A statute of limitations is a law requiring a lawsuit to be filed within a specified period of years. For example, in many states a contract claim must be sued on within six years; if the plaintiff waits longer than that, the claim will be dismissed, regardless of its merits. When the time period set forth in the statute of limitations has lapsed, the statute is said to have “run.” If a debtor renews a promise to pay or acknowledges a debt after the running of a statute of limitations, then under the common law the promise is binding, although there is no consideration in the usual sense. In many states, this promise or acknowledgment must be in writing and signed by the debtor. Also, in many states, the courts will imply a promise or acknowledgment if the debtor makes a partial payment after the statute has run.
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Promise Revived after Statute of Limitations Has Passed