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Third Party Contracts

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Jordan entered into a written agreement to sell his boat to Zoe for $567,000 with delivery to take place on May 15, 2011. Zoe was to pay $100,000 at that time and the balance on or before August 1, 2011. Jordan delivered the boat and Zoe paid the first $100,000 installment.

On July 25, she approached Jordan and said she was having financial troubles. She did not have the funds to pay. She told him that she would instead offer to pay the balance by transferring three valuable pieces of jewelry that she owned. Jordan had the pieces examined by a professional jewelry appraiser who placed the value at "approximately $500,000." Jordan agreed in writing to "accept the three pieces as payment in full, so long has it is completed by August 15."

On August 8 during a Lake Superior storm, the boat sank and could not be recovered. Zoe never delivered the jewelry and on Nov.1, Jordan sued to recover the $467,000 balance due on his boat. During the previous few months, the value of gold and precious gems had fallen so low that the jewelry was now only worth $200,000. Zoe offered to give him the jewelry but Jordan insists on payment of cash.

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Solution Preview

Jordan has the right to insist on his cash because of the principle in contract law that protects a creditor from the economic duress of his debtor. Although neither Jordan nor Zoe discussed what would occur if the jewels devalued; the fact that they did is an economic ...

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The expert examines third part contracts.

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