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Hell or High Water Contract Definition

What Is a Hell or Excessive Water Contract?

A hell or excessive water contract (also referred to as a promise-to-pay contract) is a non-cancelable contract. A hell or excessive water contract stipulates that the purchaser should make the desired funds to the vendor, no matter any difficulties they could encounter. Hell or excessive water clauses bind the purchaser or lessee to the phrases of the contract till the contract’s expiration.

Key Takeaways

  • A hell or excessive water contract is one the place the obligee agrees to satisfy their finish of the contract whatever the issue.
  • In lease or financing contracts, because of this the lessor or borrower is obligated to proceed making funds even when the lease or financed asset is broken or destroyed.
  • A hell or excessive water contract shifts virtually the entire danger of nonperformance or default on to the obligee, and thus can induce lessors or lenders to comply with transactions that will in any other case be too dangerous for them.

Understanding Hell or Excessive Water Contracts

Hell or excessive water contracts require fee whether or not or not the nice or service is working as deliberate. Typically talking, hell or excessive water contracts are used when the supplier of a service or product is taking a big danger on behalf of the consumer. This danger can confer with the quantity of capital dedicated. The danger also can confer with the chance that there’s not one other purchaser in the marketplace as a result of the product is extremely customizable.

In a hell or excessive water contract, the celebration who’s obligated to pay successfully takes on all the chance of default from the vendor, lessor, or lender. This will create an incentive that can induce the obligor to interact in a transaction that they in any other case may refuse primarily based on the obligee’s default danger.

The time period itself comes from the colloquial phrase “come hell or excessive water,” which is used to point an unconditional dedication to hold by way of on a plan of action it doesn’t matter what circumstances may come up.

The phrase is supposed to suggest that the speaker or obligee will observe by way of on their dedication even within the face of any extreme adversity or disaster that could be past their management, not restricted to demonic or diluvial influences. The references to hell and excessive water are Biblical allusions to the Biblical Hell and to Noah’s flood, respectively, which symbolize earth-shattering cataclysms.

Particular Concerns

Hell or excessive water contracts might be enforced even in cases the place there may be some fault or defect within the property on the middle of the settlement. For instance, if a lessee agrees to lease or lease a chunk of kit or equipment below hell or excessive water phrases, they’re chargeable for these funds even when the gear malfunctions. The seller or lessor may solely deal with the financing side of the transaction and in any other case maintain a passive function regarding the gear itself.

The lessee in such an settlement often selects the gear they want to procure. The lessor then buys the chosen merchandise that’s in flip leased to the shopper. A financing settlement with hell or excessive water language is designed to make sure that the lessee pays the lessor below no unsure phrases.

If there is a matter with the gear the lessee receives, the lessor usually will not be at fault as a result of the lessee selected the gear they needed to lease. The gear could also be shipped instantly from the producer or provider to the lessee with out the lessor ever coming into contact with it. Flaws within the gear could also be due to a difficulty with its manufacturing. Any warranties relating to the performance of the gear may fall to the provider or producer to satisfy.

Sorts of Hell or Excessive Water Contracts


Hell or excessive water contracts might be utilized in undertaking finance transactions, acquisition offers, and high-yield indentures.

For instance, an acquisition cope with hell or excessive water language can direct the possible purchaser within the settlement to shoulder the burden of addressing any crucial divestitures or litigation that may end result from antitrust regulatory points. The viability of the acquisition settlement may very well be tied on to the client’s potential to resolve such issues and clear the best way for the deal to proceed.

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