I am sorry for the wait.
Regardless of all of the above, the matter rests on on statute of limitations
, something called statute of frauds
, and, text messages.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
Oral or written, the statute of limitations is 2 years in California. For written contracts - 4 years.
The statute begins running from date of last payment and in some instances, affirmation of debt via writing.
STATUTE OF FRAUDS
According to Cal. Civ. Code. 1624, any agreement that takes more than a year to complete HAS TO BE in writing. If it is not, it is not binding.
If the contract had not specified repayment date, the Court fills in what is reasonable and applies the above.
Text messages MAY be seen as writing - the Courts still differ widely and it is much on a case by case basis. I can go into nuances of both yes and no, but suffice it to say that a healthy argument can be made for EITHER SIDE on this. Hold on to that a second.
APPLYING STATUTE OF FRAUDS and STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
Say that the Court sees the text messages as NOT writing. If so, statute of frauds makes the contract impossible to enforce since the repayment was obviously meant to go on for more than a year. That's it - end of story. We don't even get to statute of limitations, which would also invalidate it.
Say that the Court sees the text messages as writing affirming the contract, then statute of frauds does not apply. Also, then, January 19, 2013 was the last time payment was made (the text September 3, 2013 does not affirm the debt, so it does not count). But the last payment made was still on January 19, 2013. If the text messages count as writing, then the statute of limitations is January 19, 2017.
The problem is arguing that text messages count as writing. Right now, there is no consensus. You'd need fine case law and a good attorney to argue this. There IS a shot, but honestly, it may not be worth the finances to appeal the decision (I do not know how much you are owed), considering that you'd be entering a very gray area of law.
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