Since the parol evidence rule applies solely to written contracts, in actions brought to enforce them, it does not forbid the use of extrinsic evidence to contradict written evidence, as long as the written evidence is not the written contract on which the action is based.1 Thus if letters written by one of the parties are not a part of a written contract, oral evidence is admissible to contradict the statements made therein.2 So extrinsic oral evidence is admissible to rebut evidence tending to show fraud, even if the latter evidence is in writing. Thus where false statements are contained in an application for insurance, extrinsic evidence is admissible to show that the applicant stated the facts correctly to the agent of the insurance company, and that the latter wrote the application.3 In Michigan such evidence is admissible if the application is signed before the agent writes the answers.4 A memorandum in lead pencil, made by one party and not intended by both parties as the written contract, may be contradicted.5 So a written acknowledgment of a contract,6 or a deed,7 or a chattel mortgage, prepared by plaintiffs to be executed by defendant, but not in fact executed by him,8 may be contradicted, since neither is a written contract within the meaning of this rule. On the same principle, recitals of fact and receipts may be contradicted even if in writing, and even if in an instrument a part of which is a contract.9 So A loaned B two hundred and eighty dollars and by mistake B gave his note for two hundred and fifty dollars. B repaid two hundred and eighty dollars and then sued to recover thirty dollars as paid by mistake. It was held that A could show the real transaction, as the action was not on the note.10 The test which determines the admissibility of extrinsic evidence in such cases is this: Is the written provision a contractual term, In such case the parol evidence rule applies. Or is it merely the written recital of a fact? In such case the parol evidence rule has no application. Illustrations of this distinction will be found in the following sections.

1 California. Wise v. Collins, 121 Cal. 147, 53 Pac. 640.

Illinois. Smith v. May field, 163 111. 447, 45 N E. 157.

Iowa. Dean v. Shepard Co., 95 Ia. 89, 63 N. W. 582; Parno v. Ins. Co., 114 Ia. 132, 86 N. W. 210; Mitchell v. Beck (Ia.), 156 N. W. 428.

Kansas. People's Gas Co. v. Fletcher, 81 Kan. 76, 41 L. R. A. (N.S.) 1161, 105 Pac. 34.

Kentucky. Gully v. Grubbs, 24 Ky. (1 J. J. Mar.) 387.

Nebraska. German Ins. Co. v. Frederick, 57 Neb. 538, 77 N. W. 1106.

New York. Seeley v. Osborne, 220 N. Y. 416, 116 N. E. 97.

North Carolina. Holloman v. Southern Ry. Co., 172 N. Car. 372, 90 S. E. 292.

Pennsylvania. Kister v. Ins. Co., 128 Pa. St. 553, 15 Am. St. Rep. 696, 5 L. R. A. 646, 18 Atl. 447.

West Virginia. Polino v. Keck, 80 W. Va. 426, 92 S. E. 665.

2 Alexander v. Thompson, 42 Minn.

498, 44 N. W. 534; Abrahams v. Swan, 18 W. Va. 274, 41 Am. St. 692.

See also, Holloman v. Southern Ry. Co., 172 N. Car. 372, 90 S. E. 292.

3 Iowa. Parno v. Ins. Co., 114 Ia. 132, 86 N. W. 210. Nebraska. German Ins. Co. v. Frederick, 57 Neb. 538, 77 N. W. 1106.

Mississippi. Mutual, etc., Association v. Ogletree, 77 Miss. 7, 25 So. 869.

Pennsylvania. Kister v. Ins. Co., 128 Pa. St. 553, 15 Am. St. Rep. 696, 5 L. R. A. 646, 18 Atl. 447.

Tennessee. Bennett v. Ins. Co., 107 Tenn. 371, 64 S. W. 758.

Virginia. Virginia, etc., Ins. Co. v. Goode, 95 Va. 762, 30 S. E. 370.

4 Brown v. Ins. Co., 65 Mich. 306, 8 Am. St. Rep. 894, 32 N. W. 610.

5 Pecos Valley Bank v. Evans-Snider-Buel Co., 107 Fed. 654, 46 C. C. A. 534.

6 Burkhart v. Hart, 36 Or. 586, 60 Pac. 205.

7 People's Gas Co. v. Fletcher, 81 Kan. 76, 41 L. R. A. (N.S.) 1161, 105 Pac. 34.