Assignments: Deeds, Contracts, Accounts, Promissory Notes, Successor in Interest

Many times contracts, promissory notes, deeds or other accounts are sold and transferred to other individuals or entities. After such transfer, proof of an assignment/transfer of the underlying instrument is essential in the event that a suit is filed to enforce the instrument. Korte Costr. Co. v. Deaconess Manor Ass’n, 927 S.W.2d 395, 404 (Mo. Ct. App. 1996). For instance, if you have received rights under a real estate deed, promissory note, or other contract, you must present all of the evidence necessary to show that it has been validly assigned to you. See, e.g., C&W Asset Acquisition, LLC v. Somogyi, 136 S.W.3d 134, 140 (Mo. Ct. App. 2004) (where an assignee of a credit card debt’s lawsuit was dismissed because proper assignments were not presented).
Evidence of an assignment is necessary because absent that a party would not have “standing.” Standing exists when a party has a legally protectable interest in the subject matter and has an interest to where there is a right to recovery. Without standing, there can generally be no lawsuit maintained because a court  only has power to resolves cases and controversies.
In light of the foregoing, whether you are a plaintiff or defendant in a lawsuit involving assignments of legal rights you need to be aware of the need to prove the assignment. It can make for a very short case — or major disappointment at trial — without being prepared to adequately address this issue. Contact with questions.

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