Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

June 19, 2013

The Devil is in the Statute of Limitations

By David Reiss

NY Supreme Court Justice Kornreich (N.Y. County) issued an opinion ACE Securities Corp. v. DB Structured Products Inc., No. 650980/2012 (May 13, 2013) that diverges in approach from an earlier SDNY opinion as to whether the statute of limitations runs “from the execution of the contract.” (5) The case concerns allegations that an MBS securitizer made false representations about the loans that underlay the MBS.

Kornreich held that the statute of limitations begins to run when the MBS securitizer (a Deutsche Bank affiliate) “improperly rejected the Trustee’s repurchase demand” so long as the Trustee did not “wait an unreasonable time to make the demand.” (7) (On a side note, Kornreich also held that the plaintiff in such a case is not required “to set forth which of the specific loans are affected by false” representations in a breach of contract claim. (7))

This really opens up the statute of limitations under NY law. There has been a lot of speculation that the flood of lawsuits arising from the Subprime Boom would have to come to an end because the statute of limitations covering many of the claims was six years.  A variety of developments has extended the possibility of filing a suit.  There is FIRREA‘s ten year statute of limitations. There is NY’s Martin Act, with its lengthy statutes of limitation. And now there is this expansive reading of NY’s statute of limitations for breach of contract actions.

Although one might think that all of the good cases have been filed already, you never know. And with the ACE Securities Corp. case, we can see how a case can be filed more than six years after the contract was entered into, under certain circumstances.


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