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Introduction: Rushed Decisions and Their Negative Effects
To close a financial deal, one must make sure that every argument should be weighed and considered carefully. When considering the purchase of a car, one must be aware of the legal specifics of the process, as the case of Jim and Laura shows quite clearly. Despite the fact that they seem to be the victims of at least a misunderstanding, if not a fraud, they have little to no evidence to prove that they are right and that there was no legal contract.
Detecting the Elements of a Legal Contract
From a legal perspective, a contract comprises four essential elements, which are “mutual assent, consideration, capacity, and legality” (Cornell University Law School, n.d., par. 1). In the suggested scenario, both sides of the argument agreed to close a deal, which means that a mutual assent took place. The consideration, which implied carrying out a discussion of the agreement, can also be detected. Seeing that both the dealer and the prospective buyers were eligible for closing a deal, the capacity requirement can also be considered fulfilled. Seeing that both parties agreed to hold a care for a day, the procedure also meets the legality requirement. Therefore, it can be deemed as a contract, though not a written one (Federal Trade Commission, n.d.).
The Contract That Was Not: Analysis
As explained above, the scenario described in the case under analysis meets the contract criteria. However, the lack of any evidence that could point to its existence may be viewed as an impediment to proving that the agreement took place. In other words, for the contract to have a binding power, it should have been signed as a legal document. One might argue that the contract was based on a promise that the couple misguidedly made to the dealer.
However, it should be borne in mind that, in this case, the dealer should have been aware of the threats that a verbal agreement implies: “Certain promises that are not considered contracts may, in limited circumstances, be enforced if one party has relied to his detriment on the assurances of the other party” (Cornell University Law School, n.d., par. 2).
Evidence and Its Assessment: Wishes and Facts
One might make a very slim argument that there was a promise of a refund in case the customers decide to refuse from purchasing the car. Indeed, according to the case details, the dealer did make a promise that the couple will be eligible for withdrawing their money and receiving it back. Nevertheless, neither Laura nor Jim has the evidence that could be used in court as the proof of their statement since there was no third party that could support their claims (State Government, n.d.).
Conclusion: Caution as the Means of Avoiding Fraud
Therefore, the case in point can be viewed as a graphic example of fraud that, unfortunately, cannot be proven. It could be argued that Jim and Laura could take the issue to court by filing a lawsuit against the dealer. However, they must keep in mind that, when it comes to the processing, it will be their word against his – or, to be more exact, his lawyers.
There is a possibility, though, that the dealer in question has other dissatisfied customers that were tricked into paying for the car and then being deprived of an opportunity to withdraw their deposit. Therefore, filing a class-action lawsuit could be a possibility. Nevertheless, the changes are comparatively low. Put differently, in case the couple is not ready to spend a substantial amount of money on proving their case in court, it is suggested that they should count the losses and refrain from taking a legal action against the dealer.
Cornell University Law School. (n.d.). Contract. Web.
Federal Trade Commission. (n.d.). Buying a used car. Web.
State Government. (n.d.). Buying a car. Web.