Q: Does a contract have to be in writing to be valid in New York?
Many people are unaware that just because a contract is not written does not necessarily mean that it is not an enforceable agreement. Under New York contract law, some types of contracts are still binding agreements despite being agreed to orally. These oral agreements, however, must still meet the basic requirements for being a valid contract. Therefore, there must have been an offer, acceptance, mutual agreement, legal purpose, and consideration, and both parties must have been of sound mind. If you entered into this type of handshake agreement and the other party has not lived up to its promises, consult with an experienced New York breach of contract attorney who will guide you through the process of filing a claim.
Once you have obtained a breach of contract lawyer in New York, the next step will be to assess the type of agreement in question. Certain specific types of contracts must be in writing as a matter of law. These types of agreements include:
- Contracts for the purchase of real estate
- Service contracts that cannot be performed within one year
- Contracts for the sale of goods over a certain dollar value
- Contracts entered into by an executor or administrator of an estate to pay a debt of the decedent
- Contracts that serve to guarantee the debt of a third party
- Pre-nuptial agreements
If your agreement does not fall into one of these categories, an experienced New York business litigation attorney may be able to assist you in recovering damages following a breach of contract. To learn more, call our office today at (888) 497-3410. We are pleased to offer a free consultation.