In Mass. is a verbal contract legal and enforcable

Asked over 2 years ago - Norton, MA

On 8/6 i let a friend borrow $750.00. She agreed to pay me $100.00 per week starting 0n 8/10. Today is 8/22 and I havent received anything. Is there any legal action I can take, and because she is so late can I charge her interest?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Brynn Sullivan Zawada

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, in MA oral contracts are enforceable but can be difficult to prove. If you loaned the $750 by check or money order, I would make sure you have copies of the checks etc as proof of the loan. But I would first send a letter through certified mail requesting the friend to pay the money (as a side note, credit ratings are not damaged when a claim is filed in court in MA). If the friend does not pay, you can file in small claims at your local district court. You will be required to pay a small court cost which you can include in the amount you are seeking from the friend. Keep in mind that if you pursue the small claims route, documentation will help you prove your case.

    The answer to this question is for informational purposes only and is expressly not legal advice. This information... more
  2. Henry Lebensbaum

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Small claims court.

    Does this answer your question?

    henry lebensbaum, esq.

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  3. Mikal M. Weiss

    Contributor Level 7

    Answered . In Massachusetts, some verbal contracts are enforceable, but others are not. Given the facts you describe, it appears you have an enforceable contract, although, as previously noted, sometimes existance of the verbal contract is hard to prove. Did anyone overhear the agreement? Did the debtor email you as to why she is not paying you? I do not think you can charge interest unless that was part of the initial agreement. Yes, I too agree that small claims is where you should file.

    not be worth the expense. DISCLAIMER—This answer is for informational purposes only under the AVVO system,... more
  4. Pamela Koslyn

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Yes, most oral contracts are enforceable in every state, and yours is. If you and her didn't agree to her paying interest, you can't add it unilaterally.

    Before you sue, send her a "demand" letter for amount they owe you by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by FedEx or by registered email ( That way they know you're serious and you'll be able to prove receipt. Include a warning that once you sue, the lawsuit becomes a matter of public record, which means it will hurt their credit rating, and specify a firm deadline, 2 or 3 days from receipt of your letter, to comply or you'll have to sue in Small Claims court. If they don't comply by your deadline, follow through and sue.

    Learn from this. Don't do business with or lend money to friends if you're not prepared to lose the money. Otherwise you lose the friend.

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