Voidable Contract

Clients Rate Lawyers on our Platform 4.9/5 Stars
based on 1,822 reviews

Jump to Section

Need help with a Contract Agreement?

CREATE A FREE PROJECT POSTING
Post Project Now

What is a Voidable Contract?

A voidable contract is an agreement between two parties that can be legally canceled by one or both parties under certain conditions.

The rationale behind voidable contracts is to allow courts to weigh the fairness of a contract based on the circumstances under which it was made. This will enable them to determine whether a party had been unfairly manipulated or coerced into signing a contract they otherwise would not have agreed to under normal circumstances.

What Does Voidable Mean?

Voidable is a term used to describe a contract or other legal document that, although valid, may be voided by one of the parties, but only if that party chooses to do so.

The term voidable is often confused with "void" — and indeed, these two terms are very similar — but there is a crucial difference between them. A contract or other legal document that is void cannot be enforced in court. A void contract is unenforceable because it violates a statute or public policy.

On the other hand, a voidable document can be enforced if both parties agree to continue following its terms.

A voidable contract is an otherwise valid and enforceable agreement. It provides that one or more of its terms may be disregarded at the option of one party to the agreement (i.e., it may be voided).

In such a case, the party who does not want to comply with a contract term can choose not to do so but cannot compel performance from the other party under that term.

In some cases, however, the party whom a voidable contract has wronged will allow the contract to continue in force and effect. This could be because the contract terms offer some advantage to that party. It may also be because the party who breached the contract has promised restitution or additional compensation to make up for any losses suffered from the breach.

Examples of Voidable Contracts

An example of a voidable contract is a contract that involves a minor. Sometimes children enter into contracts that they don't fully understand.

For example, you may have gone to a summer camp during your youth and signed a waiver releasing the camp from liability for any injuries you received while at camp. However, you probably didn't understand the document you were signing as a child. Therefore the contract may be voidable.

A similar situation occurs when someone with mental disabilities enters into a contract. In some cases, people suffering from mental health problems are not considered capable of understanding what they are agreeing to. As a result, they may not realize that they are entering into a contract. This makes such contracts voidable by either party after the fact.

Another example of a voidable contract is if you buy life insurance from an agent who tells you that your new policy will automatically transfer to your children when you die. But your children are not listed as beneficiaries on your policy and are not even eligible for coverage under your policy based on its terms. Then you could sue to have your contract voided.

Meet some lawyers on our platform

Max M.

31 projects on CC
View Profile

Briana C.

16 projects on CC
View Profile

Albert M.

1 project on CC
View Profile

Terence B.

42 projects on CC
View Profile

What Causes a Contract to be Voidable?

Misrepresentation of a contract

Misrepresentation is a false statement that misleads another party into agreeing to a contract. The misrepresentation must be important enough to induce a reasonable person to sign the contract.

For example, if you are selling your house under disclosures and represent that you have maintained the furnace properly. If you know the furnace is on its last legs, this would probably be grounds for voiding the contract. However, an opinion such as saying your house is "beautiful" would not constitute misrepresentation because it's just an opinion.

A contract signed under duress

Duress occurs when one party forces another party into signing a contract through either physical force or psychological pressure.

A contract is considered to be signed under duress if, for instance, a person is forced to enter into a contract by means of an illegal threat.

For example, if one party threatens to burn down another party's house unless they sign a contract, that contract would likely be voided because it was entered into under duress.

However, this rule has some exceptions depending on state law and the type of threat involved.

Undue influence is similar but applies more to situations where someone uses their power over another person to force them into signing a contract against their will.

There was a mistake in the contract signing process

If both parties have misunderstood a fact during a contract negotiation (for example, if one party misunderstands that they will be traveling out of state as part of their new job when hired), that contract can be called off.

Also, suppose both parties make an innocent mistake about the same material fact of the agreement. In that case, it's possible to have the contract voided. However, the mistake must be one that would cause a reasonable person not to sign the contract.

There is a breach of the agreement

One party breached a duty owed to the other party in connection with the formation of the contract – called a breach of contract. If one party fails to uphold their end of the deal, the other party is excused from performing their duties under the terms of the agreement.

Incapacity to understand, sign, and uphold a contract

If one or both parties did not have the mental capacity to understand the terms and conditions of the agreement, perhaps due to intoxication or mental illness, the contract is considered voidable. The same case applies if one party becomes incapable of performing his obligations under the contract due to death, mental incapacity, or bankruptcy.

Voidable Contract in Real Estate

Contracts are everywhere in the real estate world, from purchase and sales agreements to lease agreements. Some of these agreements are voidable because they have not fulfilled conditions or contain terms that cannot be enforced under state law.

The most common example of a voidable contract in real estate is a contract for the sale of a home where the buyer has not met all conditions spelled out in the purchase and sale agreement. For example, suppose the buyer fails to secure financing despite a good faith effort. In that case, the purchase and sale agreement is no longer valid.

For example, if you agree to buy a house for $500,000 with no contingency for financing but later find out you can't obtain a loan, you may be able to back out of the deal and not lose your deposit. This is because most contracts contain language stating the buyer can cancel if he doesn't obtain financing within a certain time frame — usually 30 days from when the contract becomes binding.

You might want to back out of a real estate deal because of defects found during the inspection. Most contracts contain a clause that the seller must repair problems during the inspection period. If the seller refuses or the issues are extensive, you may decide it's not worth buying. As a result, you may find yourself retracting away from the contract, creating a voidable contract.

Get Help with a Legal Project

Do you need help evaluating whether you have a voidable contract? Post a project in ContractsCounsel’s marketplace to receive flat fee quotes from lawyers for your project. All lawyers in our network are vetted and peer-reviewed by our clients for you to explore before hiring.

How ContractsCounsel Works
Hiring a lawyer on ContractsCounsel is easy, transparent and affordable.
1. Post a Free Project
Complete our 4-step process to provide info on what you need done.
2. Get Bids to Review
Receive flat-fee bids from lawyers in our marketplace to compare.
3. Start Your Project
Securely pay to start working with the lawyer you select.

Meet some of our Lawyers

ContractsCounsel verified
Principal Attorney
18 years practicing
Free Consultation

Daliah Saper operates a cutting-edge internet and social media law practice that regularly leads local and national media outlets to solicit her commentary on emerging internet law issues involving cyberbullying, sexting, catfishing, revenge porn, anonymous online defamation, domain name and user-name squatting, privacy, and the latest business decisions made by social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. As a litigator Daliah represents companies bringing or defending business and intellectual property disputes. (She has argued cases in a number of jurisdictions including taking a case all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court.) As a transactional lawyer she helps clients choose the right business entity, drafts contracts and licensing agreements, advises on sweepstakes and contest rules, and ensures website terms of use and privacy policies are compliant, and provides comprehensive trademark and copyright counseling. Since founding Saper Law Offices in 2005, Daliah has been named a 40 Under 40 by Law Bulletin Publishing Co., a top Media & Advertising attorney by Super Lawyers Magazine 14 years in a row, and has been repeatedly recognized as a leading media and entertainment lawyer by Chambers and Partners. For the past eleven years, she also has taught entertainment and social media law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

ContractsCounsel verified
Attorney
11 years practicing
Free Consultation

Mr. Mehdipour attended the University of California San Diego where he received his degree in political science. After graduating from UCSD, Mr. Mehdipour attended Southwestern University School of Law where he received his JD. Upon passing the bar, Mr. Mehdipour gained invaluable experience both in a law firm and business setting. Mr. Mehdipour uses his prior business and legal experiences to negotiate the most advantageous results for his clients.

ContractsCounsel verified
Attorney
15 years practicing
Free Consultation

Alen Aydinian is a versatile attorney with over a decade of experience working with business owners and real estate professionals. Client engagement is central to a successful attorney/client relationship. Alen personally manages all client relationships so that his clients can see how their interests are being served at every stage of the process.

ContractsCounsel verified
Founder, Victrix Legal LLC
1 year practicing
Free Consultation

I help small business owners build and protect their dreams. I always thought that I would just be a litigator. Then I joined an intellectual property clinic in law school. We were helping nonprofits and small businesses reach their goals. I fell in love with the work and decided to open my own firm so I could keep helping them. When I decided to start Victrix Legal, I decided that it would be a modern law firm designed to serve professionals. It would be different from every other law firm. In my experience, my law firms are designed to promote inefficiency and reactionary lawyering. Because in most firms, you make more money when you spend more time on a project. And you lose money if your client doesn't get sued. In my opinion, that's a built-in conflict of interest. My firm is different. I use flat fees for most basic projects to keep costs predictable for you and incentivize efficiency. I offer long-term advisory plans and legal audits to prevent issues from happening. I want my clients to see me as their business partner, not just the guy they call when they are in trouble. If any of that interests you, please reach out to me. I offer free consultations. Let's set aside some time and talk about what your legal needs are.

ContractsCounsel verified
Attorney
8 years practicing
Free Consultation

My clients know me as more than just an attorney. First and foremost, my background is much broader than that. Prior to attending the Valparaiso University School of Law, I earned a Master of Business Administration and ran a small business as a certified public accountant. Thanks to this experience, I possess unique insight which in turn allows me to better assist my clients with a wide range of business and tax matters today. In total, I have over 20 years of experience in financial management, tax law, and business consulting, and I’m proud to say that I’m utilizing the knowledge I’ve gained to assist the community of Round Rock in a variety of ways. In my current practice, I provide counsel to small to medium-sized businesses, nonprofit organizations, and everyday individuals. Though my primary areas of practice are estate planning, elder law, business consulting, and tax planning, I pride myself on assisting my clients in a comprehensive manner. Whenever I take on a new client, I make an effort to get to know them on a personal level. This, of course, begins with listening. It is important that I fully understand their vision so I can help them successfully translate it into a concrete plan of action that meets their goals and expectations. I appreciate the individual attributes of each client and know firsthand that thoughtful, creative, and customized planning can maximize both financial security and personal happiness. During my time as a certified public accountant, I cultivated an invaluable skill set. After all, while my legal education has given me a deep understanding of tax law, I would not be the tax attorney I am today without my background in accounting. Due to my far-reaching experience, I am competent in unraveling even the most complex tax mysteries and disputes. My CPA training benefits my estate planning practice, too. In the process of drafting comprehensive wills and trusts, I carefully account for every asset and plan for any tax burdens that may arise, often facilitating a much smoother inheritance for the heirs of my clients. Prior to becoming certified as a CPA, I made sure to establish a solid foundation in business both in and out of the classroom, and the acumen I’ve attained has served me well. Not only am I better able to run my own practice than I otherwise would be; I am able to help other small business owners fulfill their dreams, as well.

ContractsCounsel verified
Associate
6 years practicing
Free Consultation

Hello! I am a young attorney with four years' experience in real estate transactions, fund formation, and general corporate transactional work. I graduated in 2016 from the University of Texas - Austin and I am barred in Texas.

ContractsCounsel verified
Partner Attorney
13 years practicing
Free Consultation

I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2006 with a degree in Political Science, Finance, and Economics. I stayed around Champaign for law school and graduated in 2009. I then worked at a big law firm in downtown Chicago. It was boring, so I quit in early 2011. I thought that I could not be happy practicing law - I was wrong. After I quit the traditional law firm life, I began representing my own clients. I realize now that I love helping normal people, small business owners, and non-profits address a variety of legal issues. I hope to hear from you.

ContractsCounsel verified
Partner
6 years practicing
Free Consultation

I graduated from Harvard Law School and worked first for a federal judge and then a leading DC firm before starting a firm with a law school classmate. My practice focuses on company formations, early-stage investments, and mergers & acquisitions.

ContractsCounsel verified
Manager
24 years practicing
Free Consultation

Anna is an experienced attorney, with over twenty years of experience. With no geographical boundaries confining her practice, Anna works on corporate, healthcare and real estate transactions. Anna brings extensive big firm experience, garnered as an associate in the Miami office of the world's largest law firm, Baker and McKenzie, and the Miami office of the international law firm Kilpatrick Townsend. Her areas of expertise include: mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, private placements, healthcare transactions, corporate finance, commercial real estate transaction and acting as a general corporate counsel. Anna is certified to practice law in Florida and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1998. Anna is also a Certified Public Accountant. She passed May 1995 CPA Exam on the first sitting. She is fluent in Russian (native).

ContractsCounsel verified
Attorney
11 years practicing
Free Consultation

G'day, my name is Michele! I work with startups, entrepreneurs and small/medium-sized businesses across the country in a wide array of industries. I help them with all of their ongoing, daily legal needs. This includes entity formation, M&A, contract drafting and review, employment, asset sale & acquisition, and business sales or shareholder exits. I'm half-Australian, half-Italian, and I've lived the last 20+ years of my life in America. I've lived all over the USA, completing high school in the deep south, graduating cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis, and then cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center. After law school I worked for the Los Angeles office of Latham & Watkins, LLP. After four intense and rewarding years there, I left to become General Counsel and VP of an incredible, industry-changing start-up called Urban Mining Company (UMC) that manufactures rare earth permanent magnets. I now work for Phocus Law where I help run our practice focused on entrepreneurs, startups, and SMEs. I love what I do, and I'd love to be of help! My focus is on providing stress-free, enjoyable, and high-quality legal service to all of my clients. Being a good lawyer isn't enough: the client experience should also be great. But work isn't everything, and I love my free time. I've been an avid traveler since my parents put me on a plane to Italy at 9-months old. I'm also a music nut, and am still looking for that perfect client that will engage me to explain why Dark Side Of The Moon is the greatest album of all time. Having grown up in a remote, and gorgeous corner of Australia, I feel a strong connection to nature, and love being in the elements.

ContractsCounsel verified
Partner
9 years practicing
Free Consultation

Attorney Greg Corbin is the founder and principal of Signal Law in Denver, Colorado. A top-rated trial and transactional lawyer with more than seven years of total legal experience, Mr. Corbin provides exceptional counsel and support to clients across the greater Denver metro and surrounding areas who have legal needs involving any of the following: business and corporate law; contracts and agreements; incorporations, partnerships and other entity formation and dissolution services; and ongoing business counsel for emerging and expanding commercial enterprises. Utilizing the latest in cost-saving technologies and advanced automation, Mr. Corbin has established his practice as a modern law firm ready for the future, and he strives to provide the highest level of representation to his clients and help them achieve their goals and the favorable outcomes they seek as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. He has gained a reputation for his innovative solutions as well as his transparent pricing structure and responsiveness when dealing with his clients. In recognition of his outstanding professionalism and service, Mr. Corbin has earned consistent top rankings and endorsements from his peers as being among the top lawyers in his region for business law and transactions. A 2008 graduate of Kansas State University, Mr. Corbin obtained his Juris Doctor from Boston University School of Law in 2013. The Massachusetts Bar Association admitted him to practice that same year, and the Colorado State Bar Association admitted him in 2015. Mr. Corbin is an active member of the Denver Bar Association and the Colorado State Bar Association, among his other professional affiliations, and he supports his local community through his involvement with Project Worthmore and Biking for Baseball, where he serves on the boards of directors.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call