Contracts/Accord and satisfaction

From wikilawschool.net. Wiki Law School does not provide legal advice. For educational purposes only.
Jump to navigationJump to search

Contracts Treatise
Table of Contents
Contracts Outline
Introduction and Definitions
Introduction
Definitions
Elements
Contract formation
Parties
Offer
Acceptance
Intention to Bind
Formal requisites
Mailbox rule
Mirror image rule
Invitation to deal
Firm offer
Consideration
Consent
Implication-in-fact
Collateral contract
Modification
Merger
Uniform Commercial Code
Uniform Commercial Code
Course of dealing
Course of performance
UCC-1 financing statement
Uniform Commercial Code adoption
Defenses against formation
Lack of capacity
Duress
Undue influence
Illusory promise
Statute of frauds
Uncertainty
Non est factum
Contract interpretation
Governing law
Construction and Operation
Parol evidence rule
Contract of adhesion
Integration clause
Contra proferentem
Excuses for non-performance
Mistake
Misrepresentation
Frustration of purpose
Impossibility
Impracticability
Illegality
Unclean hands
Unconscionability
Accord and satisfaction
Rights of third parties
Privity of contract
Assignment
Delegation
Novation
Third-party beneficiary
Performance or Breach
Necessity of performance
Sufficiency of performance
Anticipatory repudiation
Cover
Exclusion clause
Efficient breach
Deviation
Fundamental breach
Termination
Termination
Rescission
Termination and rescission
Abrogation and rescission
Subsequent contract
Termination
Forfeiture
Remedies
Specific performance
Liquidated damages
Punitive damages
Quasi-contractual obligations
Estoppel
Quantum meruit
Actions
Actions in General
Parties to Action
Pleading
Evidence
Questions of Law and Fact
Instructions
Trial and Judgment

Accord and satisfaction is a contract law concept about the purchase of the release from a debt obligation. It is one of the methods by which parties to a contract may terminate their agreement. The release is completed by the transfer of valuable consideration that must not be the actual performance of the obligation itself.[1] The accord is the agreement to discharge the obligation and the satisfaction is the legal "consideration" which binds the parties to the agreement. A valid accord does not discharge the prior contract; instead it suspends the right to enforce it in accordance with the terms of the accord contract, in which satisfaction, or performance of the contract will discharge both contracts (the original and the accord). If the creditor breaches the accord, then the debtor will be able to bring up the existence of the accord in order to enjoin any action against him.

If a person is sued over an alleged debt, that person bears the burden of proving the affirmative defense of accord and satisfaction.

Illustration[edit | edit source]

Accord and satisfaction is a settlement of an unliquidated debt. For example, a builder is contracted to build a homeowner a garage for $35,000. The contract called for $17,500 prior to starting construction, to disburse $10,000 during various stages of construction, and to make a final payment of $7,500 at completion. At completion, the homeowner complained about inferior work quality and refused to make the final payment. After a mutual settlement agreement, the builder accepted $4,000 as full payment. Thereby, a new contract was formed by offer, acceptance, and consideration. The consideration is that for a $3,500 savings, the homeowner gives up that which he is entitled, a well-constructed garage. The builder gives up his right to full price to avoid suit for inferior performance. When accord and satisfaction has occurred, the homeowner has given up his right to sue for inferior performance, and the builder has given up his right to sue for the full $7,500 due under the original contract.

Another example would be where a lender agrees to lend $100,000 at 5.0% interest for 30 years, and at the closing the loan documents are all drawn up for a loan with a 6.0% interest rate. If the lender agrees to reduce the closing costs by an extra $1000 and the borrowers agree, then there has been an accord and satisfaction. If the borrowers later sue for breach of contract, the settlement (offer and acceptance of the $1000) constitutes an accord and satisfaction and is a valid defense to the borrower's lawsuit.

The accord agreement must be transacted on a new agreement. It must therefore have the essential terms of a contract, (parties, subject matter, time for performance, and consideration). If there is a breach of the accord there will be no "satisfaction" which will give rise to a breach of accord. In this instance the non-offending party has the right to sue under either the original contract or the accord agreement.

Consideration[edit | edit source]

In an accord contract it is typical that the consideration supplied is less than bargained for in the original contract. In accord contracts that require an amount of consideration that is less than the original, the consideration must be of a different type, e.g. instead of money, debtor offers a car or a boat.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. . (2012).Contract : cases and materials. Rozelle, N.S.W.: Thomson Reuters (Professional) Australia Limited.