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Schemel Sponsors New Law Affecting Contracts in Pennsylvania
HARRISBURG – Legislation sponsored by Rep. Paul Schemel (R-Franklin) affecting contracts in Pennsylvania has been signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf after its unanimous passage in the House of Representatives and Senate.

Act 46 of 2018, formerly House Bill 1979, establishes a 20-year statute of limitations for “instruments under seal” for certain contracts. The section of the Judicial Code which provides for the statute of limitations was set to expire at the end of June.

“This simple yet important designation helps both lenders and consumers by making certain agreements enforceable in a court of law for 20 years, rather than the standard four years for ordinary contracts,” said Schemel. “The modern legal history of the seal in Pennsylvania reveals no notable abuses or other issues of concern, and it continues to be a useful tool in business and commercial financial transactions.”

“Instruments under seal” are written agreements that are marked with the words “seal” or “under seal” near the signature line. Because of the seal’s legal significance, any consumer contract under seal must also include, next to the “seal” designation, an express explanation of the 20-year statute of limitations.

The new law takes effect in 60 days.

Representative Paul Schemel
90th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Andy Briggs
717.260.6474 /

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