More specifically, for a private unsecured debt with a statute of limitations (SoL) of 6 years in New York State, will the SoL be tolled (paused) if the debtor leaves the state, or the country (or both)?

Here's what the NYS CPLR (New York Civil Practice Law and Rules) says, but I can't find anything on tolling:

http://codes.findlaw.com/ny/civil-practice-law-and-rules/cvp-sect-213.html

  • Note the word "commence" in the law. – user6726 Jan 15 at 21:04

Yes, the statute of limitations in New York can toll if a person is out of state for a long period of time. See CVP § 207. Defendant's absence from state or residence under false name:

If, when a cause of action accrues against a person, he is without the state, the time within which the action must be commenced shall be computed from the time he comes into or returns to the state.  If, after a cause of action has accrued against a person, that person departs from the state and remains continuously absent therefrom for four months or more, or that person resides within the state under a false name which is unknown to the person entitled to commence the action, the time of his absence or residence within the state under such a false name is not a part of the time within which the action must be commenced.  If an action is commenced against a person described above, the time within which service must be made on such person in accordance with subdivisions (a) and (b) of section three hundred six-b of this chapter shall be computed in accordance with this section.  This section does not apply:

1. while there is in force a designation, voluntary or involuntary, made pursuant to law, of a person to whom a summons may be delivered within the state with the same effect as if served personally within the state;  or

2. while a foreign corporation has one or more officers or other persons in the state on whom a summons against such corporation may be served;  or

3. while jurisdiction over the person of the defendant can be obtained without personal delivery of the summons to the defendant within the state.

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