Schexnaydre Law Firm, LLC

Breach of Contract: Material or Anticipatory. What's the Difference?

To understand contract law, it is important to understand two kinds of breach of contract: material breach and anticipatory breach.

Material Breach of Contract

With a material breach (also called a total breach), the agreement is "irreparably broken." That means the breach strikes at the heart of the contract and defeats the purpose of even making the contract.

For example, if a contractor agreed to install cabinets with brass hardware but instead used chrome hardware, that is probably not a material breach because you were not deprived of the cabinets, and you could ask the contractor to remedy the situation by installing the kind of hardware you requested.

However, if a contractor agreed to install cabinets but installed a window instead, that would be a material breach because it defeats the purpose of the contract.

Depending on how it is drafted, a contract may also indicate what constitutes a material breach.

Anticipatory Breach of Contract

If a party to a contract uses words or actions to indicate that it will unconditionally not perform its contractual obligations, the other party can claim anticipatory breach of contract.

In other words, the party that refuses to perform its obligations has repudiated the contract, and the other party may seek remedies -- payment, for example.

An example of someone repudiating a contract is when the owner of a manufacturing company says on television that the company is behind on production and won't be able to fill its orders. The party that is owed the products can then claim anticipatory breach of contract and seek remedies.

Put an experienced commercial litigation attorney on your side.

Whether you are dealing with a material or an anticipatory breach, it is important to have skilled legal guidance on your side. At Schexnaydre Law Firm, we advise and represent parties on either side of contract disputes. With offices in Mandeville, we provide comprehensive contract and litigation services in Louisiana and nationwide.

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Schexnaydre Law Firm, LLC
2895 Highway 190, Suite 212
Mandeville, LA 70471

Toll Free: 888-339-0696
Phone: 985-231-1791
Fax: 985-235-1089
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