In the foregoing discussion it has been assumed by the great weight of authority that if fraud in the execution is operative, it prevents the existence of the contract; or as it is often stated in other words, it renders the contract void.1

In some cases, however, a contract in which provisions have been inserted by fraud have been treated as voidable at the option of the person who was defrauded, rather than as absolutely void,2 and it has been said that the defrauded party must act with reasonable promptness if he wishes to avoid such transaction.3 If a conveyance of land contains a forfeiture clause, and as a part of the same transaction the grantor agreed to refrain from competition, and in such contract the grantor inserted provisions favorable to himself which were not read to the grantee, it has been said that the grantee can not avoid such transaction unless he acts with reasonable promptness; and that if he delays an unreasonable time, such forfeiture clause may be enforced against him in case of its violation.4 If the defrauded party brings an action upon the contract, with knowledge of the fraud as to its contents, such action is said to operate as ratification.5