal and interest, or to have a given quantity of stock transferred to him. His principal never was in any hazard, as he was, at all events, sure of having that, with legal interest, and had a chance of an advantage if stock rose. It was usurious to stipulate for that chance." See also Union Nat. Bank v. Louisville, etc., R. Co., 145 111. 208, 34 N. E. 135; Browne v. Vredenburgh, 43 N. Y. 195, 197; Miller v. Virginia L. Ins. Co., 118 N. C. 612, 24 S. £. 484, 54 Am. St. Rep. 741; Fry v. Coleman, 1 Grant Cas. 445.
62 Madsen v. Whitman, 8 Ida. 762; Sanford v. Kane, 133 111. 199, 24 N. E. 414, 8 L. R. A. 724, 23 Am. St. Rep. 602; Union Nat. Bank v. Louisville, etc., R. Co., 145 111. 208, 34 N. E. 135; Bowdoin v. Hammond, 79 Md. 173, 28 Atl. 769; Anderson v. Smith, 108 Mich. 69, 65 N. W. 615; Phelps v. Montgomery, 60 Minn. 303,62 N. W. 260; Johnson v. Grayson, 230 Mo. 380, 130 S.
W. 673; Kniokerboeker L. Ins. Co. v. Nelson, 78 N. Y. 137; Doster v. English, 152 N. C. 339, 341, 67 8. E. 754; Grubb v. Brooke, 47 Fa. St. 485; C. C. Slaughter Co. v. Eller (Tex. Civ. App.), 196 S. W. 704; Hawkins v. National Life Ins. Co., 57 Vt. 591. Cf. United States Mortgage Co. v. Sperry, 138 U. S. 313, 11 S. Ct. 321, 34 L. Ed. 969; Dunlop v. Chenoweth, 88 N. J. Eq. 496, 104 Atl. 822.
63 Supra, n. 61.
64 Fowler v. Equitable Trust Co., 141 U. S. 411, 12 S. Ct. 8, 35 L. Ed. 794; Green v. Equitable Mortgage Co., 107 Ga. 536, 33 S. E. 869; National Life Ins. Co. v. Donovan, 238 111. 283, 87 N. E. 356; Oyster v. Longnecker, 16 Pa. St 269. But in Leach v. Dolese, 186 Mich. 695,153 N. W. 47, Ann. Cas. 1917 A. 1182, the court held that where the parties to a mortgage stipulated expressly for six per cent interest, and incorporated in the principal, a bonus which would not amount to more than one per cent of the principal for the time the loan was to run, the mortgage was usurious, in spite of the fact that seven per cent was a legal rate, and that the bonus and the interest paid for the loan would aggregate less than seven per cent interest; since it could not be said that the parties intended the interest rate to be seven and not six per cent, as there was an express contract for the latter rate.