9/26/2017

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Read The Fine Print

In a contract, the fine print may be more important than the large print.

When you purchase almost anything today, you may be required to sign a contract. By signing a contract, you agree to the terms and provisions that are spelled out in writing and you are obligated to abide by it under the laws of specific jurisdictions.

A contract is defined as an agreement between two or more people, an agreement between business entities, or an agreement between a business entity and a person. In a contract, a promise is made to perform a particular service or provide a product in return for a valuable consideration or a defined benefit.

In most cases, contracts are written to protect all parties in a transaction. But a contract may have fine print that gives the vendor or contractor the upper hand if something goes wrong. Before signing any contract, you should always read and understand what is in it, especially in the fine print.

The fine print is usually placed in the contract in an area that gets the least amount of notice. It may be buried in the body of the contract or at the very end of it. The fine print usually defines, in technical terms, what the large print fails to totally make known or disclose.

The fine print usually contains information that makes the contract more beneficial to the person or entity that draws it up. This might make you more legally bound to the contract than you may think.

You will more than likely be required to sign a contract if you buy a home or other real property, a car, a television, a refrigerator, or almost any big ticket item. There will usually be a contract involved if you buy health insurance, auto insurance, open a bank account, apply for a credit card, join a health club, or if you purchase equipment for farming, ranching, or for any other type of business equipment.

Most people neglect to read the fine print because it is just that, "fine print." By the time you finish reading all the large print, you may not feel like reading the fine print or you may feel that the large print covers everything that you need to know which is not always the case.

There is an old saying that goes, "The big print giveth, and the fine print taketh away." The fine print often contain legal verbiage that may cause you headaches if something goes wrong. It may legally bind you to perform long term services, keep products that you may no longer need, or to make payments on products that you no longer have.

The fine print in any contract is there for a reason. It may or may not be there for your best interest so you should always read it. If you can't understand what the fine print is saying, you should have someone else, maybe an attorney, read it and explain what it is saying.

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