Legal term for an original or any subsequent holder of a negotiable instrument (check, draft, note, etc.) who has accepted it in good-faith and has exchanged something valuable for it. For example, anyone who accepts a third-party check is a holder in due course. He or she has certain legal rights, and is presumed to be unaware that (if such were the case) the instrument was at any time overdue, dishonored when presented for payment, had any claims against it, or the party required to pay it has valid reason for not doing so. Also called protected holder, or bona fide holder for value.