In the US, paper many says something like “Legal tender for all debts public and private” IIRC. In Canada it says only “This note is legal tender” in 2pt type. Does this have any meaning by itself or is it just a meaningless claim? What if you go into a restaurant, order and eat a meal and offer a $100 bill in payment and the restaurateur refuses to take it because he “Doesn’t take $100 bills”? What if the meal actually cost $100 so that making change is not an issue? Can you just walk out?
The reason for the question is a news report this morning of a guy who walked into the bank that held his mortgage with $3000 in cash to pay his monthly payment. He had done this before and expected the teller to take it away, count it, examine it for counterfeit and stamp his receipt. Instead the teller told him that they are no longer allowed to accept cash. He went to another bank, where he had an account, gave them the $3K plus $7.50 and got a cashier’s cheque for the amount, which the first bank accepted.
When the radio station (CBC 1) contacted the bank they were told that this was an “administrative error”. When they called the branch where this had happened and pretended to be a mortgager who wanted to make his payment in cash and were told that this was not permitted, the higher bank official notwithstanding.
The general question remains, what does “legal tender” mean? But if the mods want to move it to IMHO, that’s okay?