Is there a statue of limitations on the collection of a promissory note?

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Is there a statue of limitations on the collection of a promissory note?

I have a promissory note that was written and signed 16 years ago. Now the party is requesting payment. The note was to be paid back once we sold our home 12 years ago. They did not want the money at that time for other reasons. So now after all this time she wants payment.

Asked on June 6, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

A promissory note is a contract. Legal action can be taken to enforce a contract or for a breach of it for up to six (6) years after the contract was violated--that is, after you were supposed to do something but failed to do it. (The "statute of limitations" or SOL for a written contract in the state you indicate, MI, is six years; it is also six years in NJ, by the way.) You write that you were supposed to have paid 12 years ago. That is far longer than the SOL, so it is too late for them to force you to pay or take legal action. They can *ask* you to pay--anyone can ask anything--but have no power to make you pay.


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