The difference between the assignor and the assignee is shown through their latinate suffixes. The suffix »-or» refers to the one who acts; the suffix »-ee» refers to the recipient. The assignor is the one who grants an assignment, whereas the assignee receives the assignment of rights under a contract. The assignor was a party to the original contract; the assignee was not a party to the original contract.

Here, the tenant (assignor) transfers the rights of living in the property to the new tenant (assignee). The apartment community is the obligor, the original tenant is the assignor, and the new tenant is the assignee. In contrast with an assignor, an assignee is the person or entity that receives property or rights under the terms of a contract.

  1. The assignee would be an executor or other agent given the rights to see to the handling of the decedent’s estate.
  2. The rights could be for the specific handling of a contract or business deal that the assignor cannot be present for.
  3. Lastly, a related concept is novation, which is when the secondary obligor substitutes and releases the primary obligor.

A has the right to reject this delegation of duty if the architect’s partner has a different style of designing buildings. An assignment of rights under contract law occurs when one party transfers that right to a person or entity that was not a party in the original contract. In leases, trusts, and other legal arrangements, an assignor is a person who assigns their rights or interests to another party. The party that assumes those rights or interests is called the assignee.

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An assignor can be an individual, group, business, or other entity. Once the assignment of contract is valid, the assignor’s rights to the contract are transferred to the assignee. When one party to a contract—the assignor—hands off the contract’s obligations and benefits to a different party—the assignee—this is known as an assignment of contract. In this situation, the assignee assumes all the rights and responsibilities of the contract from the assignor. All, or a portion, of a letter of credit can be assigned to a third party to pay vendors and suppliers.

For example, suppose that A makes a contract to paint B’s house in exchange for $500. A then assigns the right to receive the $500 to C, to pay off a debt owed to C. However, A does such a careless job painting the house that B has to pay another painter $400 to correct A’s work. If C sues B to collect the debt, B can raise his counterclaim for the expenses caused by the poor paint job, and can reduce the amount owed to C by that $400, leaving only $100 to be collected. A contract assignment is when one of the original parties to the contract gives the obligations and benefits of the contract to another party.

The obligee is the person to whom the obligor made this promise. The duty could be anything, from performing some action or agreeing to refrain from that action. Whatever was promised under the contract is an obligation with two sides, the one who must meet the obligation and the one for whose benefit it is done. It’s not uncommon for a tenant to move before the end of their lease. If the original contract allows for an assignment of the lease to another person, tenants can transfer that lease to another person in an assignment. It is more commonly called a lease takeover or lease transfer.


In such a case, the entire contract is assigned, and not just the rights of one of the parties. A contract assignment involves transferring both the duties and the rights of one party to an outsider. The new person then takes over the role of one of the parties to the contract. In our previous example, if B, the buyer, were to assign the right to purchase the house to C, along with the duty to make the payments, this would be a contract assignment.

How Does an Assignor Work?

If an assignment is made in favor of another party, and that party will benefit from the obligor’s obligation, then that party is the obligee. Green isn’t a third party beneficiary because my contract with Red wasn’t written for Green’s benefit. An obligee is the party who will benefit from the obligor’s fulfillment of the contract. If the assignment is made to profit another party, then that party is the obligee. Red doesn’t have $2,000 right now, so he executes an agreement to pay me $100 a month for the next 20 months. I owe Green $1,000, so after the first 10 months I assign this contract to Green.

If the assignment is of the right to receive payment and the person receiving the payment is the only factor that changes, the duty, risk, and chance of return performance are not affected. In every case in which the person receiving the payment does affect the amount of payment received, the assignment may be invalid without the consent of the obligor. An assignee is a person who was not a party to the original contract and to whom one of the parties has transferred rights.

As you can see, the assignee, assignor, and obligor each have unique responsibilities and rights. These rights help protect each party in the event another party breaches the contract. These rights also create defenses, should the party be sued for not fulfilling its contractual duties. Assignment is a common practice in contracts law, and can be found in a variety of different contractual situations. Assignment generally means that there is a transfer of property, or of a right, from one party to another.

However, fulfilling duties under a contract can require special skills or depend on the reputation or credit rating of one of the parties. The obligee can always object to a contract assignment that would materially alter performance, increase risk, or reduce the chance of getting return performance. The assignor is the party that transfers its contractual rights to another party. In a contract assignment, this means that the assignor transfers both the contractual obligations and the contractual benefits. In an assignment of rights, this means that the assignor transfers just the contractual benefits.

Third, the primary obligor can sue the assignee directly if the assignee does not perform the assigned duty. In guitar assignment example, if C does not teach B guitar, A can sue C for any liability that A incurs as a result of C’s failure to perform the assigned contract. assignee and assignor Fourth, if the promised performance requires a rare genius or skill, then the primary obligor cannot assign the contract. The assignor is an individual who assigns a right under a contract to another person who was not involved in the original contract, called an assignee.

For instance, an insurance company, A, agrees to insure a building owned by an individual, B. However, B later sells the building and attempts to assign the insurance policy to the buyer, C. The risk to the obligor, A, might be materially changed since the policy was issued based on the personal reputation of B, the obligee. In such a case, the benefits cannot be assigned to C, the assignee, without the obligor’s consent.

If assigning, A would be giving C the entire balance of the term, with no reversion to anyone. If subleasing, A would be giving C for a limited period of the remaining term. Significantly, under assignment, C would have privity of estate with the landlord, while under a sublease, C would not.

A delegation and an assignment can be accomplished at the same time, although a non-assignment clause may also bar delegation. The rights may be vested or contingent,[3] and may include an equitable interest.[4] Mortgages and loans are relatively straightforward and amenable to assignment. An assignor may assign rights, such as a mortgage note issued by a third party borrower, and this would require the latter to make repayments to the assignee. Under property law, assignment typically arises in landlord-tenant situations. For example, A might be renting from landlord B but wants C, a new tenant, to take over the lease. In this scenario, A might be able to choose between assigning and subleasing the property to C.

The assignee typically will only hold the rights of power of attorney for a specified time or particular circumstances. It is possible that the terms of power of attorney might allow an assignee to act in his or her own self-interest rather than for the interests of the assignor. The rights the assignor grants with such an assignment can still be superseded by certain legal action. For example, if an assignor included instructions for the assignee to give a valuable antique to a family member, they might not be able to fulfill that instruction.

If novation occurs, then the original obligor’s duties are wiped out. First, if an individual has not yet secured the contract to perform duties to another, they cannot assign their future right to an assignee. An assignee may be the recipient of an assignment, a liability, or appointed to act in the stead of another person or entity.