Are unsigned verbal agreements binding

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Are unsigned verbal agreements binding

I’m getting married and I booked a venue in early
April with a lady and paid the deposit she offered me.
In the meantime my fianc and I had to change our
date due to finances. We recently got our deposit
back because her accountant could not put the
deposit we paid to an actual account. With the move
out of state I didn’t ask her why we haven’t received
a contract till recently. She threatened to sue us if we
backed out. Can she sue us and win?

Asked on May 2, 2017 under Business Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, oral agreements ("oral" is the proper term; not verbal) are enforceable with a few exceptions (e.g. agreements to buy real estate) which are not relevant here. If you breach the agreement by moving out she can sue with some chance of winning; her accountant returning your deposit complicates and weakens her case, since that could be taken as her voluntarily terminating the agreement. However, since it could also be explained as an accounting "glitch" (the inability to match deposit to account), it is not automatically fatal to her case. Therefore, while it is not at all given that she'd win, there is certainly a possibility.

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 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.

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