In Washington, an accord and satisfaction is defined to be an agreement between two persons, one of whom has a right of action against the other, that the latter should do or give, and the former accept, something in satisfaction of the right of action different from, and usually less than, what might be legally enforced.[i] When the agreement is executed, and satisfaction has been made, it is called “accord and satisfaction.” It is a settlement of a dispute or the satisfaction of a claim, by an executed agreement between the party injuring and the party injured.
The rules governing the question of accord and satisfaction are as follows:
- Whether there has been an accord and satisfaction in any given case is generally a mixed question of law and fact.
- Where the facts are not in controversy, it is purely a question of law for the court.
- To create an accord and satisfaction in law, there must be a meeting of minds of the parties upon the subject and an intention on the part of both to make such an agreement.
- An accord and satisfaction is founded on contract, and a consideration therefor is as necessary as for any other contract.
- Where the debtor pays what in law s/he is bound to pay and what s/he admits that s/he owes, such payment by the debtor and its acceptance by the creditor, even though tendered as payment in full of a larger indebtedness, do not operate as an accord and satisfaction of the entire indebtedness, because there is no consideration therefor.
- Generally, when a debtor sends to his/her creditor a check in an amount that the debtor is willing to pay, and at the same time informs the creditor that the debtor intends the check to be considered as full payment, then, by accepting and cashing the check, the creditor agrees to the settlement and cannot thereafter seek additional compensation.[ii]
[i] Rogers v. Spokane, 9 Wash. 168 (Wash. 1894)
[ii] Kibler v. Frank L. Garrett & Sons, 73 Wn.2d 523 (Wash. 1968)