In 1998 plaintiff and defendant allegedly entered an oral agreement for a loan of $71,500 at 9% annual interest. The loan matured on December 31, 2013. When plaintiff sued for payment, the defendant sought to dismiss the complaint, arguing the statute of frauds prohibited the oral agreement because the agreement could not be performed within a year. The Second Department affirmed Supreme Court’s denial of the defendant’s motion, finding that it was possible the agreement could have been performed within a year:
Pursuant to the statute of frauds, an agreement not reduced to writing is void if, by its terms, it cannot be performed within one year of its making (see General Obligations Law § 5-701[a]…). Only those agreements which, by their terms, “have absolutely no possibility in fact and law of full performance within one year” will fall within the statute of frauds … . “As long as the agreement may be fairly and reasonably interpreted such that it may be performed within a year, the Statute of Frauds will not act as a bar however unexpected, unlikely, or even improbable that such performance will occur during that time frame” … .
Here, contrary to the defendant’s contention, the oral agreement between the parties, by its terms, was capable of being performed within one year of its making. As such, the statute of frauds was inapplicable. JNG Constr., Ltd. v Roussopoulos, 2016 NY Slip Op 00156, 2nd Dept 1-13-16
CONTRACT LAW (STATUTE OF FRAUDS DID NOT RENDER AN ORAL CONTRACT TO PAY OFF A LOAN AFTER 15 YEARS VOID)/STATUTE OF FRAUDS (ORAL CONTRACT TO PAY OFF A LOAN AFTER 15 YEARS WAS NOT VOID, CONTRACT COULD HAVE BEEN PERFORMED WITHIN A YEAR)