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m3527
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Commodity Sale contract--legal help

I made an agreement over the phone to sell 5000 bu  fob my farm.  With the understanding that they would haul it out within the next week.  That was over a month ago.  They sent a contract for me to sign and return, which I never did.  On the second page the contract states that if I do not sign the contract within 3 days it is considered signed.

 

My question:  is this contract considered binding when I never signed it?  I have never heard of this kind of language in a contract before.  What good is a written contract if I have no recourse upon viewing the terms.  Incidentally they list the delivery period as a 2 month time period with a right to extend the delivery 90 more days.  My point being they didn't hold up their part of the oral agreement and I no longer want  to fill the contract.

 

Any insight or past experiences would be appreciated

 

thanks

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Senior Contributor

Re: Commodity Sale contract--legal help

The only contract was a oral one, that they broke when they didn`t pick up your grain within a week as you orally agreed to. An unsigned written contract is only good for wiping their butt with. Good Luck.

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Re: Commodity Sale contract--legal help

m - when grain is sold via an oral contract, a written contract is issued to confirm the details.  Oral contracts have withstood numerous court challenges.  You have what the courts would deem a "reasonable time" to review the terms and register a complaint upon receipt of the written contract.  Since a month has passed, you don't really have a leg to stand on.  It is very important to get a written contract as soon as you sell, review it, and make sure it says what you thought it should.

 

Is this old crop grain sitting in space you are ready to use?  Or, is this an issue that the price has gone up since you made the contract?

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Senior Contributor

Re: Commodity Sale contract--legal help

An oral contract can certainly be binding.  There is plenty of case law on that.   In fact, when you wrote, "I made an agreement over the phone to sell 5000 bu fob my farm."  I think a lawyer would argue that you affirmed the contract.  The review period doesn't give  you a time to decide you didn't like the sale but a time to argue that the terms were not as agreed on.

 

The buyer can buy corn on the market and bill you for the difference between what they paid and what you said you'd sell for, if they wish.

 

There's a lot about it, much over my head, in this review of agricultural oral contracts.  As AD said, I think  you're way past time to get out of this contract, but this paper lists a number of the arguments that can be raised.

 

It's probably time to either deliver or get a lawyer.  You'll want to get one from your state.

 

http://nationalaglawcenter.org/assets/bibarticles/kettering_contracts.pdf

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Senior Contributor

Re: Commodity Sale contract--legal help

Here`s a link you may find usefull, if goods in contract are over $500 (I assume you were selling the 5000bu for more than a dime a bushel Smiley Happy) the contract terms most be agreed to and SIGNED in most states. Anyhoo here`s the link.

http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/articles/3743/1/An-unsigned-contract-can-still-be-legally-bin...#

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Senior Contributor

Re: Commodity Sale contract--legal help

BA Deere, there are time when a contract needs to be signed, but an oral grain sale contract is not one of them.  The OP needs to consult a local ag lawyer right away if he hopes to get out of his contract.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Commodity Sale contract--legal help

If the price of corn was 50 cents to 75 cents LOWER, would you be having these thoughts and making this post?

 

Don't be a jerk...man up, show some cajones, and honor the contract.

 

If the length of time is unreasonable, ask for some storage.

 

I really cannot stand welchers. Show some honor.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Commodity Sale contract--legal help

A person who has never dealt with oral contracts might be unsure as to their enforceability, especially when one side doesn't seem to live up to part of the details.  It's never any fun to learn in situations like this.  The tuition is always in hard cash.  But, let's hope this isn't a case where name calling or questions of integrity need to be raised.  He asked and now he knows better.

 

 

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Senior Contributor

Re: Commodity Sale contract--legal help

I never heard of "if we don`t hear different, we`ll consider the contract signed". Maybe everyone involved are Norwegians Smiley Wink. In my dealings with contracting over the phone I`ve never let the sunset without running up to sign the written contract. In this price environment with 5000 bu corn fluxuating maybe $5-$10,000 they really need to improve their communications. Around here if a contract wasn`t signed a few days after the phone call, you`d go on the shinola list. What probably happened in the poster`s case is the elevator was full and thought they could sneak in a little free storage and as mentioned prices have changed a little bit in the past month.

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Senior Advisor

Re: Commodity Sale contract--legal help

In my opinion the verbal agreement is as rock solid as a signed agreement.

 

Personally I sell most of my grain over the telephone. After the agreement is made they fax the a sales contract and I sign it and fax it back.  Some day they will electronically wire the money to me. Now they mail the proceeds to the my bank for deposit.

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