What Is the Difference Between a Declaration & Assignment Statement?

by Eric Feigenbaum

Few if any businesses operate without occasional legal issues. Although business leaders and investors prefer to focus on the matters of their business operations and growth, dealing with legal threats and costs can be a significant part of a business' success. Those looking to understand the nature of legal cases and how they impact a company need a cursory familiarity with legal terminology. One important distinction is the difference between a declaration and a statement of assignment.

Declaration

A declaration is a statement of fact or opinion admitted to the court for consideration. Declarations often come from witnesses and interested parties whose information can affect the outcome of a case. For example, a person whose signature was forged on a document usually signs a declaration stating that the signature was not, in fact, her own. Declarations are often notarized for authenticity.

Statement of Assignment

Statements of assignment transfer rights, benefits and in some cases responsibilities onto another party. For example, when a company sells its accounts receivable to a factoring or financing firm, it assigns the benefits of collection to a third party. The payment relationship changes from the customer and the company to the customer and the factoring firm. The legal document that effects this change is a statement of assignment.

Key Differences

Although both declaration and assignment statements are important legal documents, they perform very different functions and have several different features. A declaration addresses a court and provides information material to a judge or other court officer. It does not constitute an exchange or agreement and has no commercial value. A statement of assignment, on the other hand, is usually part of a contract, assigning something of value in exchange for a benefit. For example, a husband may assign his interest in a house to his wife as part of a divorce settlement. The transfer in real estate interest fulfills his obligations or releases him from owing money in other forms. A statement of assignment changes ownership rights and financial status. Declarations and statements of assignment have few similarities or overlapping functions.

Assignment Specifics

In most cases, assignment can take place by oral agreement. However, the law requires clear written statements of assignment when any of four items are assigned: interest in real property, wages, collateral for a loan or debt and choses of action worth more than $5,000. Additionally, assignments cannot be revoked if they are made in consideration for something such as money. In these instances, assignments also act as contracts and are binding.

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