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Limitation period for fraud recovery

Region: Ontario Answer # 1530

Basic two-year limitation period

Under Ontario’s Limitations Act, the basic limitation period to start most lawsuits is two years from the date the claim was discovered.

Date when the limitation period starts

Section 5 of the Limitations Act defines the date on which a claim is discovered as follows:

“A claim is discovered on the earlier of:

(a) the day on which the person with the claim first knew,

(i) that the injury, loss or damage had occurred,

(ii) that the injury, loss or damage was caused by or contributed to by an act or omission,

(iii) that the act or omission was that of the person against whom the claim is made, and

(iv) that, having regard to the nature of the injury, loss or damage, a proceeding would be an appropriate means to seek to remedy it; and

(b) the day on which a reasonable person with the abilities and in the circumstances of the person with the claim first ought to have known of the matters referred to in clause (a).”

Because frauds are hidden from the victims, the date of discovery of the loss is the date when the two-year period starts to run.

This two-year limitation period applies to both:

  • legal fraud or misrepresentation, (where money is sought for damages), and to
  • equitable fraud or unconscionable bargain, (where equitable relief is sought for damages, such as the cancellation of a contract).

Because the limitation period to start a lawsuit is quite short, it is important to begin to take action to build your case and try to recover your money as soon as you discover that you have been defrauded.

For more information on limitation periods for starting a lawsuit, view topic #4465 Notice and limitation periods for starting a lawsuit, or view the legislation.

If you discover you are a victim of fraud, it is a good idea to contact a fraud recovery expert for advice.

If you a have a criminal record due to fraud-related charges (or for any other criminal offence), and wish to erase your record, call toll-free 1-888-808-3628 or learn more at Pardon Partners. It’s easier than you think.

Pardon Partners – Fraud ONPardon Partners – Fraud ON


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