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Oral Contract & Breach of Oral Contract

Oral contracts are contracts that have been agreed upon orally between two or more people. While the majority of oral contracts are verbal agreements, many also have partially written agreements or physical evidence to sustain the original contract. An oral contract is as valid as a written contract, however, in a dispute, it is harder to prove the agreed upon conditions of the contract. Below are just a few of the more commonly asked questions regarding oral contracts.

What is the maximum amount allowed for a binding oral contract in VA? A friend made an oral agreement to buy a boat for $6000. Two days later he changed his mine. The seller is threatening to sue him for breach of contract. Isn't the maximum amount for an oral contract $500?

The maximum amount for an oral contract is $500. Any agreement over this amount would need to have a written contract in order to be enforceable. The Virginia Statute of Fraud states this type of action. There are exceptions in the Statute code; however, your situation doesn't seem to fall under any of these. You can use the Statute of Fraud as a defense if the seller tries to sue your friend for breach of contract.

I had an oral agreement with a company. I was to design and install a CCTV system, purchase and deliver equipment. The company backed out of the deal and only refunded me for the equipment but not the rest of the agreed upon work. Can we recover the agreed upon amount?

Generally, without a written contract it would be hard to recoup for time and effort. However, if the company had agreed to pay for all work, you could sue them for breach of an oral contract or you could sue the company for unjust enrichment. Either way, you should contact an attorney to assist you in preparing your arguments. Your attorney's fee can also be recovered if you win your suit. The chances of you recovering your agreed upon amount seem to be good. Your chances would be greater if you had a written contract that stated that all expenses would be paid for by the company.

If a person owes me money from an oral contract, can I have them sign an agreement to pay me back before the statue of limitations are up?

You can have to other party sign a promissory note to repay you for the money owed. If and when you get the other party to sign the note, the statue of limitations will restart. You have two choices; you can get the person to sign the promissory note or file for breach of an oral contract. You should first attempt to get the person to sign a promissory note or contract stating that they will repay the debt. By doing this, it will allow you more time to attempt to collect and also file a claim for breach of contract for. Suing for breach of contract is easier to prove than an oral contract.

How hard is it to prove for certain that an oral contract existed? Can I use voicemails and emails to prove that I had an oral agreement with a person?

Generally, when it comes to proving the stipulations in an oral contract, it sometimes becomes a fact of your word against the other person's word. In situations like this, it usually is left up to a judge or jury to determine which side is more credible. Sometimes, one party may show proof by providing evidence of the opposing party's actions that would make no sense without an oral agreement. For example, if Tom agreed to build a barn for Mark, and they agreed on a price but Mark refused to pay Tom, the fact that Tom built the barn would show reasonable cause to expect payment from Mark. In your situation, you have emails and texts that validate your claim. You can use the emails and texts to prove that there was an oral contract between you and the other party.

If a person defaults on an oral agreement to purchase a house after making a down payment, do you have to refund the down payment? We live in Missouri.

In Missouri, you must have a written contract when selling real estate. This is a law which is called "Statute of Frauds". When you are selling real estate based off an oral contract, the contract would be invalid. While an oral contract can be used for many things, the sale of real estate isn't one of them. Due to the oral contract being invalid, it is possible for the court to award the opposing party to be reimbursed the deposit if he/she were to sue you in small claims court.

Oral contracts are a common practice between people. Many oral contracts end in success while others end up in court. Before you enter into an oral contract, you should consult and Expert who can explain the legal issues regarding oral contracts. Once an Expert explains the legalities of oral contracts, you will be better prepared to enter into the agreement.
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Recent Oral Contract Questions

  • I have been doing business with a company for 10 years. I recently

    I have been doing business with a company for 10 years. I recently discovered that they have been charging me for a service that I cancelled over 4 years ago. Their policy is such that I had to actually pay them to cancel this service, so I have all the documentation showing that I did, in fact, cancel the service. I contacted them over 3 months ago and provided them with all the documentation showing that the service had been cancelled. I also provided them with the records showing that they had continued to charge me for this service. They immediately stopped the monthly charge for this service, but they won't respond to my request for a refund. The amount they owe me is over $5,500.00 at this point.
    I've gone up the chain of command and have talked (via email) with the man in charge of the department that made the mistake. I can't reach him by phone and he won't return my calls. His only response to me (for the past 90 days) is that he is having his legal department look into the matter and he will get back to me when they have a response. When I press him for something more definitive, he replies that I did without this money for 4 years, I can wait a little longer.
    This is not a complicated issue, and this is not some small, struggling company. So I can't figure out why they don't just refund me the amount I was overcharged. It occurred to me that there may some statute of limitations on this sort of thing and that the legal department is just stringing me along until it runs out. I live in New Mexico. The company is located in Allentown, PA. So I can't just drop in and insist on a meeting to get this resolved. I thought about suing in small claims court here, but I could only sue for $5,000.00, and I'm not inclined to give them a discount at this point. Plus, I don't know how that would work since they're located in PA.
    So I guess my question is this: Is there some statue of limitation on an overcharge for a service, and if so, what is it? And what can I do to make this company refund me the money that it owes me, short of hiring an attorney and suing them?
  • In Georgia I had a payroll dispute with 3 casual laborers,

    In Georgia I had a payroll dispute with 3 casual laborers, They turned in time sheets that were improperly filled out
    Claiming a excessive amount of hours for the work accomplished. I paid them a appropriate amount for the work accomplished. A couple days later I received a letter from the county magistrate summing me to a warrant hearing applied for by one of the laborers in question. The pending charge is "Larceny by conversion". My question is this charge applicable to the situation, what sort of preparations should be made for the hearing
  • Question 1 A partnership typically is created: If the

    Question 1
    A partnership typically is created:

    If the managing partner files appropriate papers with the secretary of state.

    If one or more persons or entities engage in an ongoing business activity for profit.

    Upon the issuance of stock to the partners.

    Once there is a valid written partnership agreement.


    Question 2
    Which of the following are protected classes under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act?

    Race, national origin, and sex.

    Race, national origin, and political affiliation.

    Race, religion, and sexual orientation.

    Religion, color, and prior welfare eligibility.

    Question 3
    Which of the following constitutes illegal discrimination pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act?

    a.A shoe store refuses to hire Hispanics as employees.

    b.A sporting goods store excludes applicants over the age of 40.

    c.A large department store refuses to hire anyone in a wheel chair.

    d.None of the above.

    Question 4
    1.Which statement is FALSE about the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)?

    a.Employers can commit ULPs (unfair labor practices) by using inflammatory "scare tactics" and coercive techniques against the employees to prevent unionization.

    b.Secondary boycotts of companies doing business with a company that the union is striking are permissible so as to enhance the union's power against the typically more powerful employer.

    c.Supervisors and managers are not covered by the NLRA.

    d.Both the employer and the union have a legal duty to bargain in good faith on the terms and conditions of a contract.

    Question 5
    All written contracts that have a set of promises are

    Formal

    Valid

    Bilateral

    Executed

    Question 6
    A promise for a promise is an example of:

    A bilateral contract

    A unilateral contract

    A formal contract

    An executory contract

    Question 7
    Which of the following is a true statement?

    A.Goods are defined as only intangible personal property such as stocks, bonds, money, and patents.

    B.The Uniform Commercial Code does not have any Statute of Frauds provisions.

    C.A fixture is personal property affixed to real property but which can be readily removed.

    D.The Uniform Commercial Code’s implied warranty of merchantability is only imposed on merchants.

    Question 8
    Which of the following most likely is illegal discrimination pursuant to Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act?

    a.Not considering applicants for manufacturing sales positions because of their religious beliefs in incarnation.

    b. Not hiring applicants for sales positions who are smokers of tobacco products.

    c. Not hiring gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender employees.

    d. Not hiring candidates whether male or female who are parents when extensive travel is involved with the position.

    Question 9
    Which of the following is FALSE about contracts pursuant to the Uniform Commercial Code?

    a. A UCC contract must have a clear and precise price term initially in the contract for it to be valid. (p 293)

    b. A merchant's firm offer can be valid and enforceable even without the payment of consideration.

    c. Additional terms in an acceptance will as a general rule not render the acceptance invalid.(True)

    d. The UCC requires as a general rule a writing for contracts for the sale of goods $500 or more in price.(True)

    Question 10
    1.Which of the following is a false statement?

    Pursuant to the UCC, an agreement modifying a contract generally needs no new consideration to be binding.

    An oral contract for goods that are specially manufactured for a particular buyer may be enforceable under the UCC even without a writing.

    The Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods closely follows the Uniform Commercial Code of U.S. law. True

    Pursuant to the Uniform Commercial Code, a merchant who sells one type of good will be considered a merchant for any other type of good that he or she sells since a merchant is a merchant. True

    Question 11
    A transaction in which two corporations combine such that afterwards only one of them still exists and owns all the assets previously owned by either corporation is best called a:

    Merger.

    Consolidation.

    Purchase of assets.

    Share exchange.

    Question 12
    Under which of the following types of misrepresentation is the innocent party usually not able to rescind a contract?

    Fraud in the inducement.

    Fraud in the inception.

    Silence as misrepresentation.

    Misrepresentation of law.

    Question 13
    1. Which of the following is the most accurate statement?

    A sole proprietorship is a separate legal entity for U.S. tax purposes and thus the entity must file its own tax return.

    A franchise is an association of members comparable to a partnership organized to provide an information sharing exchange among the me
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