This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
To be included in this clause of the statute the promise must be to answer for the debt of "another." A promise by A to B to pay B's debt is not a promise to pay the debt of "another" within the meaning of the statute, even though the ultimate effect of performance by A will be to discharge a debt owing from B of another.1 Thus an oral promise made by A to B to pay taxes which B owes,2 or to pay attorney's fees which B owes,3 are none of them within the statute. This principle often operates in connection with the principle that a promise by one to pay his own debt is not within the statute even if performance operates to discharge the debt of the promisee.