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1. A credit agreement is not enforceable in contract law by way of action or defense by any party unless a writing exists which contains all of the material terms of the agreement and is signed by the party against whom enforcement is sought.
2. Unless otherwise expressly agreed in writing, a modification of a credit agreement which occurs after the person asserting the modification has been notified in writing that oral or implied modifications to the credit agreement are unenforceable and should not be relied upon, is not enforceable in contract law by way of action or defense by any party unless a writing exists containing the material terms of the modification and is signed by the party against whom enforcement is sought. This notification can be included among the terms of a credit agreement, can be included on a separate form or together with other disclosures that are provided when the agreement is made, or can be given wholly apart from the agreement and at any time after the agreement has been made. To be effective, the notification and its language must be conspicuous. A person who gives a notification is bound by it to the same extent as the person notified. A notification with respect to any credit agreement is effective with respect to all other credit agreements then in effect between the parties if the notification conspicuously so provides. When a modification is required by this section to be in writing and signed, such requirement cannot be modified except by clear and explicit language in a writing signed by the person against whom the modification is to be enforced.
3. A notification referred to in subsection 2 in the following form in boldface, ten point type, complies with the requirements of this section:
IMPORTANT: READ BEFORE SIGNING. The terms of this agreement should be read carefully because only those terms in writing are enforceable. No other terms or oral promises not contained in this written contract may be legally enforced. You may change the terms of this agreement only by another written agreement.
4. Notwithstanding subsections 1 and 2, a credit agreement or modification of a credit agreement which is not in writing, but which is valid in other respects, is enforceable if the party against whom enforcement is sought admits in court that the agreement or modification was made, but no agreement or modification is enforceable under this subsection beyond the terms admitted.
5. For purposes of this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
a. “Action” includes petition, complaint, counterclaim, cross-claim, or any other pleading or proceeding to enforce affirmatively any right or duty or to recover damages for the nonperformance of any duty.
b. “Contract” means a promise or set of promises for the breach of which the law would give a remedy or the performance of which the law would recognize a duty, and includes promissory obligations based on instruments and similar documents or on the contract doctrine of promissory estoppel.
c. “Credit agreement” means any contract made or acquired by a lender to loan money, finance any transaction, or otherwise extend credit for any purpose, and includes all of the terms of the contract. “Credit agreement” does not mean a contract to loan money, finance a transaction, or otherwise extend credit by means of or pursuant to a credit card, as defined in section 537.1301, subsection 17, or pursuant to open-end credit, as defined in section 537.1301, subsection 32, or pursuant to a home equity line of credit, as defined in section 535.10 whether the loan, financing, or credit is for consumer or business purposes or a consumer rental purchase agreement as defined in section 537.3604, subsection 8.
d. “Defense” includes setoff, recoupment, and any basis or means for barring or reducing liability or obligation on any claim.
e. “Lender” means any person primarily in the business of loaning money, or financing sales, leases, or other provision of property or services.
f. “Modification” includes change, addition, waiver, rescission, and any other variation of any kind whether expressly made or implied by, or inferred from, conduct of any kind.
6. This section shall be interpreted and applied purposively to ensure that contract actions and defenses on credit agreements are supported by clear and certain written proof of the terms of such agreements to protect against fraud and to enhance the clear and predictable understanding of rights and duties under credit agreements.
7. This section entirely displaces principles of common law and equity that would make or recognize exceptions to or otherwise limit or dilute the force and effect of its provisions concerning the enforcement in contract law of credit agreements or modifications of credit agreements. However, this section does not displace any additional or other requirements of contract law, which shall continue to apply, with respect to the making of enforceable contracts, including the requirement of consideration or other basis of validation.
8. This section does not apply to a credit agreement made primarily for a personal, family, or household purpose where the credit extended is twenty thousand dollars or less.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Iowa Code Title XIII. Commerce [Chs. 505-554D] § 535.17. Requirements of credit agreements--statute of frauds--modifications - last updated January 01, 2020 | https://codes.findlaw.com/ia/title-xiii-commerce-chs-505-554d/ia-code-sect-535-17/
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