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Dealing with a Massachusetts anticipatory breach

On Behalf of | Aug 11, 2023 | Business & Commercial Litigation

An anticipatory breach in Massachusetts is when one person (the promisor) fails to uphold their end of a business contract. It’s known as anticipatory because the promisor states in advance they won’t fulfill their obligation. At this point, the second person in the agreement (the promisee) must choose the best option for handling the breached contract.

Take no action

No reaction to the breach is one way to avoid commercial litigation. Choosing this option means you accept that the promisor won’t fulfill their obligation. It also means you decide to take no action against the promisor.

There are a few reasons why you might choose this option. For example, the promisor may have had no choice but to breach the contract. Perhaps there was a delay with a delivery, a machinery breakdown or an unexpected illness.

Taking no action is also a way to keep the peace. If the promisor is a close friend or family member, preserving the relationship might take precedence over all else.

Cancel the contract

You can cancel the contract when the promisor is clear they won’t fulfill the agreement. Officially canceling the contract means the promisor should return any payments you’ve made. You can then use those funds to find someone else to meet your business needs.

Take legal action

When the promisor makes it clear they won’t fulfill the contract, you can take legal action against them. You can do this even if the contract’s deadline hasn’t arrived. You’ll want to take steps to prevent further damages from the promisor’s failure to perform. Taking legal action to seek compensatory damages is possibly something you’ll want to consider.

An anticipatory breach is a business nuisance that no one wants to encounter. But if this situation should arise, you’ll want to respond in a way that’s best for your situation.