A question often asked is, “If I sign a contract can I get out of it?” Essentially, as with most situations, the answer is “it depends.” While in many situations you might be locked in, sometimes you’re not.
7 Ways to Get Out of a Contract
1. The first way to get out of a contract is voluntarily. Basically, just ask. Sometimes the other party will let you. Maybe they’ll ask you to pay a termination fee, such as in the case of breaking your lease early, while other times they will be sensitive to your request and just grant it. It rarely hurts to ask.
2. Enter into a new contract. By creating a new contract, many times, the parties will supersede or make void the preceding contract. Usually it helps that the new contract says this, on its face. Therefore, see an attorney to help you draft up a new contract.
3. Did you entered into the contract under duress? This argument rarely if ever works, but in some cases it does, and if so, it renders a contract void and unenforceable. This argument is generally reserved for major cases of duress. Think a gun to your head, a threat of imprisonment, or other severe actions. The simple use of abusive and insulting language does not constitute legal duress.
4. Is a party to the contract mentally incompetent? Competency is required for contracts. This argument also is best reserved for extreme examples. The reason is that mere weakness of mind is generally not a sufficient ground to set aside a contract where the party is sufficiently intelligent to understand the nature of the transaction and is left to act on her own free will. However, if your 82-year-old grandmother signed a contract and can’t even find her own slippers, this defense may be worth exploring.
5. Was the contract induced by fraud? Like the others, this argument is not always easy to prove, but sometimes it fits the bill. Fraudulent transactions do exist, and the fact that the Attorney General keeps so busy is proof of that. If you have been defrauded, you should talk to an attorney.
6. Does the contract have the necessary writings required by law? Not all, but some consumer protection laws make certain types of contracts require certain clauses. For example, agreements based on home solicitation sales require a “buyer’s right to cancel.” If you wonder whether your contract has the necessary clauses, speak to a consumer protection attorney.
7. Talk to an attorney. This 7th way is not a magic solution. (Contrary to many who may believe we do, attorneys do not have magic powers!) However, it is probably the first thing you should do whenever you want out of a contract. This list is not comprehensive, and there are many exceptions to each rule, depending on your specific factual scenario. An attorney who can listen may be able to help you.
If you would like to talk to an attorney at Cynthia Conlin, P.A., Orlando lawyers, give us a call at 407-965-5519. We usually in most cases offer a free attorney consultation, up to 30 minutes (telephonic).