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 appropriation which the law makes of payments not made in the course of legal proceedings is automatic and self-executing. A judgment or judicial decree may be necessary to settle any doubt as to what appropriation the law has made; but the appropriation that the law makes is not delayed until the judgment or decree is rendered. At most, the judgment or decree is merely the evidence of the appropriation made by the law.1 In like manner, an involuntary payment which is made in the course of legal proceedings is appropriated at once without the need of any formal entry of credit.2 If a payment is made to the receiver of the creditor, and the debtor does not direct the application of such payment, the act of the receiver in making a general deposit of such payment in the bank does not amount to an application of such payment3