Thursday, July 24, 2008

Read the Contract

Ok, I've said this before, written about it a few times and say it to ALL of my clients, over and over:

READ the Contract. If you don't understand it or you don't like the terms, DON'T SIGN IT.

If you don't read it but you sign it anyway, that contract is VALID. There are certain aspects a contract must contain, among them that the transaction it covers is a legal transaction (you can't write a contract for someone to sell illicit drugs for you, for instance, because selling illicit drugs is not a legal activity); the parties entering into the contract must be of sound mind and able to understand the contract and they cannot have been coerced into signing; etc, etc....

If you do not understand the contract or if you don't like the terms outlined in it, don't sign it. Figure it out, get help, get a second opinon, get a lawyer involved, but don't sign it if you don't like the terms or don't understand what the contract entails. Period.

In my case, clients are offered an initial contract that outlines the specifics, in great detail, of what they're after. The first page of these contracts always contains a clause that states if one signs the contract, it is assumed that the signing parties have read, understood and accepted the terms.

After that, there is a second, legal contract drawn up, which a lawyer must present and must discuss in full. The lawyer must also be satisfied that the signing party comprehends and accepts the terms of the contract.

I may have become a hardend old boot but I don't have any sympathy of someone chooses not to read the contract, signs it and then doesn't like it. All contracts contain that clause - make sure you like this because if you sign it, it's yours.

That clause isn't just there to fill the page. I cannot stress this enough. READ the contract. Yes it's boring and yes it may be difficult to understand but those are not valid excuses to skimming a contract, the terms of which probably affect your life. There are NO stupid questions when it comes to contracts.

This is a link to brief info on contracts. It's a US link and applies specifically to housing loans in the US but it's good info anyway.

yes, I've changed my name to Ranty McRanterson.....

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