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Acknowledgment of Debt in Kenya: Understanding the Legal Requirements

Acknowledgment of debt is a crucial aspect of debt recovery in Kenya. It is a written confirmation by a debtor that they owe a creditor a certain amount of money. This acknowledgment creates a legal obligation that the debtor must repay the debt owed to the creditor. However, to be legally binding, an acknowledgment of debt must meet certain legal requirements.

In this article, we will delve into the legal requirements for an acknowledgment of debt in Kenya.

  1. Form and Content

An acknowledgment of debt must be in writing and signed by the debtor. The document should clearly state the amount owed, the date on which the debt was incurred, and any other relevant details about the debt.

  1. Consideration

An acknowledgment of debt must be supported by consideration. Consideration refers to something of value that the creditor has provided to the debtor in exchange for the debt. This consideration could be goods, services, or even a promise to forbear from taking legal action against the debtor.

  1. Capacity

The debtor must have the legal capacity to acknowledge the debt. This means that they must be of sound mind, at least 18 years old, and not under duress or coercion when signing the acknowledgment.

  1. Statute of Limitations

An acknowledgment of debt can only revive a debt that is not time-barred. In Kenya, the limitation period for contractual debts is six years from the date the debt became due. Therefore, an acknowledgment of debt must be made within this limitation period.

  1. Witnesses

While not a legal requirement, having witnesses to the signing of the acknowledgment can provide additional evidence of its validity in case of a dispute.

  1. Registration

An acknowledgment of debt is not required to be registered under the Registration of Documents Act. However, it may be advisable to register it to prevent any future disputes and to ensure that the document is easily accessible and available for reference.

In conclusion, an acknowledgment of debt is a useful tool for debt recovery in Kenya. However, it is important to ensure that it meets all the legal requirements to be considered legally binding.

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