Code of the District of Columbia

§ 28:2-610. Anticipatory repudiation.

When either party repudiates the contract with respect to a performance not yet due the loss of which will substantially impair the value of the contract to the other, the aggrieved party may

(a) for a commercially reasonable time await performance by the repudiating party; or

(b) resort to any remedy for breach (section 28:2-703 or section 28:2-711), even though he has notified the repudiating party that he would await the latter’s performance and has urged retraction; and

(c) in either case suspend his own performance or proceed in accordance with the provisions of this article on the seller’s right to identify goods to the contract notwithstanding breach or to salvage unfinished goods (section 28:2-704).

(Dec. 30, 1963, 77 Stat. 662, Pub. L. 88-243, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 28:2-610.

1973 Ed., § 28:2-610.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 28:2-709.

Uniform Commercial Code Comment

Prior Uniform Statutory Provision: See Sections 63(2) and 65, Uniform Sales Act.

Purposes: To make it clear that:

1. With the problem of insecurity taken care of by the preceding section and with provision being made in this Article as to the effect of a defective delivery under an installment contract, anticipatory repudiation centers upon an overt communication of intention or an action which renders performance impossible or demonstrates a clear determination not to continue with performance.

Under the present section when such a repudiation substantially impairs the value of the contract, the aggrieved party may at any time resort to his remedies for breach, or he may suspend his own performance while he negotiates with, or awaits performance by, the other party. But if he awaits performance beyond a commercially reasonable time he cannot recover resulting damages which he should have avoided.

2. It is not necessary for repudiation that performance be made literally and utterly impossible. Repudiation can result from action which reasonably indicates a rejection of the continuing obligation. And, a repudiation automatically results under the preceding section on insecurity when a party fails to provide adequate assurance of due future performance within thirty days after a justifiable demand therefor has been made. Under the language of this section, a demand by one or both parties for more than the contract calls for in the way of counter-performance is not in itself a repudiation nor does it invalidate a plain expression of desire for future performance. However, when under a fair reading it amounts to a statement of intention not to perform except on conditions which go beyond the contract, it becomes a repudiation.

3. The test chosen to justify an aggrieved party’s action under this section is the same as that in the section on breach in installment contracts—namely the substantial value of the contract. The most useful test of substantial value is to determine whether material inconvenience or injustice will result if the aggrieved party is forced to wait and receive an ultimate tender minus the part or aspect repudiated.

4. After repudiation, the aggrieved party may immediately resort to any remedy he chooses provided he moves in good faith (see Section 1-203). Inaction and silence by the aggrieved party may leave the matter open but it cannot be regarded as misleading the repudiating party. Therefore the aggrieved party is left free to proceed at any time with his options under this section, unless he has taken some positive action which in good faith requires notification to the other party before the remedy is pursued.

Cross References: Point 1: Sections 2-609 and 2-612.

Point 2: Section 2-609.

Point 3: Section 2-612.

Point 4: Section 1-203.

Definitional Cross References: “Aggrieved party”. Section 1-201.

“Contract”. Section 1-201.

“Party”. Section 1-201.

“Remedy”. Section 1-201.