If you're familiar with Walt Disney's classic movie The Little Mermaid, you'll likely remember one of the most famous scenes in the movie: Ursula tricks Ariel the mermaid into giving up her voice for three days in exchange for a pair of human legs. Ariel is so intent on getting to spend more time with her Prince Eric that she willingly signs the contract, much to the delight of the sea witch Ursula. Thankfully, those entering contracts in the United States do not have to worry about the evil octopus when they finally sign their name to paper-- but that simple piece of paper can be just as binding as the animated movie entailed. Getting out of a contract is not an easy task, and many individuals assume that there simply is no possible way to escape once the signature has been placed to the page. In actuality, American law does allow for certain individuals to escape their contractual agreements:
"The Poor Unfortunate Souls"
While you may never encounter a villain as evil as Ursula, it's unfortunately all too easy to forget that not every human you encounter is a saint. In some situations, the contract you've just signed your name to may not be everything it's cracked up to be. Simply said, some individuals are scamming you with fraud to get your money-- and the law won't allow it.
For example, suppose that you purchase a used car that is described as being completely flawless with no problems to speak of... but after driving home, you discover that the muffler is falling off, and one of the tires seems to be wobbling at high speeds. Although you technically just finished signing the official paperwork, the fraud that was committed (in not revealing the problems with the car during the purchase) is enough to void the contract.
"Rake 'Em Across the Coals"
If you've recently entered an agreement but have found that the deal was unfair or that the opposite party was using their power against you to benefit themselves, your contract likely will be overturned in a court of law. Known as adhesion contracts, large businesses can sometimes prey on unsuspecting consumers, offering services with absurdly supplemental fees or conditions. If a contract is largely unfair to one party, an American court has the power to overturn that contract-- no matter what you signed your name to. If you discover you have been unfairly treated in a contract that you signed as hastily as Ariel, consider talking to an attorney at a firm like Gomez May LLP as soon as possible.
Hello, I'm Christina Miller. Have you ever been fascinated with why the law works the way it does? Ever since I was in junior high, I had an intense interest in anything related to our legal system, whether it be a crime drama on television, a judge show or a legal case covered on the news. I followed it all. As time progressed, I began learning about how the actual legal system worked and not just the fictionalized version of our legal system. This has lead me to start writing my own blog posts about law that I hope will help others.