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http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2012/02/14/146880432/the-truth-about-van-halen-and-thosebrown-m-ms Jack Wolf/PR Newswire/
Associated Press A Promise to Pay the Debt of Another
A contract whereby one person promises to answer for the debt of another must be evidenced by a signed writing in order to be enforceable. This section of the statute of frauds applies to agreements guaranteeing payment, also known as secondary promises, such as the following:
Example 5.15. Janet promises Sam, a car dealer, “If you will sell this car to my son Eric, if he doesn’t pay you, I will pay whatever balance is due.” Janet is guaranteeing Eric will pay. Eric has the primary obligation; Janet’s promise is secondary. The key language is the “if he doesn’t pay you” phrase. If Sam sells Eric the car and Eric defaults on the payments, Sam will only be able to hold Janet to her promise if he has it in a writing signed by Janet.
It is important to distinguish a contract to answer for the debt o...
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