What is the time limit for enforcing a promissory note?

UPDATED: May 14, 2011

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What is the time limit for enforcing a promissory note?

Almost 3 1/2 years ago I loaned a good friend $11,000, I would be paid back when her grandfathers Will was settled.As time goes on and I ask about the repayment of the funds, the answers I am getting back are getting more into the grey area. I had her sign a promisary note and it says when she gets her part of the Will, she will pay her debit in full. Does the 4 year statute of limitations apply still, or does her debit with me extend up until she get funds from the Will?

Asked on May 14, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The underlying legal principal that you are asking is if there is a condition precedent - which the settlement of the Will seems to be - that will extend the statute of limitations to enforce the note?  Or really when doe s the debt become due and owing and then following when she is in default to allow you to sue on the note.  No one can answer that without reading the note in full and interpreting that in light of your state law.  So since you seem to be running out under the statute without knowing if your time to enforce has been in any way tolled (extended), I would go and seek legal consultation ASAP.  This is not a small amount of money and you may be out of luck if you do not act now.  Good luck.  

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