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Jointly agreeing to provide an equivalent legal obligation or debt for a previous one. Persons to the contract can also be substituted. A novation requires a valid previous contract, mutual agreement of all the parties to the contract, and the termination of the original contract or discharge of the original parties before the substitution of a new contract and/or parties to it, respectively. A novation may arise when one party is experiencing financial or operating difficulty in a real estate transaction.