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Commercial Lawyering for the End of the World

posted by Bob Lawless

ApocalypseWith the apocalypse less than 24 hours away, it is probably too late for any last-minute precautions. This bit of flotsam, which has been drifting around since the early days of the Internet, shows that at least a few commercial lawyers had covered every eventuality for default:

12.7        END OF WORLD.  In the event that the world as known to mankind shall come to an end, whether through natural forces (including, without limitation, plague, drought, earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods), manmade forces (including, without limitation, nuclear or biological war, pollution and global warming), or divine forces (including, without limitation, the Second Coming, the Mayan Cataclysm, and the Rapture, regardless of religious affiliation of Bank or Borrower), then, in such event, all outstanding principal, interest, fees and charges remaining under the Loan Documents shall immediately become due and payable to Bank at Bank’s offices or designated shelter, without notice of any kind of character, all such notice being hereby waived by Borrower, and Borrower agrees that the end of the world shall not be deemed or construed to constitute a valid excuse or defense to payment; provided further, that in the event that the end of the world shall be divinely inspired, then, in such event, Borrower further agrees that Bank shall be aligned with forces of goodness and light, and Borrower shall be aligned with the forces of evil and darkness, and that Borrower shall be cast into a pit of fire until all sums owing under the Loan Documents, including attorney fees, shall be fully paid; provided further, that in the event that Borrower should be reincarnated subsequent to the end of the world, whether as an animal, vegetable or mineral, then, in such event, Bank shall have and possess, in addition to the collateral stated in the Loan Documents, a security interest in all of Borrower’s useful products, including, without limitation, any and all fur, hide, meat, edible portions, medicinal properties, and mineral rights, to further secure the prompt payment of all sums owing under the Loan Documents. 

This may be satire, but based on a few default clauses I have seen, only just so.

Hat tip to Alan Wenokur, an attorney in Seattle for sending this to me. And, thank you to Steven Roach of Miller Canfield in Detroit who disclaimed original authorship but, in the best tradition of our profession, built on the work of our predecessors to produce this gem.

Apocalypse image from Shutter stock.


End of the world, as we know it, hmmm. If reincarnated as a lump of coal, would this be residual of burning coal? One humorous question presents, if the bank attorneys are reincarnated as an ass, will they be able to present a case before a tribunal, he haw.

I think that this is very bad drafting. According to Matthew 19:24 "And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." This language could act as a permanent bar to the lender from entering heaven.

Ok, maybe that was intended by the drafter.

But if it wasn't then something like the following would be better

Provided, that if a rich entity, or those persons who own or are managers of a rich entity, cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, the end of the world shall effectuate a forgivenss of this debt, effective as of two planck time units before the end of the world. Furthermore, this forgiveness of debt shall constitute income to the other party to this contract, which shall be taxable by the IRS and any other earthly, heavenly, or hellbased equivalents to the IRS, effective as of one planck unit before the end of the world.

"Borrower further agrees that any divine benefit accruing to Borrower as a result of this agreement, shall constitute proceeds of the Collateral and be a part of the Collateral."

Borrower further agrees that in the event that God turns off the lights, borrower will be liable for the cost of batteries.

That's great. Well, the world didn't end on December 21 but who knows what other possible apocalypse scenarios there are. It's probably best to keep that clause on hand.

Funny post!Thought it was only accountants (like me) that would write posts like that:)

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