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

Answers:

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.

 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.