If no grand total or interest rate was on listed on a contract, can it be voided?

My 74 year old dad recently signed a contract to purchase 2 container chassis totaling $25,500. He put over $8,000 down and didn’t realize (because it isn’t in writing) that the total of his payments in 60 months. is $29,000 (not including the down payment) that’s $12,000 interest in 5 years. This was not written on the contract. It stated payments of $497.56 over 60 months. He signed 11 days ago and hasn’t picked up the chassis yet, can he get out of this contract?

Asked on May 31, 2014 under Business Law, Washington


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

A requirement of a valid contract is including the essential terms.  The essential terms of a contract are identification of the parties, subject matter, price, and time for performance.

Since the contract identifies the parties (your dad and the company), the subject matter (chassis), price ($25,000), time for performance (60 months of payments at $497.56 per month), the contract signed by your dad is valid.

The fact that it did not include the total with interest does not void the contract because the essential terms of payment and price of the chassis were included.   The remedy here is reformation (correction / amendment) of the contract to include the total with interest.


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