Are unsigned verbal agreements binding

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 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.


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