Many of the legal agreements Idaho residents enter into are what are known as adhesion contracts. These agreements, which are also called boilerplate or standard form contracts, are basically “take it or leave it” propositions. Automobile loans and leases, credit card agreements and mortgages are all examples of adhesion contracts. When presented with one of these agreements, a consumer has only two choices. They can either agree to the terms presented, or they can refuse to sign and explore other options.
Benefits of adhesion contracts
Adhesion contracts are popular because they simplify business transactions and disputes and make purchasing goods and services easier. If they did not exist, buying a car, renting an apartment or taking out a loan would involve hours or even days of negotiation. Adhesion contracts also ensure that even those who are not particularly astute have some sort of legal protection if they suffer injury, loss or damage.
Organizations that use adhesion contracts have a great deal of power over the transactions they are involved in, but they must strive to draft agreements that are basically fair. If they take advantage of this power to the detriment of others, their contracts could be challenged in court and struck down. If this were to happen, parties who agreed to the terms in the past would be provided with grounds to initiate legal actions of their own.
Adhesion contracts make purchasing goods or services easier. They are a standard list of terms and provisions that can either be agreed to or declined, and they are usually enforceable. When adhesion contracts overwhelmingly favor one party over the other, they may face challenges based on the legal doctrines of reasonable expectations and unconscionability. This is why adhesion contracts rarely contain terms that are overly oppressive.