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Definition of Assignment and actionable claim


When the rights, title and interest in debts due or accruing due to a person are transferred to another person, it is called assignment and actionable claim means any claim other than the debt to mortgage of immovable property or hypothecation or pledge of goods and receivables. Transfer of   Life Insurance Policy, National Saving Certificates, Supply bills etc., to the name of bank as a security against borrowing from banks are examples of assignment. The transferor of the security is called assigner and the transferee is called the assignee. The assignee must give a notice to the debtors so as to complete his title, otherwise until debtor receives the notice of assignment, his dealing with the original creditor will be protected.  On full payment of dues to the assignee, the assignor can get the security re-assigned in his name

Section 3 of the Transfer of Property Act 1882 defines actionable Claim;

“a claim to any debt, other than a debt secured by mortgage of immovable property or by hypothecation or pledge of movable property, or to any beneficial interest in movable property not in possession, either actual or constructive, of the claimant, which the Civil Court recognizes as affording grounds for relief, whether such debt or beneficial interest be existent, accruing, conditional or contingent”

Thus in terms of sec 3 of Transfer of Property Act 1882, the debt secured by mortgage of immovable property or by hypothecation or pledge of movable property are excluded from actionable claim. The actionable claim on charge of assignment can be created by an instrument in writing signed by assignor (Transferor) or through his duly authorized agent. The debts which are sought to be assigned may be present, future, conditional or contingent. The arrears of rent, PF credit, life Insurance Policy claim, money due under a will, under a contract, money receivable under sale of property are the example of actionable claim.

Section 130 of Transfer of property act 1882 lays down that the actionable claim can be assigned to anyone except to a judge, a legal practitioner or an officer of the Court of Justice. Thus actionable claim can be assigned. The assignee must give a notice to the debtors so as to complete his title, lest until debtor receives the notice of assignment, his dealing with the original creditor will be protected.

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