Friday, May 13, 2016
IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF SOLOMON Z. BALK, DECEASED A-1197-14T2
IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF SOLOMON Z. BALK, DECEASED
The terms of a promissory note entered into on June 4, 2007 as a settlement between the parties required an initial payment and four installment payments to be made at specific times thereafter. Although the promisor remitted $37,000 towards the $800,000 note over eighteen months, he failed to pay the initial sum or make the installment payments in full.
On June 2, 2014, the promisee moved to enforce the settlement agreement and enter judgment. The trial court concluded that New Jersey's six-year statute of limitations was applicable (contrary to Pennsylvania's four-year statute based on a choice-of-law analysis not a subject of this appeal) and applied the installment contract approach to determine the accrual date of the claim.
As there was no repudiation or total breach of the promissory note, the judge correctly applied the installment method. Under this approach, a new statute of limitations begins to run against each installment when it becomes due. The promisee is entitled to all payments which became due on and after June 3, 2008.