A contract is an agreement between two parties, and though contracts can represent agreements on unlimited subjects, they often involve a promise that one party will provide something and the other party will pay for what has been provided. When one party fails to deliver on what they’ve promised, it is referred to as a breach of contract.
A breach of contract is not strictly a failure to fulfill the terms of a contract: more accurately, it is a failure to fulfill any term of a contract without a legitimate, legal excuse. That means that even neglecting a single element of a contract represents a breach, and can be pursued legally. While the particulars of a breach are as varied as are the terms of contracts themselves, there are four specific types of contract breaches about which you should be aware. They are:
- Actual breach – This describes a failure or refusal by one party to fulfill their side of the agreement as spelled out in the terms of the contract that has happened. It may mean that a supplier failed to deliver the goods promised, or delivered the goods promised but not on the day indicated within the contract.
- Anticipatory breach – Though similar to actual breach, an anticipatory breach describes a situation where one party announces that they will not fulfill the contract. It requires indication of an intention not to hold up their end of the agreement in the future.
- Minor breach – This represents a contract being fulfilled, but only partially. An example of a minor breach would be a builder having a house ready to be occupied by the promised delivery date, but failing to have completed the pool by the delivery date as specified in the contract.
- Material breach – A material breach represents a significant departure from the terms of the original contract. In the example of the building contract above, a material breach would be where the house that was ordered was a three-story, five-bedroom brick house and what was delivered was a two-bedroom, one-bathroom ranch house made of aluminum.
No matter whether a breach of contract is material or minor, actual or anticipatory, it represents somebody not getting what was agreed upon. If you have been a victim of a breach of contract, our experienced contract attorneys can help you get the remedy that you need. Contact us today to set up a time to discuss your situation.