This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
If duress in the execution exists, even a negotiable contract in the hands of bona fide holders is void.1 If duress in the inducement exists, a contract made thereunder is voidable only. It follows that it can not be avoided if negotiable and in the hands of a bona fide purchaser for value before maturity.2 If the purchaser takes with notice of the duress, the promisor may avoid the contract.3 If checks are given under duress, and such checks are honored by the bank on which they are drawn without knowledge of such duress, the bank is not liable to the drawer of such checks.4 If the contract is executed and passes title to realty, a conveyance made under duress can not be avoided as against a bona fide grantee for value, without notice.5 Such a conveyance may be avoided as against one who has acquired such property with notice of the facts which constitute duress.6 A subsequent judgment creditor of the grantee who has exercised duress, is not a bona fide purchaser within the meaning of this rule, even if he acquired his lien without notice.7
1 The Ernest M. Munn, 66 Fed. 356, 13 C. C. A. 510.
2 City National Bank v. Kusworm, 88 Wis. 188, 43 Am. St. Rep. 880, 26 L. R. A 48, 59 N. W. 564.
4Harris-Lipsitz Co. v. Oldham, 56 Okla. 124, 155 Pac. 865.
5 (Springfield, etc.) Ins. Co. v. Hull, 51 O. S. 270, 46 Am. St. Rep. 571, 25 L. R. A. 37, 37 N. E. 1116.
1 Palmer v. Poor, 121 Ind. 135, 6 L. R. A. 469, 22 N. E. 984; Harvin v. Blackman, 121 La. 431, 46 So. 525.
2 United States. Beals v. Neddo, 2 Fed. 41, 1 McCrary, 206.
California. Hart v. Church, 126 Cal. 471, 77 Am. St. Rep. 195, 58 Pac. 910.
Iowa. Veach v. Thompson, 15 la, 380.