Much of the difficulty regarding assignment of contracts is due to different meanings which may be attached to the word assignment. A promissory note is assignable; so too is a horse. An assignment by a thief or finder of negotiable paper payable to bearer transfers a complete title to a purchaser for value in good faith. This is not true of the assignment of a horse. By the assignment of a horse, however, title to which was procured by fraud, a good title passes to such a purchaser. Even this is generally held not true of the assignment of a chose in action. If it is said then that a chose in action is assignable, probably what is generally understood is that the assignee acquires rights similar to those of the assignor, and is put in the same position as that in which the assignor stood. A trustee in bankruptcy is an assignee of whom this is true, but an ordinary assignee of a contract right is not even so completely protected as this. The rights of a trustee in bankruptcy are not subject to subsequent contingencies whereas the rights of an ordinary assignee of a chose in action are so subject. Thus, defences against the assignor, though arising subsequent to the assignment, if acquired before notice of it to the debtor are available. The assignment for value of an intangible contract right may be most accurately looked upon as creating an irrevocable legal power of attorney to enforce the assignor's right with authority to keep the proceeds when reduced to possession, coupled with an equitable ownership of the right prior to its collection.1 It is impossible, however, to avoid use of the word assignment, and all that can be done to secure clearness of thought is to point out the meaning of the word in connection with choses in action and the possibility of confusion owing to the use of the same word in other connections, where it has a wider meaning.

1 For definition of what is meant by this see infra, \ 446a.