The statute of frauds is a law in every state which requires that certain documents be in writing, such as real property titles and transfers, leases for more than a year, wills and some types of contracts. The purpose of the law is to protect against false claims for payment from contracts that were not agreed upon. Specific requirements vary by state and different statutes may apply to different transactions.
The following is an example of a Colorado statute dealing with the statute of frauds for leases. Other laws deal with oral contracts for personal property:
"4-2.5-201. Statute of frauds.
(1) A lease contract is not enforceable by way of action or defense unless:
(2) Any description of leased goods or of the lease term is sufficient and satisfies subsection (1) (b) of this section, whether or not it is specific, if it reasonably identifies what is described.
(3) A writing is not insufficient because it omits or incorrectly states a term agreed upon, but the lease contract is not enforceable under subsection (1) (b) of this section beyond the lease term and the quantity of goods shown in the writing.
(4) A lease contract that does not satisfy the requirements of subsection (1) of this section, but which is valid in other respects, is enforceable:
(5) The lease term under a lease contract referred to in subsection (4) of this section is: