“But I didn’t know what I was signing….”

Blond woman shrugging

You signed the document, you’re bound by it. But is this actually right?

May 30, 2018
Bobby Kethcart - Snell & Wilmer Real Estate Litigation Blog

In real estate cases—which frequently involve long purchase agreements, loan documents, personal guarantees, deeds of trust, etc.—we’ve likely all had a client or opposing party who trots out the line that they didn’t know what they were signing, or they didn’t read or understand what they were signing, so the document shouldn’t be enforced according to its terms.

Most of us instinctively believe the claim is a loser: You signed the document, you’re bound by it.

But is this actually right?

Well, we did some digging. Here is the Arizona law on the subject:

Nationwide Resources Corp. v. Massabni, 134 Ariz. 557, 658 P.2d 210 (App. 1982):

“A mistake of only one of the parties to a contract in the expression of his agreement or as to the subject matter does not affect its binding force and ordinarily affords no ground for its avoidance, or for relief, even in equity.”

“A manifestation of acceptance to the offeror or his agent forms a contract regardless of the intent of the acceptor.”

Mr. Kethcart may be contacted at rkethcart@swlaw.com


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