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Good afternoon. You have a valid cause of action
against your client because your client is in default under your verbal agreement. This will not only give you the right to terminate but also to sue the client for damages. The lack of a written contract can be overcome by the concept of promissory estoppel, detrimental reliance, and unjust enrichment. This situation arises when Person A relied upon the verbal agreement, Person A performed based on such reliance, and because Person B defaulted, such reliance is now to Person A's detriment. Where there is i) partial performance by Person A based upon the mutual promises, ii) Person A relied upon such promises to perform, iii) Person B's failure to perform would be to Person A's detriment, and iv) result in Person B being unjustly enriched, Person A can overcome the legal requirement that the agreement be in writing. You have met all the foregoing elements. Filing the suit will put in you better position, because once the suit is filed and a judgment awarded, you become a judgment creditor, and if the losing party doesn’t then pay the judgment, you can have the sheriff serve a summons on the losing party for a debtor examination. That forces the losing party to meet the judgment creditor in court and answer questions under oath about the losing party's assets. After that information is obtained, the judgment creditor has the power to attach bank accounts, and/or have the sheriff seize other property to satisfy the judgment.
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