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The common law favors the freedom of assignment, so an assignment will generally be permitted unless there is an express prohibition against assignment in the contract.Where assignment is thus permitted, the assignor need not consult the other party to the contract.A related concept of assignment is novation wherein, by agreement with all parties, one contracting party is replaced by a new party.
An assignment may not transfer a duty, burden or detriment without the express agreement of the assignee.
The right or benefit being assigned may be a gift (such as a waiver) or it may be paid for with a contractual consideration such as money.
Equipment Lease Agreements typically contain language prohibiting the lessee from assigning the lease to a third party.
For example, "You have no right to sell, transfer, assign, sublease, or encumber the equipment or this agreement" protects the Lessor’s collateral and credit underwriting guidelines in the event the lessee ever wants to transfer the lease to another party.
However, it is possible to assign the lease, but the new party (assignee) will be subject to the lessor’s credit evaluation process and approval.
Even if the assignee is approved, the existing lessee’s (assignor’s) personal guarantee(s), if any, might not be released unless the assignee’s credit stature is extremely strong.After the assignment of contractual rights, the assignee will receive all benefits that had accrued to the assignor.For example, if A contracts to sell his car for 0 to B, A may assign the benefits (the right to be paid 0) to C.The rights may be vested or contingent, Mortgages and loans are relatively straightforward and amenable to assignment.An assignor may assign rights, such as a mortgage note issued by a third party borrower, and this would require the latter to make repayments to the assignee.A promise to assign in the future has no legal effect.Although this prevents a party from assigning the benefits of a contract that has not yet been made, a court of equity may enforce such an assignment where an established economic relationship between the assignor and the assignee raised an expectation that the assignee would indeed form the appropriate contract in the future.Instead, it merely gives the other party the ability to sue for breach of contract if such an assignment is made.However, an assignment of a contract containing such a clause will be ineffective if the assignee knows of the non-assignment clause, or if the non-assignment clause specifies that "all assignments are void".For example, the assignment of a legal malpractice claim is void since an assignee would be a stranger to the attorney-client relationship, who was owed no duty by the attorney and would imperil the sanctity of the highly confidential and fiduciary relationship existing between attorney and client.Torts are not assignable as public policy, and various statutes may prohibit assignment in certain instances.