Is there a statute of limitations for claims against a real estate sale?

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Is there a statute of limitations for claims against a real estate sale?

I have been divorced for 12 years, and that is when I sold the house we lived in. My parents had loaned us the money to purchase the house. A promissory note was signed before we purchased the house. My ex feels that because my parents discussed giving us the house after I finished nursing school, that he is entitled to half of the value. He feels the “discussion” was a contract, but the promissory note was never voided. He told me he was filing for divorce 3 weeks after I had finished nursing school. There was never a written contract, and it’s been more than 12 years.

Asked on September 26, 2011 under Family Law, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  So what I am guessing from your question is that your ex husband is now trying to get money from you, correct?  Was the promissory note paid when you sold the house?  That is important because if he had an issue he should have raised it then. There is a doctrine like statute of limitations called latches, which is an equitable rather than legal remedy. It could preclude the court from even entertaining the claim on the merits. But even if they did, I would not put much faith in it. Oral contracts regarding real property - especially altering a promissory note - are precluded under a law known as the Statute of Frauds, which says that agreements involving real property must be in writing to be valid and enforceable.  Good luck. 


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