Contractual Agreements

In business and in your personal life, you are going to be involved, sooner or later, in a contractual agreement. Contracts take many forms. You will find them involved in many areas of your life. The biggest mistake that most people make is signing a contract that they have not fully read and understood. Never sign anything in blank or which has blank spaces on it.
No matter what the person trying to get you to sign a contract may say to get you to sign, it is the words on the document that are what count. In fact, you may not be allowed to talk about what a person said in court if it conflicts with what is on the paper you sign. If you sign a contract you will be bound by its terms. Be sure to read the front and back of any document you sign. Often the front will not tell you what rights you are releasing but the back will. Both sides are a part of the contract and will govern the action of both parties to the agreement.
If you don’t understand the language it is best not to sign it. If promises are made to get you to sign, you must make sure that those promises are put in writing and made a part of the contract. If you are being pressured to sign a document you should tell the other party that you will have to spend some time reading it or possibly take it to your attorney for the attorney to have them review it. If the other party is unwilling to allow you to do that, then that is a sign there is something in the contract that they do not want you to understand and you should not sign it.
It is also important that you know with whom you are contracting. Many contracts are used by a vendor of some sort but later you determine that they are not the party you dealt with and your paper has been sold to a bank or another company. You may have even agreed that any dispute will be resolved in the courts of another state and you have subjected yourself to the jurisdiction of that state. You would have go there to fight for your rights under the contract. Also be aware that a clause that calls for arbitration under the AAA could wind up costing you much more than a trial in court. If it calls for arbitration then you will generally not be allowed to go to court to have your dispute resolved.
Thus it is best to have an attorney read the contract with you and have them explain what you are being asked to sign. Always enter into a contract with the idea that you want to know what will happen when things go wrong even if all seems well at the time you are signing. It is truly a situation of “Buyer Beware”.