Contract disputes comes in all shapes and sizes. One of the more prevalent contract disputes that arises is when there is a genuine dispute over the amount owed for work under a contract. Very often the parties will amicably reach a resolution and use the compromise to satisfy whatever the underlying obligation may have been. Legally, this is called an accord and satisfaction. An accord is an agreement for the settlement of some previously existing claim by a substituted performance. The validity of such an agreement is dependent upon the same basic factors and principles that govern contracts generally. The burden of proving accord and satisfaction is simply the burden of proving a contract: offer, acceptance and consideration.
Accord and satisfaction, however, is not to be confused with an accord executory agreement. An accord executory is an agreement for the future discharge of an existing claim by a substituted performance. An enforceable accord executory suspends the original claim and, as long as the debtor has not breached the accord, the creditor is precluded from maintaining an action on the prior or original claim.
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