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.
Whether an assignee who takes the legal title to the contract for the purpose of enforcing it, but does not take the beneficial interest and is to account to his assignor for what he receives thereunder can be regarded as an assignee and can sue thereon in his own name, is a question on which the courts differ. Some hold that such an assignee can sue.1 This rule is based on the theory that as payment to the assignee discharges the debt it is immaterial to the debtor what the real relation between the assignor and the assignee is.2 Another reason given therefor is that the assignee is the trustee of an express trust and as such can sue in his own name.3 The assignor cannot, therefore, make a valid subsequent assignment of an account which has already been assigned for collection.4 Other courts hold that such an assignee cannot maintain an action in his own name5 on the theory that he is not the real party in interest.
3 Holt v. Babcock, 63 Vt. 634; 22 Atl. 459 (where the notice is given to the debtor's wife and is communicated by her to him).
1 Liquidation Estate Purchase Co. v. Willoughby (H. L.) (1898), A. C. 321; Johnston v. Allen, 22 Fla. 224; 1 Am. St. Rep. 180; Schilling v. Mullen, 55 *Minn. 122; 43 Am. St. Rep. 475; 56 N. W. 586; Beard-sley v. Cook, 154 N. Y. 707; 49 N. E. 126.
2 Johnston v. Allen, 22 Fla. 224; 1 Am. St. Rep. 180; Herter v. Goss, etc., Co., 57 N. J. L. 42; 30 Atl. 252; Bank v. Bayonne, 48 N. J. Eq. 246; 21 Atl. 478; Beardsley v. Cook, 154 N. Y. 707; 49 N. E. 126; Chesapeake Classified Building Association v. Coleman, 94 Va. 433; 26 S.
E. 843; Taggart v. Bank, 12 Wash. 538; 41 Pac. 892.
3 Ruthven v. Clarke, 109 la. 25; 79 N. W. 454; Merchants', etc., Bank v. Barnes. 18 Mont. 335; 56 Am. St. Rep. 586; 47 L. R. A. 737; 45 Pac. 218.
4 Quick v. Colchester, 30 Ont. 645.
5 McCarthy v. Water Co., 110 Cal. 687; 43 Pac. 391; Ashby v. Winston, 34 Mo. 311.
6 Webb v. Steele, 13 N. H. 230.
7 Blakistone v. Bank, 87 Md. 302; 39 Atl. 855.
8 Beran v. Bank, 137 N. Y. 450; 33 N. E. 593.
9 Bence v. Shearman, 67 L. J. X. S. (Ch. Div.) 513.