Can you change a contract after one party signs?

Q: I went into a vehicle purchase agreement with someone. After I signed the contract, the buyer wrote something in blue ink after one of the terms and then signed it. I did not agree to the new term. Am I bound to the original terms or is the new term binding? (Pittsburgh, PA)

A: One party cannot unilaterally amend or add new terms to a contract after both parties sign it. It is considered a counter offer, which must be accepted or rejected by the receiving party. If you did not agree to this amendment of the contract either verbally, or by signing or placing your initials near the amended or added term, you did not consent. I would reject the term in writing and make sure the document is given to the other party and you keep a copy for your records. Some people in this situation would write next to the term, “this additional term dated _____ is rejected”, and date and sign or place their initials next to it the added term.

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