Does this need to be in writing

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Does this need to be in writing

Seeking counsel if I should hire a lawyer for my issue. I borrowed $100,000 interest free from a contact of mine on 31 April 2016, and used the money to start my successful mobile app. I agreed to pay back the full amount 1 year later 31 April 2017. Luckily for me my debtor is proposing that I pay 90k in January 2017 instead for the full amount later. I’m very interested in this but when I asked if we could have it in writing he said no, that I should trust him. If I have emails on our conversation saying this am I okay or not?

Asked on December 5, 2016 under Business Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Assuming that the $100k was originally loaned pursuant to a writtten agreement or promissory note, then you need to get the amendment in writing: a written agreement or contract cannot be modified by an oral (unwritten) agreement, but only by a written one. Depending on what the emails say and who sent them (e.g. your email about the terms cannot bind him, since it is something you have sent, not writing originating with him), it's possible that they fulfill the need for a new piece of writing (so long as the original agreement does not set out requirements for a written amendment which they do not meet--when a contract or agreement states how it may be amended or revised, you *must* follow those terms or requirements), *but* if there is any ambiguity at all about the emails, they will not suffice. You do not want to have him able to seek an extra $10k from you in 4 months because the revised agreement was not properly formalized; it is very much in your interest to document this properly.


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