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.
The assignee may incur a personal liability to the adversary party to the contract by expressly agreeing in the contract of assignment to perform terms of the contract for which his assignor was originally liable.1 This is simply a particular example of the broader question whether one for whose benefit a contract is made but who is not a party thereto can enforce it.2 Thus an assignee of a lease may become personally liable on its covenants,3 and the assignee of a bid at an execution sale may make himself personally liable thereon.4 A contract by which A agrees to pay B for goods when delivered may be assigned under an agreement by which the assignee incurs a personal liability to C when such goods are delivered.5 If the assignee fails to perform, the adversary party may enforce the original contract against the assignor, and the assignor may then compel the assignee to reimburse him for such loss.6 If the original contract imposed no liability on the assignor, the assignee incurs no personal liability by his express assumption thereof.7
1 United States. Illinois Cudahy Packing Co. v. Kansas City Soap Co., 247 Fed. 556.
California. Cutting Packing Co. v Packers' Exchange, 86 Cal. 574, 21 Am. St. Rep. 63, 10 L. R. A. 369, 25 Pac. 52; Ferguson v. McBean, 91 Cal. 63, 14 L. R. A. 65, 27 Pac. 518.
Illinois. Springer v. De Wolf, 194 111. 218, 88 Am. St. Rep. 155, 56 L. R. A. 465, 62 N. E. 542.
Maryland. Tarr v. Veasey, 125 Md. 199, 93 Atl. 42S.
Oregon. Corvallis & A. R R. Co. v. Portland, E. & E. Ry. Co., 84 Or. 524, 163 Pac. 1173.
2Alden v. Improvement Co., 57 Neb 67, 77 N. W. 369.
3 Springer v. De Wolf, 194 111. 218.
88 Am. St. Rep. 155, 56 L. R. A. 465, 62 N. E. 542; Granite Building Corporation v. Rubin, 40 R. I. 208, L. R A. 1917D, 845, 100 Atl. 310.
4 Granite Building Corporation v. Rubin, 40 R. I. 208, L. R. A. 1917D, 845, 100 Atl. 310.
5 Consolidated Coal Co. v. Peers, 166 111. 361, 38 L. R. A. 624, 46 N. E. 1105; Cohen v. Todd, 130 Minn. 227, L. R. A. 1915E, 846, 153 N. W. 531.
6 Illinois Cudahy Packing Co. v. Kansas City Soap Co., 247 Fed. 556.
See ch. LXXV.
7 See reasoning in Cutting Packing Co. v. Packers' Exchange, 86 Cal. 574, 21 Am. St. Rep. 63, 10 L. R. A. 369, 25 Pac. 52. See 8 2411.
1 Arkansas. National Trust & Credit Co. v. Polk, 123 Ark. 24, 183 S. W. 195.
California. McKenzie v. Hodgkin, 126 Cal. 591, 59 Pac. 36.
The assignment of an interest under a contract does not of itself impose any liability upon the assignee.8 The assignment of a lease does not, in the absence of a special agreement for assuming liability thereunder, impose any liability upon the assignee, which lasts beyond his assignment of such lease to a third person.9 The mere assignment of a contract for the sale of certain realty made by a vendee in possession who transfers possession to the assignee, does not impose any personal liability upon the assignee which the original vendor can enforce.10 It is therefore held that, conversely, the assignee can not have specific performance against the vendor, since the assignee is not bound.11 If the contract which is assigned is executory on the part of the assignor, and the assignee undertakes performance with the assent of the adversary party, such findings justify a finding that the assignee has incurred a personal liability,12 even though the assignment would not, of itself, have imposed such liability.13 It has been held that the sale of a railway and an assignment of its contracts impose on the purchaser the duty of performing a contract whereby the assignor had agreed to construct an extension of its tracks.14
Minnesota. P. M. Hennessy Construction Co. v. Hart, 141 Minn. 449, 170 N. W. 597.
Montana. Bach v. Mining Co., 16 Mont. 467, 41 Pac. 76.
North Carolina. Atlantic & N. C. R. Co. v. Atlantic & N. C. Co., 147 N. Car. 368, 23 L. R. A. (N.S.) 223, 61 S. E. 185.
2 See ch LX.
3 Bonetti v. Treat, 91 Cal. 223, 14 L. R A. 151, 27 Pac. 612; Woodland Oil Co. v. Crawford, 55 O. S. 161, 34 L. R. A. 62, 44 N. E. 1093.
4 Archer v. Archer, 155 N. Y. 415, 63 Am. St. Rep. 688, 50 N. E. 55.
5 Atlantic & N. C. R. Co. v. Atlantic & N. C. Co., 147 N. Car. 368, 23 L. R. A. (N.S.) 223, 61 S. E. 185.
6 Atlantic & N. C. R. Co. v. Atlantic & N. C. Co., 147 N. Car. 368, 23 L. R. A. (N.S.) 223, 61 S. E. 185; Corvallis & Alsea River Ry. v. Portland, E. & E. Ry., 84 Or. 524, 163 Pac. 1173.
7 Rockwell v. Edgcomb, 72 Wash. 694, 45 L. R. A. (N.S.) 661, 131 Pac. 191.
8 Illinois. Springer v. DeWolf, 194 111. 218, 88 Am. St. Rep. 155, 56 L. R. A. 465, 62 N. E. 542: Lunt v. Lor-scheider, 285 111. 589, 121 N. E. 237.
Iowa. Tolerton v. Anglo-Californian Bank, 112 Ia. 706, 50 L. R. A. 777, 84 N. W. 930.
Minnesota. Pioneer Loan & Land Co. v. Cowden, 128 Minn. 307, 150 N. W. 903.
Nebraska. Gammel Book Co. v. Paine, 75 Neb. 683, 106 N. W. 777.
Pennsylvania. Brown v. German American Title & Trust Co., 174 Pa. St. 443, 34 Atl. 335.
Vermont. Smith v. Kellogg, 46 Vt. 560.
"An assignee does not become liable on an executory contract of the assignor unless by his contract he assumes such liability, and the mere assignment of an interest under a contract will not render the assignee personally liable for moneys thereafter to become due. An assignment of money due or to become due under an executor)' contract is not an assignment of the contract, and the assignee is not bound to perform it." Lunt v. Lor-scheider, 285 111. 589, 121 N. E. 237.
Language is used in Corvallis & Alsea River Ry. v. Portland, E. & E. Ry.. 84 Or. 524, 163 Pac. 1173, which implies that the assignment of an executory contract imposes a personal liability upon the assignee without any agreement on his part to assume such liability.