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 change in the rate of interest,1 increasing2 or diminishing3 the rate; or inserting the rate or interest which had been left blank, if the rate inserted is different from the legal rate;4 or adding a clause increasing the interest rate after maturity;5 adding an interest clause where there was none before,6 or erasing an interest clause that was originally inserted,7 is a material alteration. The insertion of a provision for the payment of interest on overdue interest, is a material alteration.8 If the rate of interest which is fixed by the original note is altered so as to increase such rate, the alteration is material, even though the rate as altered is in excess of the statutory rate, and although only the original amount of interest can be recovered, even on the instrument as thus modified.9 If an instrument is executed and the rate of interest is left blank therein, the insertion of a rate in such blank is a material alteration, even if the amount inserted is less than the amount which the instrument would bear if such blank had been left.10 If the original instrument provides that it shall bear interest at "ten per cent. annually," the insertion of the word "paid" between the words "per cent." and "annually," is a material alteration.11 On the other hand, in a case in which the original note provided that it bore "interest at the rate of ten per cent.," the. addition of the word "annually" was held not to be a material alteration, since it did not, in its altered form, mean that interest was payable annually, and since the percentage named would have been regarded as the annual rate of interest without such modification.12
6 Babb v. Clewson, 10 Serg. & R. (Pa. 1 419. 13 Am. Dec. 681.
7 Bacon v. Hooker, 177 Mass. 335, 83 Am St. Hep. 270, 5S N E. 1078.
8 Foxworthv v. Colby. 64 Neb. 210, 62 L. R. A. 393, 89 N. W. 800.
9 Hartnett v. Holdrege (Neb.). 97 N. \Y. 443.
10 Hurt v. Stout, 103 Kan. 54, 1S1 Pac. 623.
11 Bacon v. Theiss, - Mo. -, 208 S. W. 254 (time of maturity was also altered).
12 Frazier v. Crook, - Mo. -, 204 S. W. 392
13 Highland Investment Co. v. Kan sas City Computing Scales Co., 277 Mo. 365, 209 S. W. 895; Washington Finance Corporation v. Glass, 74 Wash. 653, 46 L. R. A. (N.S.) 1043, 134 Pac. 480.
1 1llinois. Merritt v. Dewey, 218 III.
;V9. 2 L. R. A. (N.S.) 217, 75 N. E. l966.
Indiana. Shanks v. Albert, 47 Ind. 6l; Schnewind v. Hacket, 54 Ind. 248; Bowman v. Mitchell, 79 Ind. 84.
Kansas. New York Life Insurance Co. v. Martindale, 75 Kan. 142, 121 Am. St. Rep. 362, 21 L. R. A. (N.S.) l945, 88 Pac. 559; Eddington v. Mc-Leod. 87 Kan. 426, 41 L. R. A. (N.S ) 230, 124 Pac. 163.
Michigan. Holmes v. Trumper, 22 Mich. 427, 7 Am. Rep. 661.
Ohio. Harsh v. Klepper, 28 O. S. 200.
Pennsylvania. Boustead v. Cuyler, 116 Pa. St. 551, 8 Atl. 548; Citizens' National Bank v. Williams. 174 Pa. St. 66, 35 L. R. A. 464, 34 Atl. 303; Schroyer v. Thompson, 262 Pa. St. 282, 105 Atl. 274.
2 Palmer v. Poor, 121 Ind. 135, 6 L. R. A. 469, 22 N. E. 984; Harsh v. Klepper, 28 O. S. 200; Sanders v. Bagwell, 32 S. Car. 238, 7 L. R. A. 743, 10 S. E. 946.
3 New York Life Insurance Co. v. Martindale, 75 Kan. 142. 121 Am. St. Rep. 362. 21 L. R. A. (N.S.) 1045, 88 Pac. 559: Keene v. Weeks, 19 R. I. 309, 33 Atl. 446.