RunSensible’s Legal Dictionary

Your Guide to Clear and Concise Legal Definitions

Legal Dictionary

Without Recourse

The term “without recourse” is commonly used in the legal context of negotiable instruments such as promissory notes or checks. When an instrument is endorsed with this phrase, it means that the endorser (person endorsing the instrument) is not taking any responsibility or liability for the payment of the instrument.

To put it simply, if the instrument is not honored or if there are any issues with it, the endorser who added the “without recourse” notation is not legally obligated to make payment or rectify the situation. This phrase is generally used to protect the endorser from any future liabilities associated with the instrument.

For instance, if someone endorses a check with the notation “without recourse” before transferring it to another party, they are indicating that they are not guaranteeing the payment of the check and are not assuming any responsibility if the check bounces or if there are any other problems with it.

It is important to note that the use of “without recourse” is a legal concept, and its effectiveness may depend on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of the transaction. Therefore, it is always advisable to seek legal advice for specific situations to ensure a proper understanding of its implications.

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