Frequently asked questions on Contracts
Contracts/ What are my rights ?:

" Get it in writing!"  as the saying goes. That's the bestway to protect
yourself.  In Illinois, verbal agreements are enforceable in some
situations, but you could easily end up fighting about who agreed to
what, when it was to be done and for what price.  Who needs that
uncertainty when paper is cheap, and most people have computers for
typing.

There are also some form agreements available for purchase at office
supply stores for common situations like a loan, a lease or the
sale/purchase of a car (also known as a "Bill of Sale").  Don't hesitate to
modify a form agreement to meet your needs.  Words, sentences and
paragraphs can be crossed out or added.  Additional sheets can be
attached.  If you do make handwritten changes to a typewritten
agreement, then all parties have to initial those changes.

If you've already entered into an agreement and want to get out of it,
you have a problem.  Unless the contract gives you the right to cancel
(e.g. right to terminate with 30 days written notice), you are bound by its
terms.  No one can force you to comply with a contract, except in very
limited cases, a judge.  However, a judge can usually enter a judgment
for money against you.   The most common example is when someone
has paid you for a service or a product, and you haven't provided it.  The
judge won't force you to provide the service, but she/he can definitely
find you liable for the amount of money you received, plus court costs
(and attorney's fees if the contract indicates).

Contracts /
Why do I need a lawyer?:  "Penny wise, Pound foolish".  If
there is a great deal at stake in a contract, I cannot emphasize enough
how important it is to obtain legal representation.  Better to spend a few
hundred dollars on an attorney now, then lose thousands of dollars later.
 Sometimes the best advice I can give someone is to talk him or her out
of agreeing to a bad deal or a fraudulent one.  Skilled salespeople know
how  to tap into our emotions and persuade us to buy their product or
service now.  If you have any uncertainty or budget concerns, ask for
some written materials if available,  and then physically leave the place to
think about it.  Believe me, they'll be there tomorrow.  Give me a call;
have me review the contract or just discuss your concerns.

Contracts /
special topics :  

1.  Contrary to popular belief, legal ease is not necessary to make a
contract legal.  Plain English is better!  

2.  If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't true.

3.  If you don't feel like reading the entire  contract, at least look through
it to check the basic terms-- e.g. price, quantity, length of time,
start/completion dates, to which state a lawsuit must be brought,  in case
of a dispute.

4.  Contracts written by well-established businesses usually give them
many rights and give you very few, if any.

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Contracts