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John Legal
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I just asked a question about suing a friends estate for the

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I just asked a question about suing a friend's estate for the balance of a promissory note executed in July of 2002, for a five year term of re-payment. I was told New York had a statute of limitations of six years and it has expired due to the fact the last payments was made in 9/03. I was wondering since the term of the note was for five years, could the date commencing the statute of limitations be July of 2007, giving me until July of 2013 to collect my money?
Welcome! Thank you for your question.

Unfortunately the statute of limitations starts to run upon "breach" of the note contract. A breach of contract occurs when payments stop. Essentially this is the moment in which the borrower figuratively says "I am not going to pay again." In enacting a statute of limitations the legislature has said we do not want people to be able to just wait around and sue. The statute is there to require you to enforce your rights to payment within a reasonable time after the borrower breaches the contract. Once the statute passes your rights under the contract become unenforceable.

You are correct that the statute of limitations is 6 years for a breach of contract action in NY.

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