Is a Verbal Agreement Enforceable?

In an ideal world, everyone would stand by their word. Unfortunately, we understand sometimes you might feel you have a solid “handshake agreement” with someone just to find out they never intended on standing by the agreement or went back on their word entirely.

So, what are your options if you made a verbal agreement for a good or service but never it in writing? You might be surprised to know that most types of verbal agreements are typically enforceable. A contract is defined as an agreement between multiple parties to perform or refrain from some act now or in the future. Such agreements can be in writing or verbal form.

There are, however, limits to the types of verbal agreements that are upheld. In North Carolina, contracts that typically must be in writing include, but are not limited to:

  • Any sale of property or land
  • Any agreement to lease property or land for more than three years
  • Any agreement to revive a debt discharged through bankruptcy proceedings
  • Any commercial loan by a bank, savings and loan association, or credit union worth more than $50,000

There are other exceptions. Certain types of agreements for goods or services valued at over $500 or agreements for goods or services that won’t be completed in a timely manner often must be in writing. It’s important to work with your attorney to find out if your agreement must be in written form.

The most important reason that contracts should be in writing is to avoid confusion or misunderstanding around the terms of the agreement. Proving the terms of an oral contract is typically difficult, and each party tends to “remember” a version of the agreement that favors their interests. 

You should always rely on thorough written contracts to protect yourself. Avoid time-wasting “he-said-she-said” debates that rarely work out well. Even if it’s a friend or family member, the presence of a written contract provides peace of mind and a serves as a reference point for any future discrepancies that may come up.

At CLARK.LAW, we know contracts. It’s our passion to help your business avoid costly mistakes, and we will stand by our word even if the other end of your agreement does not. Contact us and let’s get your case started!

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At CLARK.LAW, we’ve built a different type of law firm. Our attorneys and staff have impressive educational and professional experience – but, unlike traditional law firms, we embrace modern technology to create efficient workflows and processes. Today’s business leaders should have access to high-quality legal guidance without subjecting themselves to the waste and excessive overhead that plagues traditional law firms.

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