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until 的法律意义

2009-09-29 14:28   来源:互联网       我要纠错 | 打印 | 收藏 | | |

  Hi,

  Could anyone confirm the meaning of until in a financial document? specifically

  "Early repayment charges apply to the loan until 31/10/2008"

  Do they apply on 31/10/2008 as the dictionary definition in this context appears to be "before" in which case my understanding would be they do not apply on 31/10/2008.

  Thanks

  Yaryl

  ================

  Hi, yary, thanks for joining us. Welcome to English Forums.

  In this context, it means a special rule applies from the beginning of the deal, and continues to apply up through the specified date. After that date, the rule no longer applies.

  The rule is that if you decide to pay the loan off earlier than originally planned, there's an extra charge. It's like an early termination of contract charge on your cell phone.

  If you're asking whether you have to pay the special charge if you pay the loan off exactly on 31/10/2008, that's a grey area. (That would be kinda cold.) Read the fine print. For example, if I don't pay my car insurance premium by 12:01 AM on the day it's due, I have no insurance. They don't give me all day to pay.

  You might find wording such as "up to and including 31/10/2008."

  Best wishes, - A.

  ================

  Hi Avangi,

  Thanks for the response. I searched high and low throughout the documentation and the only reference to a time period is "……until 31/10/08" Although a day here or there may not matter in these circumstances there is a material effect. If the loan can be paid off without penalty on 31/10/08 there is no additional cost but if it is paid off on 01/11/08 there are charges for another complete month. Therefore the precise definition (legal) of the term "until" becomes important to the operation of the loan.

  I thought, particularly, in financial contracts, clear language was a pretty basic requirement yet I appear to have encountered a commonly used term that may have a meaning open to interpretation. However I would have thought any interpretation would be guided by dictionary definition or at least the common understanding of the use within the English language and it's here that my understanding is "until" means "before"

  Any further thought and views welcome, particularly from anyone with a legal background!

  Thanks

  Yaryl.

  ================

  Sorry about that. If we go by the dictionary definition, when the calendar shifts from "30" to "31" (the stroke of midnight) you may execute your "early repayment" without fear of being charged the penalty fee. But October 31 being the last day of the month, you've gotta wonder if that's what they really mean.

  And attorneys don't respect dictionaries. They respect only "precedent." Once a judge rules on a case, that will be the law, until someone takes the issue to a higher court and wins.

  That is, if a litigant can quote case law (a previous case in which a judge ruled that the client had to pay the penalty fee on the 31st, or something with the same principle) the judge is obliged to honor that previous decision. His ruling may then be appealed to a higher court. (At least, that's the way I understand it. Other opinions are encouraged.)

  Sometimes even the dictionary leaves you scratching your head.

  The movie will be blacked out in Boston until 31/10/2008.

  The movie cannot be shown in Boston until 31/10/2008.

  That is, the ambiguity may rest with the verb, not with the preposition.

  Sometimes "through 31/10/2008" can clear it up.

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