I was offered land to purchase for an amount of $54,900.00. After getting the loan approved and called the person to set up a date with an attorney to complete the transaction, she said the price had increased to $80,000. Do I have any legal grounds in this matter?
Oral agreements are generally enforceable just like written agreements, however enforcement can be difficult because you must prove both that there was in fact an agreement and that the terms are what you claim they are.
Section 90 of the Restatement Second of Contracts deals with promissory estoppel and states that:
(1) A promise which the promisor should reasonably expect to induce action or forbearance on the part of the promisee or a third person and which does induce such action or forbearance is binding if injustice can be avoided only by enforcement of the promise. The remedy granted for breach may be limited as justice requires.
It can be found here with some comments that may be helpful in understanding your options: http://www.lexinter.net/LOTWVers4/promissory_estoppel.htm
Promissory estoppel requires that:
1. A promise was made;
2. Reliance on the promise was reasonable or foreseeable;
3. There was actual and reasonable reliance on the promise;
4. The reliance was detrimental; and
5. Injustice can only be prevented by enforcing the promise.
The fact that you took action and obtained a loan and had begun to set up an appointment with an attorney could be considered a reasonable action induced by your reliance on the promise, but you should discuss with an attorney about the specific circumstances surrounding the verbal agreement, and how detrimental your reliance was to you in order to to see to what degree it is enforceable.
Generally in Alabama contracts for the purchase of land must be in writing. If, however, the seller represented to you that they would sell for a set price and based on that representation you incurred expenses and missed other opportunities to acquire land and the seller then changed the price, the seller has committed fraud and may be liable to you for your expenses and any lost opportunities you have incurred by your relying on the representations about the sale price.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline