Contracts: Devil is in the Details

on February 13, 2014 by John Tenaglia

SFTH 07Most individuals know that feeling of looking at a lengthy contract and feeling overwhelmed. However, if you sign a contract without reading it, you do so at your own peril. The law assumes that when you put your signature on a legally binding document, you have read it, understand it and agree to its terms. Thus, it is essential that you read the contract, ask questions or seek the assistance of an attorney before signing it.

Additionally, if you sign a binding agreement, it is imperative that you keep a copy of it for your records. If you fail to do so, the other party may try to take advantage of you and it will be more difficult for you to ensure the other party is abiding by its terms. Do not rely on any verbal promises used to induce you to sign the contract. Remember, whatever appears in the document will be controlling. This includes service orders, sales documents, work agreements and other similar documents.

What should you look for in a contract? While creditors, lenders and retailers use a variety of different contracts, there are a few elements that should be set forth in your agreement, including:

  • The full amount due should be clearly shown
  • Finance charges must be expressed in dollars and cents
  • If services are provided, an itemized list of each service should be included
  • Due dates for your payments should be provided
  • There should be a detailed explanation of what each party is obligated to do
  • Never sign a blank or incomplete contract
  • Always read the fine print

Entering into a binding contract is an important decision. Take the time to closely read the terms of the agreement. If you do not understand it or you have questions regarding how it will impact you, contact Slater, Tenaglia, Fritz & Hunt to schedule a free initial consultation.

For a free initial consultation with skilled corporate litigation lawyers, contact Slater, Tenaglia, Fritz & Hunt, P.A. We have been providing outstanding legal services for more than 35 years. We are conveniently located in New York and New Jersey. To schedule your appointment, please call us at (201) 820-6001 or (212) 692-0200. We can also be found on the Internet, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Youtube. We also have a network of local counsel throughout the United States.