If my ex-wife borrowed money from me in 2001 and signed IOU’s, can I still collect if the money is now due?

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If my ex-wife borrowed money from me in 2001 and signed IOU’s, can I still collect if the money is now due?

I drew up a contract that detailed the amount she borrowed (5 IOU’s for about $1800) and an interest rate of 8%. She signed every one and now says she will not repay because she doesn’t have to. What are my options?

Asked on May 18, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A contract, including an IOU or promissory note, is generally enforceable. You don't indicate on what grounds she claims she does not have to pay, so it's not possible to answer your question more definitely than to note that the IOU should generally be enforceable by you. In Virginia, you have at least 5, possible 6 years (it depends on exactly how the IOU is drawn up; note that if there was no written IOU, but only a verbal agreement, the time is 3 years) from the date the IOU was violated or breached--NOT the date it was drawn up; the date that payments were first not made or missed as per the terms of the IOU--to sue. As long as you bring a legal action within that time frame, you should be able to enforce her obligation to pay.


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