Washington Law Review


Although the terms accord and satsfactioon are generally used in the conjunctive, they constitute distinct stages in the process of discharging a cause of action. The accord, in its technical sense, is a bilateral contract by the terms of which a creditor having a cause of action against a debtor promises to accept and the debtor promises to give something other than was originally due in discharge of the claim. Performance of the accord and its acceptance by the creditor constitute satisfaction. Generally the cause of action is not discharged until satisfaction, although there may be cases where discharge is complete with the formation of the contract of accord. A cause of action may also be discharged without the necessity of an accord where the creditor accepts some tendered performance but not in pursuance of his promise to do so. Such unilateral contracts of discharge are closely related to accords, and as Professor Williston has pointed out, antedate the recognition of bilateral contracts. Since as a practical matter the two are closely related and often not differentiated by the courts, both are considered in this article.

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