If you have hired someone to do a job in New York, and they come to you before the expected completion date and tell you they will not complete their end of the deal, then you have an anticipatory breach. This type of breach differs from an express repudiation, which is an unequivocal refusal to perform.
Conditions of an anticipatory breach
Several factors must be true to have an anticipatory breach. The person breaking the contract must tell the non-defaulting party in a manner that indicates they have no intention of fulfilling the end of the contract. The breach must affect the non-defaulting party’s ability to continue the project.
Rectifying anticipatory breeches
The person who is not breaking the contract can choose to resolve the contract dispute in several ways. Often, the relationship between the two parties can be a deciding factor.
Cancel the contract
The defaulter and non-defaulter can agree to cancel the contract. In most cases, any money given upfront to the person who does not live up to their end of the deal is refunded. Then, both parties are free to go their separate ways.
The non-defaulter can start legal actions before the contract’s end date. For example, a hardware store owner and a hammer manufacturer agree that the manufacturer is to deliver 500 hammers to his location before a specific date. The manufacturer tells the owner he will not live up to his end of the contract, and the retailer can take the manufacturer to court.
The non-defaulter can choose to do nothing. For example, a baker promises to deliver 250 buns to a local restaurant, but a national truck stoppage stops the baker from getting his supplies. The restaurant owner can choose not to take any action.
Anticipatory breaches occur when one party tells another they will not fulfill their end of a deal before an agreed-upon date.