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Photo courtesy of Dave Stokes

When you are purchasing your dream car, a new stereo sound system, or a diamond ring, you need to make sure you are protected with your significant acquisition if something goes awry. This need is especially important if your purchase does not include a warranty on the item, as you may need to be aware of how soon you need to act to protect your rights.

Yet waiting for too long could be outweighed by the Statue of Limitations for sale contracts. A Statute of Limitations is a provision in the law that sets the maximum amount of time during which you can bring a legal action if you were wronged during a transaction.  Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and D.C alike specifically set forth the Statute of Limitations for purchases of goods. (See VA Code Ann. § 8.2-725, Md. Code Ann., Com. Law § 2-725, 13 Pa. C.S.A. §2725 & D.C. Code § 28:2-725.) All four Statutes hold that an action for breach of any contract for sale must be commenced within four years after the cause of action has accrued.

However, beware; both parties may reduce the period of limitation to not less than one year, and this reduction may be found in your purchase contract. If a seller changes the statute of limitation on the contract to less than four years, and you only skimmed the contract before signing it, chances are that the contract may still be valid.

The Gowen Group has attorneys in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia who can assist you in making sure an upcoming purchase or an existing purchase works out in your favor when the other side fails to deliver.

Special thanks to Tanya Santillan for her assistance with this post.