How many years back can someone say you owe money?

UPDATED: Aug 19, 2012

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How many years back can someone say you owe money?

I pay maintenance dues to a property management company to take care of a rental property. I’m being asked to pay a bill that I already paid over 2 1/2 years ago. The company changed hands and I wrote the check to the old company and now they say that they didn’t receive it. Then, 2 years ago, the issue came up and we resolved it without me paying again. Now they have a new accountant who went through old ledgers and says I owe the money. I pay this company monthly and have always paid on time.

Asked on August 19, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Conceivably a person can claim that he or she is owed money from a person fifty (50) plus years ago. Practically, the statute of limitations to bring a lawsuit for money owed is uniformally four years (4) from when the breach of the obligation happens or when the debt accrues.

I suggest that you have a face to face meeting with the property management company's representative to try and iron put the issues that you have written about concerning claimed debt owed.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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