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Definition of Breach of Contract

A breach of contract occurs when a person or company fails to perform or meet the terms of a contract, written or oral. Common breach of contract can include a homeowner failing to pay their mortgage, a celebrity not showing up at an event or a caterer failing to cater an event. Breach of contract is one of the most common types of lawsuits in which the plaintiff seeks specific damages.

To demonstrate breach of contract you must prove you had a valid contract with another person. This is easy if you have a written contract and both parties have signed it. If the contract is oral you may need additional evidence, which varies from state to state. You must prove you upheld your legal responsibilities under the contract and the other party failed to do their duty under the contract. This can be proven if one party did not perform their duty, makes it clear they have no intention to perform their duty or makes it impossible for the other party to perform their duty. Finally, you must prove you suffered financial loss or were harmed by the breach.

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