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Loaned money to a friend..,

San Diego, CA |

Stupid idea, I know. Basically, I loaned my friend $2000 so he could help out with his mom… who was having a lot of problems. He has not said that he will not pay me back yet, However, I am starting to think that may be the case. I did not make up a formal written agreement. I did not make up a written form or have him sign anything. We do have a text message chain where it was clear that I loaned him the money And it was understood he would be paying me back. Any suggestions on any legal rights I have if he decides to not pay me back. Or am I pretty much out of luck? Thank you!

Attorney Answers 3


You should ask him what he intends to do about the situation. If he can't pay you now but acknowledges the debt, ask him whether he will sign a promissory note providing terms of repayment he can live with. If he says he won't pay, file a small claims action.

This answer does not constitue legal advice, nor does it creat an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice upon which you intend to rely, you should hire competent cousel familiar with this area of the law in your locale.

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Mr. Boss gives very practical advise about trying to get a writing now that he can live with, and succinctly gives you the only alternative: small claims court. One can sue on an oral contract.

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

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In what form was the money loaned? Was it in cash or was there a check? If check, did you put in the notes that this was a loan or refer to the emails? Those notations can help prove the loan to a court. Until you demand payment or a payment is due, the statute of limitations probably will not begin, so you may have more time to consider your court options. For instance, even if this is an oral agreement which has a two-year statute of limitations, the period to file a suit would not begin until the borrower breached the payment terms. If no payment is due and the borrower has not stated an intention to not repay, then the two year period has not begun.

Robert Stempler (please see DISCLAIMER below)
Twitter: @RStempler

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Thanks for all the advice. A couple more pieces of info: I loaned him the money in cash, and I have asked him about the repayment and he does acknowledge he owes me the money back , but his actual reply ( via text message) stated he would repay in payments if $3-400 and so on. He did not give dates. I am not really believing he is telling the truth. Does anyone know how ugh small claims court costs? And is it reasonable to add that fee on to the amount he already owes ? Thanks!

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