Practice Pointers: Know Your Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is an incredibly important topic in law, not just for foreclosure defense, but for any type of civil litigation. Foreclosure defense attorneys and pro se litigants alike need to keep the statute of limitations in mind anytime they deal with a legal matter.

The statute of limitations set a deadline on which claimants can bring certain types of suits.  The purpose of this is fairness; potential defendants should not be subject to legal claims that happened a long time ago.  The statute of limitations requires claimants to pursue these claims before the end of these deadlines, or forever be barred from bringing them.

In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations is found in G.L. c. 260. Some of the important ones, for foreclosure defense, are:

  • Consumer Protection Actions:  4 years
  • Breach of Contract Claims: 6 years
  • Torts: 3 years

Generally, the statute of limitation begins when the cause of action arises.  While this can sometimes be uncertain, the important thing to remember is that one should not wait in pursuing a legal claim. The picture above says it best: missing the statute of limitations can mean that you are SOL in bringing your case.