Is a verbal agreement enforceable?
My employer bought me a car as a bonus last year. They gave me the money, and the car is in my name and I have the title free and clear. The employer stated that if I was no longer employed there within five years that I would either have to return the car, or make payments to them. I was told that they would draft an agreement for me to review terms and sign. There was never an agreement made or signed. I am no longer employed there, but now my former employer has asked me to return the car and title to them. Is this "verbal agreement" enforceable; there is clearly a disagreement on the terms?
As a *general* rule, verbal contracts are enforceable. However, there is something called a "statute of frauds," which is a rule that requires certain contracts to be in writing to be enforced. In Deleware, under section 2714 of the Delaware Code, an agreement which will take more than one year to perform, must be in writing. Since the agreement you refer to would require 5 years employment for your right to the car to fully "vest," it may be the case that it is not enforceable under the statutue of frauds. In addition, if the car was given to you as a bonus first, then terms were attempted to be added after the fact, the car would yours free and clear--terms and conditions cannot be added after something has already been given.
You should consult with a DE lawyer for a definitive answer based on all the particulars of your situation; however, based on what you write, there is reason to think that the employer may not be able to force you to return the car or make payments.