Voluntary Assignments for the Benefits of Creditors A Treatise on the Law and Practice of Voluntary Assignments for the Benefit of Creditors
By James Avery Webb
1999/12 - Beard Books - Law Classic
Volume I  - 416 pp.
189312228X - Paperback
Volume II - 411 pp.
1893122298 - Paperback
US $34.95

An early comprehensive treatment of this important bankruptcy law subject.

Publisher Comments

Category: Law  | Bankruptcy & Restructuring

This title is part of the Treatises list.

Of Interest:

A Treatise on the Law of Liens: Common Law, Statutory, Equitable, and Maritime 

A Treatise on the Law of Lis Pendens: Or the Effect of Jurisdiction Upon Property Involved in Suit

Bankruptcy attorneys will be intrigued by this early comprehensive treatment of the law governing voluntary assignments for the benefit of creditors. i.e., transfers not under the compulsion of law by debtors of their property in trust for the payment of their debts. Presentation of the subject is made in the time order in which its various aspects occur. Thousands of cases are cited along the way.

Review by Henry Berry, Turnarounds and Workouts:

Voluntary Assignments for the Benefit of Creditors is a 1999 update of the classic nineteenth-century work on the important financial and business instrument known as “voluntary assignments.” The author of the original edition was Alexander M. Burrill, a noted legal scholar who also wrote a law dictionary and several other texts. Voluntary Assignments for the Benefit of Creditors is now in its sixth edition, with Avery-Webb authoring the update.

As defined by the authors, voluntary assignments for the benefit of creditors are “transfers, without compulsion of law, by debtors, of some or all of their property to an assignee or assignees, in trust to apply the same, or the proceeds thereof, to the payment of some or all of their debts, and to return the surplus, if any, to the owner.” Voluntary assignments offer businesspersons from small business owners to corporate executives great flexibility in raising capital. Considering the many ways that businesses can enter into voluntary assignments, the different ways of valuing properties “assigned,” and the changing value of these properties over time, the law governing voluntary assignment is complex.

The authors tackle the subject of voluntary assignments in all its breadth and depth.  During the 1800s, when Burrill’s work first came out, there were innumerable cases dealing with voluntary assignments. The case law of the 1800s remains authoritative, informative, and instructive today.

To render it comprehensible, the authors break down the subject matter into its many facets, thereby allowing lawyers and others to quickly reference areas of interest. These cases are listed alphabetically, and comprise more than fifty pages in a front section titled “Table of Cases.” Cases are also referred to in the text proper and in copious footnotes. The format of the text, including the footnotes, is the standard followed by many legal texts and handbooks, notably the multi-volume American Jurisprudence. The sections are numbered consecutively in forty-five chapters. There are 458 sections in all. The sections are relatively short, even though the subject of voluntary assignments is complex and there is bountiful case law.

Readers can peruse general topics such as execution of the assignment, construction of assignments, sale of the assigned property, and the rights, duties, and powers of the assignee. More specific, detailed topics can be accessed using the index. There are two appendices. The first contains synopses of the statutes of every state and territory on voluntary assignments. The second appendix contains nearly thirty standard forms that can be used for various aspects of assignments. 

Although voluminous and rigorous in its commentary and legal citations, the two-volume Voluntary Assignments for the Benefit of Creditors is neither dense nor ungainly.  Like a good lawyer breaking down a case so it can be comprehended by a jury of average persons, so does Burrill and Avery-Webb deal with the topic of voluntary assignments. 

Born in 1868 in Tennessee, James Avery-Webb (d. 1953) had a career as a prominent attorney in New York City.

James Avery Webb (1868 - 1953) was born in Ripley, Tennessee. 

Table of Cases Cited xvii
I. Assignments in general -- Voluntary assignments for the benefit of creditors defined and distinguished from other modes and instruments of transfer 1
II. The right to assign -- Statutory provisions restricting the right to assign, and regulating the operation of assignments 19
III. Voluntary assignments considered in connection with the bankrupt law 25
IV. Who may make an assignment 58
V. To whom an assignment may be made -- Qualifications of assignees 92
VI. The assigned property; the amount assigned; what may be assigned; what passes by the assignment 97
VII. For whose benefit an assignment may be made 115
VIII. Form of the assignment 122
IX. Partial assignment 157
X. Assignments with preferences 162
XI. Assignments with special provisions 193
1. Stipulations for the release of the debtor as a condition of the assignment 197
2. Reservations of benefit to the debtor 217
3. Appropriations of assets in assignments by firms and their members 234
4. Stipulations for the continuance of assignor's business 242
5. Provisions respecting the time for executing the trust 245
6. Limitation of time for creditors to become parties, or assent 249
7. Provisions respecting the sale of the property assigned 251
8. Special powers and directions to assignees 266
9. Stipulations for the benefit of assignees 272
10. Reservations of powers to assignors 273
XII. Consideration of assignments 277
XIII. Trusts of assignments 280
XIV. Execution of the assignment 285
XV. Record or registry of the assignment 292
XVI. Delivery of the assignment 301
XVII. Amendments and additions to assignments 304
XVIII. Acceptance by the assignee 309
XIX. Delivery of possession of the property assigned 315
XX. Assent of creditors 332
XXI. Time when the assignment takes effect 349
XXII. Operation of an assignment 352
XXIII. The lex loci in its application to assignments 357
XXIV. Construction of assignments 381
XXV. Fraudulent and void assignments 399
XXVI. Assignments considered in connection with other transfers by the assignor 450
XXVII. Revocation and cancellation of assignments 459
XXVIII. Proceedings by the assignee in execution of the trust -- General outline of the proceedings, and of the duties, powers and liability of assignees 463
XXIX. Notice of the assignment 466
XXX. Taking possession of the property assigned 468
XXXI. Inventory and appraisement of the property -- Bond by the assignee 476
XXXII. Rights, duties and powers of the assignee 478
XXXIII. To what extent the assignor's business may be continued by the assignee 490
XXXIV. Collection of debts and recovery of property -- Actions by the assignee 494
XXXV. Sale of the assigned property 505
XXXVI. Expenses of the trust and compensation to the assignee 518
XXXVII. Distribution among creditors 528
XXXVIII. Disposition of the surplus remaining after distribution 551
XXXIX. Final accounting and close of the trust by the assignee 554
XL. Liability of assignees 561
XLI. Proceedings in case of the death, removal, non-acceptance, resignation, misconduct, insolvency or incapacity of an assignee 574
XLII. Proceedings of creditors -- Coming in under the assignment 580
XLIII. Release by creditors 588
XLIV. Proceedings by creditors to enforce the trust -- Suits against assignee 592
XLV. Proceedings of creditors in opposition to the assignment and in avoidance of it 599

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