Dealing with a Michigan Bank? Always Get It In Writing

Michigan law generally recognizes the enforceability of oral contracts. But, in certain situations, contracts must be in writing to be enforceable. One of these situations is when you are dealing with a bank. The Michigan statute of frauds (MCL 566.132(2)), requires certain promises by financial institutions to be in writing to be enforceable:

(2) An action shall not be brought against a financial institution to enforce any of the following promises or commitments of the financial institution unless the promise or commitment is in writing and signed with an authorized signature by the financial institution:

  • (a) A promise or commitment to lend money, grant or extend credit, or make any other financial accommodation.
  • (b) A promise or commitment to renew, extend, modify, or permit a delay in repayment or performance of a loan, extension of credit, or other financial accommodation.
  • (c) A promise or commitment to waive a provision of a loan, extension of credit, or other financial accommodation.

A related section of the Michigan statute of frauds (MCL 566.132(3)) defines financial institution to mean “a state or national chartered bank, a state or federal chartered savings bank or savings and loan association, a state or federal chartered credit union, a person licensed or registered under the mortgage brokers, lenders, and services licensing act … or an affiliate or subsidiary thereof.”

Remember, as a general rule, banks view their agreements with borrowers as being exclusively the written documentation the parties sign. In order to protect yourself when dealing with a bank, so should you.

Please feel free to contact Michigan business attorney Michael J. Hamblin for more information on how he can help you with your legal needs.

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