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Contract Law and Roomates

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Abigail and Rachel were roommates in law school. They shared an
apartment near campus. After crunching some numbers and reviewing their
living expenses, they decided it would be cheaper to buy a house in a
subdivision in West Baton Rouge Parish rather than to continue to pay rent.
Abigail and Rachel both signed a promissory note for the home loan and
recorded the mortgage in the conveyance records of East Baton Rouge
Parish. Excited that they were now homeowners, Abigail and Rachel
decided to buy some furniture and invite some people over for a party.
Rachel was struggling financially, but she did have a job at the cell phone
booth at the mall. With her limited income in mind, Rachel spent $200 on a
couch and love seat. Half of the $200 came from Rachel's paycheck and
half came from her sale of the pecans that fell from the pecan tree in their
new backyard. Abigail was equally strapped for cash. However, she was
from a very wealthy family and she wanted the home to reflect her personal
image. Although her parents had financially cut her off, she still had a credit
card with a massive limit. She went to Best Buy and told the sales person
that she wanted everything "real big" and that money was not a
consideration. Abigail bought marble countertops and paid for their
installation, a Bose stereo system, and several flat screen televisions. She
also purchased and had installed a stove/grill combination that she had seen
Bobby Flay using on Food Network. After buying everything that she had
seen on MTV's Cribs, Abigail paid $40,000 for the stuff with her credit
card. When Rachel returned home and saw the purchases, a big argument
ensued and Rachel refused to be responsible for paying for the outrageous
purchases. The fight became so bad that Abigail and Rachel decided to go
their separate ways.

Please analyze the roommates' rights to all of the property and who is
responsible to pay for what.

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Solution Summary

This solution considers a fact pattern that involves roommates and the law regarding furniture and major upgrades.

Solution Preview

If Abigail purchased $40,000 worth of goods, this purchase falls within the Statute of Frauds and a written agreement would be necessary to make Rachel liable for half. The fact pattern, as you point out, does not indicate that there was any sort of an agreement, much less a written one. Since Rachel never used the furniture and disputed the furniture immediately, your argument looks like it will hold water.

As for the installment ...

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