Area of Law: Fraud and Fraud Recovery
Answer # 1535
Limitation periods and amendments of pleadingsRegion: Ontario Answer # 1535
Sometimes, instead of making a claim for fraud, victims plead breach of contract or negligent misrepresentation. They might do this to avoid adverse costs (which means pay for the fraudster’s costs) that could be imposed on a fraud victim if they cannot prove that a fraud occurred. The problem in making a claim based on breach of contract or negligent misrepresentation arises when, to avoid repaying the debt, the fraudster defendant declares bankruptcy. This happens often. It is important to note, that with a claim for negligence or breach of contract, the victim is not entitled to obtain a declaration that the ‘fraud’ and the outstanding debt will survive bankruptcy.
At that point, in order to obtain a declaration that the debt will survive the defendant’s bankruptcy, some victims try to change their Statement of Claim (referred to as ‘amend a pleading’) to include an allegation of fraud. Amending a pleading after the limited period – in most provinces it is two years after the discovery of the fraud – makes it possible for the defendant fraudster to bring a defence based on the expiration of the limitation period.
If you discover you are a victim of fraud, it is a good idea to contact a fraud recovery expert for advice.
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