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Verbal Agreements: What to Do When Someone Backs Out

Verbal agreements can be a convenient way to make agreements without the hassle of drafting and signing a written contract. However, without written documentation, verbal agreements can be difficult to enforce. If you have entered into a verbal agreement with someone who is now backing out, you may be wondering what your options are. This article will discuss what you can do in such a situation, your options, and how a lawyer can help.



What to Do When Someone Backs Out


The first step is to try to resolve the issue through communication. Talk to the other party and try to understand why they are backing out of the agreement. If you can come to a mutual agreement, that's great. If not, you may need to consider other options.

Options for Enforcing Verbal Agreements

  1. Small Claims Court: If the amount in dispute is relatively small, you can file a claim in small claims court. However, without written documentation, proving the terms of the agreement may be challenging.

  2. Negotiation: Try to negotiate a settlement with the other party. It may be possible to reach a compromise that satisfies both parties.

  3. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): ADR, such as mediation or arbitration, can be a less formal and less costly option for resolving disputes. A neutral third party can help the parties come to a mutually acceptable resolution.

How a Lawyer Can Help


If you have entered into a verbal agreement that the other party is backing out of, it is essential to seek legal advice from a lawyer. A lawyer can review the facts of the case and advise on the best course of action. A lawyer can also advise on the strength of the case and the potential costs involved in pursuing legal action. If legal action is necessary, a lawyer can represent you in court or during ADR proceedings.


Verbal agreements can be a convenient way to make agreements, but they can also be challenging to enforce. If you have entered into a verbal agreement and the other party is backing out, the first step is to try to resolve the issue through communication. If that fails, there are several options available, such as small claims court, negotiation, or ADR. Seeking legal advice from a lawyer is crucial in such situations to understand your options and potential risks and benefits involved. A lawyer can advise on the best course of action, represent you in court or ADR proceedings, and help you enforce your verbal agreement.

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