This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
A receiver is personally liable upon his contracts made in his official capacity unless he makes them under order of the court appointing him; or by virtue of statutory authority; or unless there is in his contract an express stipulation against personal liability.1 Thus he is liable on his notes, though issued for the benefit of the receivership.2 Without an order of the court the receiver cannot make his contracts a lien on the trust fund,3 though if he is reimbursed therefor his creditors might undoubtedly be subrogated to his rights. While precaution demands that a receiver have authority of the court for liabilities incurred and expenditures made by him before he acts, no technical rule requires confiscation of the receiver's individual property if he makes proper expenditures or incurs proper liabilities without an order of the court. What the court could authorize in advance it may subsequently ratify if the receiver and those dealing with him are willing to take such risk. Accordingly the receiver should be reimbursed out of the property for his reasonable expenses incurred in such receivership ;4 and he should be reimbursed for contract liabilities incurred by him on contract for the benefit of the estate, if fair and reasonable.5
9 Cowdrey v. R. E., 93 U. S. 352.
10 Illinois Trust Co. v. Ry., 89 Fed. 235.
11 Keelyn v. Telegraph Co., 90 Fed. 29.
1 Vilas v. Page, 106 N. Y. 439; 13 N. E. 743.
2 Peoria, etc., Works v. Hickey, 110 Ia. 276; 80 Am. St. Rep. 296; 81 N. W. 473. The note was given for property that went into the stock of which receiver had control. The note was signed "Jas. Hickey, Receiver." Reformation was denied. In its opinion the court said: "As the receiver had no authority to execute the notes in suit, he had no principal against whom plaintiff might maintain an action, and, unless he is bound, no one is responsible. If the debt was properly incurred, he will be allowed the amount paid out on his accounting. Plaintiff's right of action, if it has any, is on the defendant's promise. Like the executor, the assignee, the guardian and the administrator, he has no responsible principal behind for whom he may promise, and he alone is liable on the contract." Peoria, etc., Works v. Hickey, 110 Ia. 276, 279; 80 Am. St. Rep. 296; 81 N. W. 473.
3 Union Trust Co. v. Midland Co., 117 U. S. 434; Cowdrey v. R. R., 93 U. S. 352; Lehigh, etc., Co. v. R. R., 35 N. J. Eq. 426; Wyckoff v. Scofield, 103 N. Y. 630; 9 N. E. 498; Hand v. R. R., 17 S. C. 219.