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Statute of frauds The statute of frauds refers to the requirement that certain kinds of contracts be memorialized in a signed writing

with sufficient content to evidence the contract. Traditionally, the statute of frauds requires a signed writing in the following circumstances:

Contracts in consideration of marriage. This provision covers prenuptial agreements. Contracts which cannot be performed within one year. However, contracts of indefinite duration do not fall under the statute of frauds regardless of how long the performance actually takes. Contracts for the transfer of an interest in land. This applies not only to a contract to sell land but also to any other contract in which land or an interest in it is disposed, such as the grant of a mortgage or an easement. Contracts by the executor of a will to pay a debt of the estate with his own money. Contracts for the sale of goods involving a purchase price of $500 or more <UCC article 2 says purchase price of $5000 or more must be in writing to be enforcible>. Contracts in which one party becomes a surety (acts as guarantor) for another party's debt or other obligation.

(authored by Sir Leoline Jenkins and passed by the Cavalier Parliament), the title of which is An Act for Prevention of Frauds and Perjuries.[1] Many common law jurisdictions have made similar statutory provisions, while a number of civil law jurisdictions have equivalent legislation incorporated into their civil codes. The original English statute itself may still be in effect in a number of US states or Canadian provinces, depending on the constitutional or reception statute of English law, and any subsequent legislative developments.

Raising the defense

A defendant in a statute of frauds case who wishes to use the Statute as a defense must raise the Statute in a timely manner. The burden of proving that a written contract exists only comes into play when a Statute of Frauds defense is raised by the defendant. A defendant who admits the existence of the contract in his pleadings, under oath in a deposition or affidavit, or at trial, may not use the defense. A statute of frauds defense may also be effected by a showing of part performance, upon showing of one of two different conditions. If the parties have taken action in reliance on the agreement, as in the case Riley v. Capital Airlines, Inc. the court held that part performance does not take an executory portion of contract out of the Statute of Frauds. Each performance constitutes a contract that falls outside the Statute of Frauds and was enforceable to the extent it is executed. But the unexecuted portion of the contract falls within the Statute of Frauds and is unenforceable. As a result, only the executed portion of the contract can be recovered, and the doctrine of part performance does not remove the contract from the statute. On the other hand, the court in Schwedes v. Romain held that partial performance and grounds for estoppel can make the contract effective.

This can be remembered by the mnemonic "MY LEGS": Marriage, contracts for more than one year, land, executor (or estate), goods (over $500), surety; or Marriage, one year, land, executor (or estate), guarantor, sale.
The term statute of frauds comes from an Act of the Parliament of England (29 Chas. 2 c. 3) passed in 1677

In an action for specific performance, an agreement to convey land must satisfy the Statute of Frauds. The Statute is satisfied if the contract to convey is evidenced by a writing or writings containing the essential terms of a purchase and sale agreement and signed by the party against whom the contract is to be enforced. If there is no written agreement, a court of equity can specifically enforce an oral agreement to convey only if the part performance doctrine is satisfied. In a majority of jurisdictions, part performance is proven when the purchaser pays the purchase price, has possession of the land, and makes improvements on the land, all with the permission of the seller. No jurisdiction is satisfied by payment of the purchase price alone. Under common law, the Statute of Frauds also applies to contract modification - for example, suppose party A makes an oral agreement to lease a car from party B for 9 months. Immediately after taking possession party A decides that he really likes the car, and makes an oral offer to party B to extend the term of the lease by 6 months. Although neither agreement alone comes under the Statute of Frauds, the extension modifies the original contract to make it a 15-month lease, thereby bringing it under the Statute. In practice, this works in reverse as well - an agreement to reduce the lease from 15 months to 9 months would not require a writing. However, almost all jurisdictions have enacted statutes that require a writing in such situations. The Uniform Commercial Code abrogated this requirement for contract modification, discussed below. What Does Creditor Mean? An entity (person or institution) that extends credit

by giving another entity permission to borrow money if it is paid back at a later date. Creditors can be classified as either "personal" or "real". Those people who loan money to friends or family are personal creditors. Real creditors (i.e. a bank or finance company) have legal contracts with the borrower granting the lender the right to claim any of the debtor's real assets (e.g. real estate or car) if he or she fails to pay back the loan. What Does Debtor Mean? A company or individual who owes money. If the debt is in the form of a loan from a financial institution, the debtor is referred to as a borrower. If the debt is in the form of securities, such as bonds, the debtor is referred to as an issuer. Investopedia explains Debtor It is not a crime to fail to pay a debt. Except in certain bankruptcy situations, debtors can choose to pay debts in any priority they choose. But if you've failed to pay a debt, you have broken a contract or agreement between you and a creditor. Generally, most oral and written agreements for the repayment of consumer debt - debts for personal, family or household purposes secured primarily by a person's residence - are enforceable. However, most debts for business or commercial purposes must be in writing to be enforceable. If the agreement requires the debtor to pay a certain amount of money, then the creditor does not have to accept a lesser amount. Also, if there was no actual agreement but the creditor has loaned money, performed services or provided the debtor with a product, that debtor must pay the creditor.