Skip to main content

Is my father liable, if I sign contract in his name without his consent?Does pa consumer fraud act protect small business owner?

Allentown, PA |

Guy from Merchant Lynx came in asking me about changing to his credit card processing company. He started promising free new credit card machine, no commitment, no cancellation fees, a flat rate of 1.8%, no fees, and he will pay for past credit card processor cancellation fee and he wrote it all on an addendum page. So I filled in my father’s information. Before signing I told him to wait for my father to review the contract. My father was out running errands during the afternoons so he never met the guy. I could not reach my dad, the Merchant Lynx told me I should just sign it. I thought it was okay and I signed the contract and the addendum page. I then asked him to give me a copy of the contract and addendum page but he told me his manager needs to sign it and he will return with copy.

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

Generally an agent working for a disclosed principal can execute contracts and agreements that are fully binding on the principal. This is particularly true when the agent is working within the scope of an agency determined by the agreement and/or course of conduct between principal and agent.

If an agent attempts to disclaim a contract on behalf of a principal because the principal didn't "sign" the contract, that agent may then be liable him or herself for having presumably acted *outside* the course and scope of the agency.

Where an agent signs the agreement of a principal believing the agreement in the interest of the principal, the principal is generally liable. Many facts exist to determine how that all plays out. Those facts can only be understood in a consultation with an attorney competent in this area of law.

Disclaimer: Nothing stated herein is legal advice. For legal advice, consult an attorney; I am not your attorney at this time. This response may constitute ATTORNEY ADVERTISING which has not been approved by the Supreme Courts of New Jersey or Pennsylvania or the Court of Appeals of Maryland. I am a federally-designated “debt relief agency” that provides, where appropriate, relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Mark as helpful

2 lawyers agree

3 comments

Asker

Posted

I was only helping my father out temporary because my uncle had to leave for a few weeks

Asker

Posted

I signed my father name on it not mine

Joseph A Mullaney III

Joseph A Mullaney III

Posted

Principal/agent determinations are fact-specific. A potential agent ought to be careful when claiming he was not authorized to enter a agreement on behalf of a principal. The agent may be personally liable for the contract. If a person who signed a document for another claims that he was unauthorized to do so, he maybe admitting to unauthorized signing, e.g., forgery. Rather than focusing on whether a contract exists, perhaps your father should seek counsel on how to properly cancel the contract. Lastly, one ought to be very careful about making admissions against interest on the internet.

Posted

It is suggested that your father immediately fax a letter to the company canceling the contract. If they do not respond he should not accept the their product when it is delivered. If all else fails, he may have to retain an attorney.

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees

1 comment

Asker

Posted

The merchant lynx guy filled in blanks on the contract signing the business up for a 4 year contrat with first data and also got a new addendum page and forged the signature on it. So we did not get anything he promised us. As soon as I got a letter from first data (two weeks after) I sent them letters.

Criminal defense topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics