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.
A Question sometimes presented for adjudication is whether an alteration of a memorandum in writing on the same piece of paper as the written contract, but not in the body thereof, is a material alteration. if the writing thus altered is in legal effect a part of the contract a change therein is a material alteration.1 the fact that a memorandum appears on the back of the instrument does not prevent the alteration of such memorandum from being treated as an alteration of the entire instrument if such memorandum is intended to be a part of the instrument.2 cutting off an application for insurance from the top of a promissory note to secure assessments, even if a perforated line was originally upon the paper between the application and the note,3 or cutting off from the bottom of a note, "subject to a settlement between us,"4 are each material alterations. on the other hand, an indorsement on the back of a note, added after delivery,5 such as an indorsement of partial payment,6 is no part of the note; and adding a date to such indorsement,7 or erasing it, even if done fraudulently,8 is not a material alteration. if, however, one claims title through an indorsement, it is as to him a material part of the contract. hence, if an indorsement "for collection"9 is canceled, this is a material change, and a subsequent purchaser of the note from such indorsee is put on inquiry.
13 Stevens v. Venema, 202 Mich. 232, L. R. A. 1918F, 1145, 168 N. W. 531; Rochford v. McGee, 16 S. D. 606, 61 L. R. A. 335, 102 Am. St. Rep. 719, 94 N. W. 695.
See Sec. 3085.
14 Diamond Distilleries Co. v. Gott, 137 Ky. 585, 31 L R. A. (N S.) 643, 126 S. W. 131 (under the Negotiable Instruments Law).
15 Commercial Bank v. Arden, 177
Ky. 520, 197 S. W. 951 (under the Negotiable Instruments Law).
16 Holbart v. Lauritson, 34 S. D. 267, L. R. A. 1915A, 166, 148 N. W. 19.
17 Smith v. Holzhauer, 67 N. J. L. 202, 50 Atl. 683.
Contra, Searles v. Seipp, 6 S. D. 472, 61 N. W. 804.
1 Alabama. Payne v. Long, 121 Ala, 385, 25 So. 780.