What to do about a breach of contract?

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What to do about a breach of contract?

I worked for an insurance agency for many years. We had an agreement that they would buy my book of business when I retired. The agreement stated that I would be paid 75% of the book value. I retired 7 months ago. They sent me a schedule of monthly payments that they would make to me. It was at 100% of book value. They have paid me 7 months, however now they say they made a mistake and want to pay it at 75%. Where do I stand on this? I feel they agreed to the 100% but now want to go back to the lower payment percentage. How do I stand on this?

Asked on July 31, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

They did not breach the contract--you indicate that the contract (the agreement) was for 75% of value. The fact that someone accidentally makes a mistake and sends you more money does not make that a contract or obligation; for example, you provided no consideration (or thing or service or promise of value) for the extra 25%, so their unilateral error does not create an enforceable agreement.

Rather, from what you write, the enforceable agreement was for 75% of book value; that the agreement they can stand on and, if necessary, take legal action to enforce.


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