Conditions….life is full of conditions. I might tell my son that I’ll let him go to a party or a hockey game if he will clean up his room or take the trash out; these are conditions that he must fulfill in order to get what he wants. We have, in effect, created a verbal contract whereby each party must comply with certain contract conditions. My son may have to clean his room or take out the trash and in return, if he complies with his promise, I will have to allow him to attend a particular event. This is a simplified example, but the issue can be more complicated when parties are creating and enforcing contracts.
Contracts are full of conditions. A creditor may agree to loan money to a borrower with the condition that the borrower will make monthly payments for a specific amount which includes principal and interest; if payments are not timely made, late fees may be added. Sometimes contract conditions must occur prior to an event in order to create a contract, and sometimes conditions must occur in order for a creditor to sue for breach of contract if, for example, the borrower defaults on the loan by failing to pay as promised.
“A condition precedent is one which must happen or be performed before the estate to which it is annexed can vest or be enlarged; or it is one which is to be performed before some right dependent thereon accrues, or some act dependent thereon is performed.” Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition.
Some contracts conditions require notices of default be mailed to the borrower before a creditor is permitted to file suit. Debtors may raise failure to comply with conditions precedent as a defense, thereby attempting to prohibit a creditor from enforcing the terms of a contract. The attorneys at Wetherington Hamilton, P.A. can interpret contracts and ascertain whether conditions precedent have been complied with prior to filing suit in order to overcome the defense of failure to comply with conditions precedent. If you have a contract dispute, contact our office at (813) 676-9082 or JoanW@whhlaw.com.
Joan W. Wadler has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1991. Her practice concentrates on Collections and Commercial Litigation, Real Estate Litigation and Associations Law. She can be reached at (813) 676-9082 or JoanW@whhlaw.com