Does an acknowledgement of a personal loan through a text message reset the SOL?

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Does an acknowledgement of a personal loan through a text message reset the SOL?

I loaned my brother $5000 approximately 6 years ago. We both signed a contract I wrote myself. He made one payment a month after getting the money. I knew he was struggling, so I didn’t press him. I just found out about the SOL; he is doing better financially and I am running out of time if I do need to sue. I started asking for the money but haven’t gotten any. He only seems to answer texts. In one response he says he will give me the money but it is through text.

Asked on February 8, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The statute of limitations runs from when the act giving rise to the right to sue occured--for example, from when your brother first failed to make payments when due or scheduled (that is, when he first defaulted under the terms of the loan). Correspondence about or even an acknowledgement of the debt does not reset the SOL; the SOL, again, runs from the default. Certainly, if you can still bring a suit (this would be under the SOL for written contracts in your state, with the time period starting at the default), you could potentially present his text as evidence in your favor, since it would limit his ability to dispute the existence of the debt.


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