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Loaned $ 3 yrs ago - last contact 10 mths ago. email from person very clear that they owe me. Can I file now in small claims

Everett, WA |

No written contract but multi emails stating that they owe me the funds and will repay.
Last email 10 months ago stating they owe me but do not contact them anymore.
Can I take them to small claims court now ? The money was loaned to a very old friend for her daughters college - later she told me that the money was used for gambling debts. Is it too late ?

The money was loaned to them but by fraud on their part. I realize there is a time limit for small claims court - can the last email I received from them stating clearly that they owe me the funds or the last date of a payment be used to start the count of how long I have to file in court? Thank you

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Attorney answers 2


Generally speaking, statute of limitations begin when you should have known there was a legal dispute. Each state is different, but most provide at least one year. You need ask an attorney or research the law for contract dispute statutes of limitations in your state.


In Washington, oral agreements are subject to a 3 year statute of limitations. But even if three years has expired since you made the loan, any payment, and statement of acknowledgment of the debt, or even a question about a payment extends that 3 year period. So if you have an email within the last 10 months from the persons to whom you loaned the money, you should not have a statute of limitations issue and you can proceed in small claims court, but subject to the rules of that court.

Best of luck.

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