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Lelinho v. Sibilia

A-0127-01T3 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2003) (Unpublished)

LOANS; STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS—The statute of limitations to file suit on a debt is tolled by the making of a payment after default.

A creditor sued to collect the balance due on a loan she made to a debtor. The loan terms were memorialized in a written agreement. The lower court dismissed the creditor’s claim on the basis that suit was not filed within the six year statute of limitations for contract cases. The creditor appealed and the Appellate Division reversed. In deciding a motion for judgment or a motion for involuntary dismissal, a court must accept as true all the evidence that supports the party defending against the motion and must accept all legitimate inferences. In this case, the creditor testified that she received a payment between the date of the agreement and the end of the sixth year after the agreement was signed. The Court found that the creditor’s testimony created a factual issue that, if believed by a jury, constituted a payment on account that tolled the statute of limitations for six years from the date of the payment. If that were the case, the suit was filed within the statute of limitations.

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