The Ins and Outs of a Material Breach of Contract

Breach of Contract The Ins and Outs of a Material Breach of Contract

The Ins and Outs of a Material Breach of Contract

A breach of contract happens when a party to a contract fails to uphold their end of the bargain. There are four common types of breach, but the most serious one is a material breach of contract. This article will explain how to recognize it, which remedies you can demand, and whether you need to file a lawsuit to collect damages. DoNotPay will also draft a watertight breach of contract demand letter to help you resolve the matter out of court.

What Is a Material Breach of Contract?

A material breach of contract is also known as a total breach because the violation of its terms makes the agreement useless. If it occurs, the non-breaching party does not have to uphold their end of the contract and can seek legal remedies to recover from the damage that the breach caused.

When one party commits a material breach, it makes the agreement irreparably broken under law, enabling the non-breaching party to take the matter to court to collect the damages.


To seek remedies—whether in or out of court—you need to prove the following elements of breach:

  1. The existence of the agreement
  2. Promisor’s failure to fulfill the terms of the contract
  3. Damages that the promisee suffered as a result of the breach

Material Breach of Contract—Example

Check out examples of a material breach of contract below:

  • Someone is buying a house, and they upheld all the contract terms, such as completing the necessary paperwork and putting a deposit towards the house. A material breach happens when the seller suddenly decides not to sell the property
  • Two companies enter into a contract where one party (promisor) is supposed to supply the other party (promisee) with specific goods. If the promisor does not deliver the goods listed in the agreement, the contract is breached

What To Do in Case of a Material Breach of Contract

If a material breach of contract occurs, you should send a demand letter to the breaching party to request they fulfill their side of the contract. If they do not respond, you can take the matter to court. You will need to prove that you held up your end of the contract and that the other party did not.

Some of the common types of equitable remedies you can seek in court are:

Material Breach of Contract Remedies Description
Contract rescission Rescission allows the injured party to return to the position in which they were before the contract was made. Rescission is a type of equitable remedy that makes the contract void
Specific performance In case of the specific performance remedy, the court orders the breaching party to perform contractual obligations as closely as possible. The court takes this approach if the monetary damages are not enough to fix the issue
Contract reformation Contract reformation means changing the contract when the injured party proves that the agreement was breached. The court usually opts for this remedy when the parties overlooked an error in the contract or the breaching party deceived the non-breaching party
Issue of an injunction An injunction is a court order that requires a party to, for example, fulfill their side of the deal

Keep in mind that the defendant might use affirmative defenses as legal excuses for why they breached the contract.

How To Demand Compensation for a Material Breach of Contract

To demand compensation for a material breach of contract, you should create a demand letter before filing a lawsuit. You have several options:

  1. Write a demand letter yourself—This option is not ideal if you are unfamiliar with the legal terminology. If you are tempted to use demand letter templates, keep in mind that they are generic and probably won’t contain all the points of your case
  2. Hire a lawyer—Hiring a lawyer will solve your issue, but you should know that it is not the most affordable option
  3. Use DoNotPay—Our budget-friendly app can create a professionally written demand letter in minutes

How Can DoNotPay Help With a Demand Letter?

DoNotPay can create a watertight demand letter that will:

  • Contain all the key points of your case
  • Meet legal requirements of a demand letter
  • Be fully personalized to your case

To acquire a rock-solid demand letter, sign up for DoNotPay and follow the steps below:

  1. Select the Client Breach of Contract tool
  2. Provide the necessary details, such as:
    1. Name of your client
    2. Terms of the original agreement
    3. Due date of the payment
    4. Amount the client still owes you
  3. Specify the final due date by which you expect the client to pay

In the letter, we will inform your client of your intent to take the matter to court if they fail to pay damages by the due date. Once you complete the steps, DoNotPay will generate the letter in your stead, and you can send it to your client immediately.

If you want to get familiar with state-specific breach of contract regulations, consult the following table:

Georgia Michigan Pennsylvania
Colorado New York Illinois
Virginia New Jersey Ohio
Delaware Arizona California
South Carolina North Carolina Florida

Get the Upper Hand With DoNotPay

The business world is extremely competitive—that is why it is always good to have some extra capital set aside when you need to invest in your company. You can leave the bureaucratic task to us—DoNotPay will draw up business loan request letters in your stead.

If your finances are taking a hit, rely on our app. With our assistance, you will be able to:

  • Fight fraudulent chargebacks
  • Remove fake negative reviews online
  • Register and protect your trademark
  • Send mail and faxes at no additional cost
  • Handle clients breaching contracts and get what you are owed

Whatever the task at hand, our AI-powered app will see it through successfully.

DoNotPay—The Assistant Every Business Needs

You cannot escape bureaucracy in business. What you can do is let DoNotPay deal with it. Whether you need to register a DMCA agent or complete an Employer Identification Number (EIN) registration, our app will lead the way.

Using DoNotPay, you will also not have to worry about 83(b) election forms or Privacy Shield self-certification. From generating to filing important documents and from dealing with employees to handling clients on your behalf, our AI-driven app is your go-to solution.

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