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may redeem at any time within two years after the sale, upon paying to the Treasurer the amount of the purchaser's bid, and ten per cent per annum thereon from the date of the Comptroller's certificate to the purchaser. “If no person shall redeem such lands within such two years, the Comptroller shall, at the expiration thereof, execute to the purchaser, his heirs or assigns, in the name of the People of this State, a conveyance of the real estate so sold, which shall vest in the grantee an absolute estate in fee simple, subject, however, to all the claims which the people of this State may have thereon for taxes or other liens or incumbrances. (1 R. S. 399, Sec. 80.]
The language of the foregoing section is qualified by other sections whenever the land sold is occupied. For it is provided that whenever any land sold for taxes by the Comptroller, and conveyed as hereinbefore provided, shall at the time of conveyance be in the actual occupancy of any person, the grantee to whom the same shall have been conveyed, or the person claining under him, shall serve a written notice on the person occupying such land, stating in substance the sale and conveyance, the person to whom made, and the amount of the consideration money mentioned in the conveyance, with the addition of thirty-seven and a half per cent on such amount, and the further addition of the sum paid for the Comptroller's deed ; and stating also, that unless such consideration money, and the said thirty-seven and a half
per cent, together with the sum paid for the Comptroller's deed, shall be paid into the treasury for the benefit of such grantee, within six months after the service of such notice, that the conveyance of the Comptroller will become absolute, and the occupant, and all others interested in the land, be forever barred from all right or title thereto. [Id., Sec. 84.] Such notice may be served personally, or by leaving the same at the dwelling-house of the occupant, with any person of suitable age and discretion belonging to the family. [Id., Sec. 85.) "The occupant, or any other person, may, at any
time within the six months mentioned in such notice, redeem the said land, by paying into the treasury such consideration money, with the addition of thirty-seven and a half per cent thereon, and the amount that shall have been paid for the Comptroller's deed; and every such redemption shall be as effectual as if made before the conveyance of the lands sold." [Id., Sec. 86.]
By an act passed in 1830, it was provided that the time for redeeming any such lands should be within six months from and after the time of filing in the Comptroller's office of the evidence of the service of the said notice, and not the six months mentioned in the statute above cited; so that the occupant of any such lot, or any other person, may redeem the same within six months from the day of the filing in the Comptroller's office, the proof of the service of said notice. The receipt of the Treasurer, countersigned by the Comptroller, and accompanied by a certificate of the Comptroller, under seal, is evidence of the redemption.
LIMITATION OF ACTIONS FOR THE RECOVERY OF REAL ESTATE.*
The limitation upon actions for the recovery of real estate, or of dower therein, is twenty years. [2 R. S., 221, Sec. 5.] An occupant of land under some written instrument, decree, or judgment, for twenty years, is deemed to have an adverse possession, in case the land during that time shall have been cleared, fenced and improved. [Id., 222, Sec. 9.] Whenever the relation of landlord and tenant exists, the possession of the tenant is deemed the possession of the landlord, until the expiration of twenty years from the termination of the tenancy; or where there has been no written lease, until the expiration of twenty years from the time of the last payment of rent. [Id., 223, Sec. 13.]
*The limitation upon contracts not under seal, express or implied, notes, bills, drafts, accounts, judgment in courts not of record, trespasses on land, unlawful detention of goods, libels, and criminal conversations, is six years; false imprisonments and assaults, four years; against sheriffs, for neglect, three years; slander of character or litle, two years; and against officers, for escapes, one year.
But if any person, entitled to an action, or to make an entry, avowry, or cognizance, be, at the time such title shall first descend or accrue, either within the age of twenty-one years, insane, imprisoned on any criminal charge, or in execution upon some conviction for a criminal offence, for any term less than for life; or a married woman, ten years after the removal of such disability is allowed for such action, entry, avowry, or cognizance. [Id., Sec. 16.) If death ensue during the existence of the disability, the heirs have a limitation for the same purpose, of ten years after such death. fid., Sec. 17.]
REAL ESTATE EXEMPTIONS IN NEW-YORK.
No real estate, nor chattel real, of a debtor, except a seat or pew occupied by him, or his family, in a church, or place of public worship, are exempt from levy and sale on execution. Several ineffectual attempts have been made in the Legislature to procure the passage of a law exempting the wife's separate real estate from the debts of her husband, and to exempt a certain number of acres to the debtor and his family, for a residence, but hitherto all indications are unfavorable to such a result.*
*Section 22, Title 5, Chap. 6, Part 3 of the Revised Statutes, provides that the following property, when owned by any person being a householder, shall be exempted from levy and sale under any execution, and such articles thereof as are moveable, shall continue so exempt, while the family of such person, or any of them, may be removing from one place of residence to another:
1. All spinning wheels, weaving looms, and stoves, put up or kept for use, in any dwelling house:
2. The family bible, family pictures, and school books, used by or in the family of such person; and books not exceeding in value fifty dollars, which are kept and used as a part of the family library :
3. A seat or pew occupied by such person or his family, in any house, or place of public worship:
4. All sheep, to the number of ten, with their fleeces, and the yarn or cloth manufactured from the same, one cow, two swine, the necessary food for them, all necessary pork, beef, fish, flour and vegetables actually provided for family use, and necessary fuel for the use of the family for sixty days:
XXIV. INTEREST OF MONEY IN NEW-YORK. INTEREST, in its legal sense, is an established equivalent for the use of another's money. The practice of exacting a per centage for the loan or forbearance of money originated with the children of Israel. Among them it often resulted in constraining debtors to surrender their persons as slaves to the service of their creditors. Whilst it may be inferred that a fair compensation for the use of money was acceptable to the Lawgiver, it is palpable that taking interest from the poor was regarded as oppression. Hence, 1491 B. C., an ordinance was given unto that people, commanding them not to lay usury (interest) upon the poor. [Vide Ex., Chap. 22: 25.] The same thing was also prohibited by the Levitical law. [Vide Lev., Chap. 25: 37.]
Some have supposed that those authorities indicate that the taking of any interest from any person is obnoxious to the law of God. Such, however, is not the import of the language used, and all inferences tending to such a conclusion are rebutted by an event occurring one thousand five hundred and twenty-four years afterward, and noted at verse thirty-seven of the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew, where the right to
5. All necessary wearing apparel, beds, bedsteads, and bedding for such person and his family, arms and accoutrements required by law to be kept by such person, necessary cooking utensils, one table, six chairs, six knives and forks, six plates, six tea-cups and saucers, one sugar-dish, one milk-pot, one tea-pot, and six spoons, one crane and its appendages, one pair of andirons, and a shovel and tongs:
6. The tools and implements of any mechanic, necessary to the carrying on of his trade, not exceeding twenty-five dollars in valuc.
By an act passed April 11, 1842, it was provided, that in addition to the foregoing articles, necessary household furniture and working tools, and team owned by any person, being a householder, or having a family for which he provides, to the value of not exceeding one hundred and fifty dollars, shall be exempt from levy and sale under execution, except for the purchase money thereof. And as a fur ther protection against the improvidence occasioned by inebriety, it was in the same act further provided, that any assignment, sale, or pledge, of property exempt by law from execution, for intoxicating liquors, shall be absolutely void.
usury (interest) was clearly indicated by a competent judge. (Vide also Luke 19: 23.] In later times, however, in order to prevent oppression of the poor, it has been found necessary to regulate the rate by enactments. The New-York statute upon this subject is as follows:
“The rate of interest upon the loan or forbearance of any money, goods or things in action, shall continue to be seven dollars upon one hundred dollars, for one year, and after that rate for a greater or less sum, or for a longer or shorter time." [1 R. S., 760, Sec. 1.)
There is a growing desire among the people, to have the rate reduced to six per cent; but as the present rate invites hither much foreign capital, the expedience of any change may be considered doubtful.
XXV. THE PENALTY AND FORFEITURE OF USURY IN NEW-YORK.
Usury, in its primitive sense, was interest. The import of the term has been qualified by general consent, and it now signifies excess of interest beyond that which is allowed by law. To regulate trade, and prevent extortion, laws have been enacted, regulating interest and preventing usury. By a statute passed May 15, 1837, the receiving of usury was made a misdemeanor, for which the offender may be indicted, tried and convicted, and fined, not exceeding one thousand dollars, or imprisoned, not exceeding six months, or both, at the discretion of the court. It was therein also made the duty of all courts of justice to charge grand juries especially to inquire into any violations of the act, to prevent usury.
In addition to the foregoing penalty, it was provided that all bonds, bills, notes, assurances, conveyances, all other contracts or securities whatsoever, (except bottomry and respondentia bonds and contracts,) and all deposits of goods, or other things whatsoever, whereupon or whereby there