BREACH OF A CONTRACT REQUIRING PAYMENT IN INSTALLMENTS ENTAILS MULTIPLE CAUSES OF ACTION
When the debtor/obligor defaults on a payment or re-payment schedule involving periodic installments, each missed payment gives rise to separate cause of action. Therefore, a claim for earlier missed installment payments may be time-barred, whereas a claim for more recent ones may be within the limitations period.
The limitations period for breach of contract claims is four years. TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE ANN. § 16.051 (West 2008); Stine v. Stewart, 80 S.W.3d 586, 592 (Tex. 2002). "Limitations begins to run upon accrual of the cause of action." Barker v. Eckman, 213 S.W.3d 306, 311 (Tex. 2006). A breach of contract claim accrues when the contract is breached. Stine, 80 S.W.3d at 592. When recovery is sought on an obligation payable in installments, the statute of limitations runs against each installment from the time it becomes due. Hollander v. Capon, 853 S.W.2d 723, 726 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 1993, writ denied).
SOURCE: DALLAS COURT OF APPEALS - 05-10-00252-CV – 1/3/12 [Name of Plaintiff replaced with “PLANTIFF”]