A party’s positive and unequivocal action or statement, before the time his contractual obligation is due, indicating that he does not intend or will not be able to perform when the time to do so arrives. In most states, the nonbreaching party may choose to treat the repudiation as an immediate breach of the contract and sue for damages without waiting for the time the breaching party’s performance is actually due. The nonbreaching party can also urge the repudiating party to perform when performance is due, without giving up the right to sue. If the repudiating party withdraws his repudiation before there has been a material change in the nonbreaching party’s position, the breach will be nullified. Also called anticipatory repudiation or constructive breach. See also repudiation and voluntary disablement.
A breach of a contract that destroys the value of the contract for the nonbreaching party, excusing her from the further performance of her own obligations under the contract and giving her the right to sue for damages. Also called total breach.
A breach of a contract that does not substantially affect the value of the contract for the nonbreaching party. Thus, while the nonbreaching party has the right to sue for damages, he is not excused from the further performance of his own obligations under the contract. For example, if a person purchases a car with a radio, but the vehicle does not have one when it is delivered, the nonbreaching party can sue for the cost of the radio and its installation, but he is also obligated to pay for the automobile. Also called immaterial breach.
A violation of a contract by either failing to perform one’s own contractual obligations or by interfering with another party’s performance of their obligations.