Is an email a legal binding agreement?

I sent a settlement agreement to a debt collector and they responded in an email stating they agreed with the settlement. Is their email response legally binding? They did not sign the settlement agreement.

Asked on July 13, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, California


Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It depends.  Some types of contracts need to be in a signed writing in order to be valid.  An email is a writing, but must be signed.  If the person with authority signed their name on the bottom of the email, then it would probably hold up in court as a valid signed writing. 

That said, I would ask that they sign the agreement and scan it/fax it back to you.  I wouldn't just accept the email.

Best of luck.

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