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What is the mailbox rule?

The mailbox rule, also known as the posting rule, is a default rule under contract law. The mailbox rule basically says that an offer is considered accepted when the acceptance is communicated. This could be through email or placed in the mailbox to be sent.

The example below shows how this rule can cause some confusion.

However, there are exceptions to the rule if outlined in the offer. The offer can state that the agreement has to be received by a certain date, and simply putting it in the mailbox does not formalize the agreement. For example, if the arrangement said that the acceptance must be received by April 4th, then if the acceptance is received on April 5th, then no contract was formed.

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