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Q: Statute of Limitations on Personal Debt in California ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Statute of Limitations on Personal Debt in California
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: buddy195-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 30 Nov 2006 12:58 PST
Expires: 30 Dec 2006 12:58 PST
Question ID: 787200
What is the statute of limitations on a personal debt in California.

What if there is no note documenting the debt, only a letter reference
to an amount owed?

When would the statute of limitations start to run if no due date for
repayment of the debt was specified?

If a verbal request for payment were made, would that constitute a
start date for the statute of limitations?
Subject: Re: Statute of Limitations on Personal Debt in California
Answered By: kriswrite-ga on 30 Nov 2006 14:15 PST

According to Fair Debt Collection and, the California
statue of limitations on the collection of debt is as follows:

Oral agreements: 2 years
Written contracts: 4 years
Promissory notes: 4 years
Open accounts (such as credit cards): 4 years

( "Statue of Limitations:"
and )

A letter referring to the debt is valid in a court of law. If the
letter constitutes the original agreement, it is considered a written
contract. Only a judge can determine whether the letter would be
considered a new, binding written contract, even if it was written
after an oral agreement.

The beginning of the statue of limitation is whenever the original
loan is made, *unless* the debtor makes a payment after the expiration
of the statue of limitations (in which case, the statue of limitations
starts all over again).

Kind regards,

"statue of limitations" debt California

Request for Answer Clarification by buddy195-ga on 01 Dec 2006 21:46 PST
Thanks for your response; most of it is quite clear.  However, some
futher clarification is required with respect to the starting point. 
You state:

"The beginning of the statue of limitation is whenever the original
loan is made, ...."

In this instance the debt, which reprsents a pro-rata share of certain
business losses, arose over a period of three to four years.  Some
years later there was a request for payment, which payment I could not
make.  Prior to such request there was no quantification or request
for payment.  In response to the request, a letter acknowledging the
debt was signed by me; no note or payment date was specified.  At the
same time, a letter guarantee from a now defunct private company that
I controlled was provided (no maturity dates stated, but there was a
start date for the accrual of interest that pre-dated the letter
guarantee by just under four years).  A couple of years following this
acknowledgement a verbal request for payment was made, which request I
denied (reference to a request for payment and my not making a payment
were documented in writing).

So, when would the staute of limitations start to run?  No payments of
principal or interest were ever made by me and no further
acknoweldgments of said debt were ever offered by me.

Clarification of Answer by kriswrite-ga on 03 Dec 2006 12:29 PST
Your best bet is to consult an attorney, but generally the statue of
limitations would range for each payment. For example, with an oral
contract, the statue of limitations for the first payment would be 2
years after that payment should have been made. Each subsequent
payment would have a different statue of limitations. This is assuming
you agreed to make the payments on a certain schedule. Otherwise, a
judge may determine that the statue of limitations would be set
according to the first letter demanding payment. It is inconsequential
that you never agreed to maturity dates.

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