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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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If a personal guarantee is sign but not dated, is it still

Customer Question

If a personal guarantee is sign but not dated, is it still enforceable?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. I entered into a joint venture partnership with my old employer, Vets4Pets. That business was sold to Pets at Home nearly two years ago. Since the take over my business has all but failed and I am at the point of resigning my interest. Unfortunately I signed a personal guarantee for the JV business entire debt, currently at £100k. Looking at the PG I notice that the ______day of 2010 has been left blank. I wondered if this omission could release my guarantee on a technicality. Incidentally, the witness was Vets4Pets legal person.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok.
I presume you accept agreeing though even verbally?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It would be difficult to argue otherwise. However I was of the impression that I signed a guarantee for bank funding, which at the time. The vast majority of the outstanding dept is intercompany, i.e owed to Pets at Home.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Well, that may be right.
The difficulty with this is that if you sign a document you are taken to be aware of and consent to all of its terms.
The fact it is undated does not void the agreement. It does really no more than mean that the date of signing cannot be proven if that becomes an issue at a later stage. It is a similar situation with witnesses. In most contracts they are completely unnecessary.
There is a doctrine called undue influence that does affect guarantors but you don't really seem to be raising it here. There are cases that cover vulnerable people who have been placed under pressure by the main party to a contract to sign but I am not sure it really affects you. This isn't an altruistic contract for you. You are just guaranteeing personally your own business deals.
If the contract is unclear about it's terms though then you could argue that there is uncertainty which would void that specific term.
Sorry if that is bad news.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69511
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

To be fair Jo, it's the answer I was expecting. I will just have to hope that a company the size of Pets at Home won't come chasing me if I leave.... Thanks for your help.

Richard.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I know the date the PG was signed on, which was the 25/11/2011. Could the PG be relevant to intercompany debt accued before that date? 90% of the debt was incurred prior the PG. Clutching at straws maybe.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry. Your reply didn't come through originally.
It depends on the terms of the agreement. If you were only guaranteeing subsequent debt then that would exclude debt already accrued for certain.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

"The debt includes all money and liabilities whatever, whenever and howsoever incurred whether with or without the knowledge or consent and whether now or in the future becoming due....." Doesn't sound good

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No, it is not.
You could possibly try to argue that is an unfair term and so void under UCTA because it is too widereaching but it is not brilliant.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Jo, I'll have a bash at that. I'll leave you to your evening now. Many thanks.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem.
All the best.

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