Today, there is little left of the sixteenth century rule that a precedent debt is consideration sufficient to ground an action of assumpsit. Modern cases, such as those where a debt is barred by the Statute of Limitations or discharged in bankruptcy, where it is historically applicable, generally do not rest upon that theory. As a practical matter, it makes little difference. These cases achieve a just result, and have been confined to standard fact situations. The doctrine seems clearly at variance with the rule that consideration cannot be past, and serves no useful purpose today. Cases where this problem arises in the general law of contracts are rare indeed, and cause the courts no trouble.
Shubrick T. Kothe S.Ed.,
CONTRACTS-BILLS AND NOTES-PRECEDENT DEBT AS CONSIDERATION IN THE LAW OF CONTRACTS AND NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol46/iss2/4