The length of a contract with the Bank of America had become an issue of contention for the city of Hartford. Though Hartford’s mayor wanted to commit to a 3 year contract with Bank of America, city council members opposed any contract with the bank that would exceed more than one year.

Bank of America has long done business with the city of Hartford without any timeframe to a contract being in place. City council members were not comfortable with changing the timeframe out of fear that the city might lose the package it already had earlier agreed to with Bank of America.

Under the city charter, one year contracts to not require the approval of the city council. However, a possible reason why city council members are trying to limit the contracts to one year is because of the sentiment that not everyone is comfortable with doing business with Bank of America.

Bank of America allegedly had involved itself in a mortgage practice that led to many individuals losing their home, and this in turn may have resulted in a major housing crisis. It is asserted that many homeowners foreclosed upon live in the Hartford area.

Supporters of a longer contract with Bank of America point out that the mortgage problem concerned an acquisition that was completely separate from any business that the bank conducted with the city of Hartford. They say that Bank of America understands its needs to “meet a high standard,” or otherwise it will no longer be doing business with Hartford.

Many business disputes can be resolved if directed by a skilled attorney that can get the two sides to understand the need for agreement and compromise. Misunderstandings can sometimes cost a business a contract worth millions of dollars, and this is why legal advice can be invaluable.

Source: Hartford Courant, “Hartford to Remain with Bank of America,” by Kenneth R. Gosselin and Jena Carlesso, Feb. 15, 2013