Equitable Assignment

An equitable assignment is one in which one has a future interest and is not valid at law but valid in a court of equity.  In National Bank of Republic v. United Sec. Life Ins. & Trust Co., 17 App. D.C. 112 (D.C. Cir. 1900), the court held that to constitute an equitable assignment of a chose in action, the following has to occur generally: anything said written or done, in pursuance of an agreement and for valuable consideration, or in consideration of an antecedent debt, to place a chose in action or fund out of the control of the owner, and appropriate it to or in favor of another person, amounts to an equitable assignment.  Thus, an agreement, between a debtor and a creditor, that the debt shall be paid out of a specific fund going to the debtor will operate as an equitable assignment.

In Egyptian Navigation Co. v. Baker Invs. Corp., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30804 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 14, 2008), the court stated that an equitable assignment occurs under English law when an assignor, with an intent to transfer his/her right to a chose in action, informs the assignee about the right so transferred.

An executory agreement or a declaration trust are also equitable assignments if unenforceable as assignments by a court of law but enforceable by a court of equity exercising sound discretion according to the circumstances of the case .


Inside Equitable Assignment