On cross-motions for partial summary judgment, the Delaware Court of Chancery, in Knutkowski v. Cross, C.A. No. 4889-VCG (Oct. 13, 2014), found that certain payments due under a promissory note were barred by the applicable statute of limitations where the note called for repayment of the loan in installments, but did not include an acceleration clause. The plaintiff asserted various equitable and legal claims, and, with respect to the legal claim for recovery under the note, the court found that 6 Del. C. Section 3-118(a) barred the recovery of any payments that were due more than six years before the plaintiff initiated the action. As the note did not include an acceleration clause, the plaintiff was not in a position to accelerate the amounts due and seek a recovery of the full amount of the note.

Background

The note at issue in Knutkowski was in the amount of $85,000 and called for monthly installment payments in the amount of $900 over a 10-year period, with the first payment due Jan. 1, 1998. The note, however, did not provide for acceleration of the entire amount due in the event the debtor defaulted on one or more of the payment obligations. The court assumed, for purposes of the pending motions, that no payments had been made under the note. The plaintiff did not initiate the present action to enforce the note until Sept. 11, 2009.

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