Wilber National Bank v. United States,
294 U.S. 120 (1935)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Wilber National Bank v. United States, 294 U.S. 120 (1935)

Wilber National Bank of Oneonta v. United States

No. 210

Argued December 7, 1934

Decided February 4, 1935

294 U.S. 120


1. As a general rule, the United States is not estopped by arrangements or agreements of its agents to do what the law does not sanction, and those who deal with its agents are charged with notice of the limitations of their powers. P. 294 U. S. 123.

2. Quaere, how far, if at all, these general rules are subject to modification where the Government enters into transactions of a commercial nature. P. 294 U. S. 124.

3. Assuming that the United States may be estopped in its insurance business, it is not bound to pay a policy which had lapsed and become nonreinstatable merely because the Veterans' Bureau did not notify the insured of how a cash payment by him was allocated to premiums and other charges, or notify him of the default, such notices not being customary in the Bureau's practice, nor because the Bureau did not promptly acknowledge sums which were remitted to it as premium payments after the policy had lapsed and when reinstatement had become impossible. P. 294 U. S. 124.

69 F.2d 526 affirmed.

Certiorari, 293 U.S. 541, to review the reversal of a judgment recovered against the United States in an action on a government life insurance policy.

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