What is required for an oral contract to be enforceable?

I lent $1,500 to someone. We both agreed on a repayment schedule of $100 a month. Now, payments are not coming in. This agreement wasn’t put to paper, but there is electronic evidence of the agreement and it has been witnessed by third parties. Is there any way to apply legal pressure toward repayment?

Asked on March 22, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington


Hong Shen / Roberts Law Group

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Certain types of contracts must be in writing to be enforeable. Other than statute of fraud requirements, a contract must contain certain essential elements to be enforceable. I cannot see the consideration, that is, when you lent the money, what you get in return. If it is gratuitous, regardless of oral or written, it cannot be enforced. Assuming you have consideration, then since it cannot be completed within a year (15 months to be exact), the most you can recover is $1200, if at all.

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