Thursday, September 25, 2008

Statute of Limitations—Student Loans—6 years under Section 3-118

When enforcing or defending an action on a promissory note, remember that the UCC may specify a longer statue of limitations. A student borrower tried to block enforcement of her student loans by asserting the basic 4-year statute of limitations for breach of written contracts (California Code of Civil Procedure Section 337)*. She appealed the judgment against her and lost. In an unpublished decision, the California Court of Appeal, Section District (Los Angeles) found that the 6-year statute of limitations of Ca. Comm. Code Section 3118 (UCC 3-118) applied. The promissory notes were considered “negotiable instruments” covered by the longer statute of limitations. Under Section 3-106, reference to the “disclosure statement” in the notes did not make them “conditional” and therefore non-negotiable. Education Resources Institute v. Yokoyama, 2008 WL 3906834 (Aug. 26, 2008).

(*with thanks to Anonymous for correcting our mistaken reference to the Civil Code.)