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Accord and satisfaction is a method of discharging a claim whereby the parties agree to give and accept something in settlement of the claim and perform the agreement. Accord is the agreement and satisfaction is its execution or performance.
A contract is usually discharged by performance of the terms of the agreement. However, the parties may agree to a different performance. This is called an accord. When the accord is performed, this is called an accord and satisfaction. The original obligation is discharged.
In order for there to be an accord and satisfaction, there must be
(1) a bona fide dispute;
(2) an agreement to settle the dispute; and
(3) the performance of the agreement.
A settlement in which one party promises to forego an undisputed, liquidated claim in exchange for a promise to perform, or the performance of, a pre-existing duty will not be held to be enforceable by many courts, because of the absence of consideration. However, the promise to perform, or the performance of, anything slightly different from the pre-existing duty is sufficient consideration to support a promise to forego the claim. When a claim is disputed in good faith, or when an undisputed claim is unliquidated (the amount owed has not been determined), a settlement of such a claim is clearly enforceable.
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