The statute of frauds is an exception to the general rule that oral contracts are just as binding as written ones. Like many states, Texas has a statute of frauds which requires that some types of contracts be in writing to be enforceable.
In Texas, the statute of frauds requires the following agreements be in writing or they are not enforceable in court:
- contracts that are not performable in one year,
- contracts that involve a marriage or non-marital cohabitation,
- contracts to pay another individual’s debts,
- leases that are for more than a year,
- contracts for the sale of real estate,
- loan agreements for more than $50,000,
- some contracts for medical care and
- contracts for commissions from certain oil, gas or mineral sales.
There are exceptions to the statute of frauds and there are circumstances where they might not apply. The enforceability of a written or oral contract is typically fact dependent and should only be made by an attorney with experience and access to legal research. Just because a person has an oral agreement that is on the list above does not mean that a person should assume that they can not enforce a contract.