Area of Law: Fraud and Fraud Recovery
Answer # 1532
Reasonable diligence and the 15-year ultimate limitation periodRegion: Ontario Answer # 1532
Under the Ontario Limitations Act, the basic two-year limitation period for starting a lawsuit based on fraud begins to run on the date the victim should have reasonably become aware of the loss (known in law as reasonable diligence).
Reasonable diligence is decided by what the Court considers to be objectively reasonable. However, there is an ultimate time-limit of 15 years from when the fraud was perpetrated to when the victim can begin a claim.
Once a victim discovers their loss, it is usually in their best interests to start a claim as soon as possible. Waiting to begin the investigation can make matters worse because the fraudster will have more time to dissipate (spend or hide) the stolen money, and it will also be harder for victims to collect necessary evidence the longer they wait.
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.
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