Torn paper with "force majeure" text Source: Shutterstock

“Oh, that’s just boilerplate language.” I hear this comment far too often from business clients when negotiating contracts. Yes, I understand there are often provisions in contracts that look like lawyers creating vague and wordy provisions just for the sake of considering every conceivable risk known to humanity.

But I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secret . . . these legalese paragraphs typically have specific intentions behind them and can blindside your credit union if not proactively clarified and negotiated. As an example, consider the “force majeure” provision, which can postpone, extend or even excuse contractual performance due to acts reasonably beyond your control, such as government actions or pandemics. You probably see where I’m going with this in light of pervasive business disruption issues involving COVID-19.

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