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Attyadvisor, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7076
Experience:  29 years of experience in General Practice, Real Estate Law and Estate Law.
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Promissory note for $125,000 executed in January of 2002 in

Customer Question

promissory note for $125,000 executed in January of 2002 in the state of Pennsylvania witnessed but never notarized . The lender is father to daughter and the note was just asked to be paid within two years of the date of the note January 30th 2002 or upon the sale of the daughter's company which did occur in 2005 -no request of payment of promissory note occurred until late 2015
Is this still a binding document ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to JA and thank you for your question. A Note does not need to be notarized to be binding, however, a mortgage does. Do you have a copy of the Note? This may be passed the statute of limitations for collection. If there was no mortgage there was no lien recorded against the property so the daughter could sell the property free and clear as far clouds on the title because the Note would not show up as a lien. Do you have a copy you can attach?

Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 1 year ago.

The statute of limitations starts to toll upon the last payment the daughter made. The period to bring an action after the last payment under Pennsylvania law is:

Pennsylvania Statute of Limitations

Contracts: 4 years, (used to be six).

Contracts under seal: 20 years./NOT APPLICABLE

Sale of goods under UCC: 4 years.

Negotiable instruments: 6 years (13 PA C.S.A. .§3118).

if the last payment was not made or requested since 2005 the Note is not longer collectable.

The only exception is


Certain events, such as moving out of state or deliberate concealment, may “toll” or suspend the Statute of Limitations, meaning that it stops running during the event and starts running again when the event is over. Bankruptcy also tolls the Statute. Therefore, if you file for bankruptcy under any chapter, but the case is dismissed, the statute is tolled during the time that the bankruptcy was pending. Thus, you must take into account any tolling period when calculating when the statute runs out.

Example: If Ann from the example above moves out of state on January 15, 2011, and returns on January 14, 2012, the Statute would be tolled during the year that she was out of state. Therefore, it would run out on June 9, 2015, rather than June 9, 2014, giving the creditor another year in which it can file suit."

That being said if an action were filed in court by the father to collect on the promissory note the daughter would need to respond to the lawsuit even though the statute of limitations has tolled/expired.

What if the creditor sues after the Statue of Limitations has run out? If a creditor files suit, you must respond to the lawsuit, even if you are absolutely certain that the debt is barred by the Statue of Limitations. You can lose your Statute of Limitations defense if you do not respond to a lawsuit. The Statute of Limitations is an “affirmative defense”, which means that you must raise this defense in your answer to any lawsuit that a creditor files against you. If you do not respond to the lawsuit and raise your Statute of Limitations defense in your answer, you could end up with a judgment against you, even though the debt is beyond the Statute. The court will not raise this defense for you.

Quick Note: Never ignore a lawsuit. Creditors count on the 95% of all debtors who fail to respond to lawsuits. If a creditor sues you, regardless of the circumstances, call an attorney immediately. Many collections lawsuits can be won.

Debtor Defense — Other Defenses to Creditor Lawsuits. Keep in mind that the Statute of Limitations is not the only defense to a collection lawsuit. For example, many bad debt buyers have insufficient documentation to prove in court that they own the debt. Debtors win such cases frequently. In addition, many judgments result from lawsuits where there was defective service on the debtor. In such cases, it is sometimes possible to reopen the judgment and raise any defenses you may have, including the Statue of Limitations.

The bot***** *****ne is unless this falls under the exception above or the father files suit which the daughter must answer and based on the statute of limitations can use that as a defense, the court can not force collection.

I don't know if this is good news or bad news for you. I am required by the code of ethics to provide you with the correct answer even if it is not what you were hoping to hear.

Please do not hesitate to ask me any additional questions that you may have with regard to this matter. It would be my pleasure to continue to assist you.

Thank you for using JA! We appreciate your business. If you would be kind enough to rate my service positively so I will receive credit for my work I would appreciate it.

Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 1 year ago.

Please ignore the request for premium services. There is no additional fee. The Attorneys only receive credit for their work if the customer rates them positively. Thank you for your consideration. We appreciate your business.

Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 1 year ago.

Please ignore any additional posts for premium services. Thank you.