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.
Payment in contract law is that form of performance which consists in the delivery by the promisor and receipt by the promisee of money or something delivered and accepted as the equivalent thereof in discharge of a contractual obligation. If the contract prescribes the method of payment, that method, unless waived, must be at least substantially pursued.1 Thus if the contract provides for making payment of a penalty by deducting from the last installment due to the contractor, such penalty cannot be enforced if such last payment is never made.2 A party cannot be deprived of a right given to him by contract to make payments in a specific manner. Thus A the owner agreed with B the contractor that A should have the right to pay direct to laborers and material men and have such payments credited to his account with B. A cannot be deprived of this right by proceedings in garnishment instituted by B's creditors.3 The original debtor cannot, therefore, be compelled to pay such debt.4