In the business and legal community, a common term is "breach of contract." A breach of contract is a legal cause of action in which case a binding agreement or a bargained exchange has not been honored by one or more parties to a contract. The breach is caused by the non-performance or the interference with the other party's ability to perform on the contract.
If one of the parties fails to fulfill their contractual promise, or if one of the parties has informed the other party that they will not perform on their contract, then the breaching party is said to be in breach of contract. Breach of contract is considered a civil wrong.
A breach of contract can happen in many ways. For example, it can be a failure to perform any term of a contract, written or oral, without having a legitimate excuse. As another example, the breaching party may fail to complete a job, or they could fail to pay in full or on time. A breachcan also include failing to deliver goods, substituting inferior quality goods, failing to provide bond when required, or being late without a reasonable excuse. In addition, any other act in advance of an actual breach which demonstrates that one party will not complete their work is called an "anticipatory breach."
In the business sector, breach of contract is one of the most common causes of business litigation. In a material breach where one party failed to perform their end of the agreement, the non-breaching party can file a lawsuit and ask that the court compel either performance on the contract or collect damages as a result of the breach. On the other hand, a material breach is one that permits the injured party to terminate performance on a contract and that party is also entitled to sue for damages.
In the state of California, the statute of limitations for breach of written contract is four years from the date the contract was broken. For oral contracts, the statute of limitations is two years from the date the contract was broken. A statue of limitations is the deadline provided under state law for filing a lawsuit and most lawsuits MUST be filed within a certain timeframe. Essentially, once the statute of limitations on a case is over, you no longer have the right to file a legal claim.