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DearCustomer- If only one party has signed then there is no contract. I the other party makes changes and then signs the first party would also have to either initial the changes or re sign the contract. I'm not certain from your facts exactly what happened in this case but the general rule is that both parties must be in agreement to all the terms and sign the same contract.
David Kennett - JD - Attorney at Law
In my opinion it does, especially if these are material changes. There are times if some minor change is made that a court will rule that only the changes are unenforceable but that the contract is still in force. For instance, if a lease is signed and the landlord adds some minor fee for say a pet deposit the tenant can argue that the lease is still in effect but that the pet deposit doesn't have to be made.
I just don't want to give the impression that it is 100% null and void due to some small change that can be separated from the contract. I am approaching this from the standpoint that if it went to court what the outcome may be. Generally if the change is material to the operation of the contract then it would void the entire contract. The changes should have been initialed by you before the contract was complete.
I believe the contract is void since it would appear that these terms were an essential part of the contract and that you would never have agreed to the contract without those terms. Keep in mind that my opinion is just than, an opinion and if this actually goes to court the outcome could be different based on all the evidence.
Verbal statements outside the written contract generally are not enforceable. The key to all of this is that you never signed the contract after the changes were made unilaterally. The fact that terms that were crossed out were an essential part of the contract would mean that you would not have signed without the terms being included and therefore there is no contract. That should be your legal stance in case of a suit.