Any loan of any appreciable size must be in writing in order to be able to collect on it. I would urge you to take whatever paperwork you have confirming that you did give them the money and that they are promising to pay to an attorney right away for specific advice on what you can do to collect. The longer you delay to act, the harder it will be to collect.
Hope this perspective helps!
My colleague is correct. You need to get copies of everything proving you loaned the money to the debtor and find yourself a local attorney to sue on your behalf. These types of cases are often taken on a contingency fee, so you may not have to pay unless money is recovered.
Even though your loan is not in writing, if you can prove the existence of the loan, you may have a case. The fact that some payments were made will help you prove the payment terms of the loan.
Make an appointment with an attorney, bring all your documentation along, and see if you can get this money back.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at 718-720-7000 and ask for Guy.
DISCLAIMER: Although the above response is believed to be accurate as a general matter, it should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice that is specific to your situation. It is intended to provide general information to the reader. A definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. No attorney client relation is formed with my firm without a written contract.
Why in the world would you make a loan of that magnitude without consulting a lawyer and getting proper documents drawn?
Was the borrower named Madoff, perchance? This has the earmarks of a scam or a Ponzi scheme. Hire a tough aggressive lawyer to try to recover. Be ready to just report it to your local district attorney as a fraud if they continue not to respond to your requests.
I am sorry this happened to you. I hope other AVVO readers will take this as an object lesson. Never give more money to an individual than you can afford to lose without its affecting the way you live.
FEEDBACK: Both AVVO and other readers are interested in your feedback on the quality of the answers. Plz check the “thumbs up” symbol if you find an answer helpful or the “thumbs down” symbol if not.
DISCLAIMER—This answer is for informational purposes only under the AVVO system, its terms and conditions. It is not intended as specific legal advice regarding your question. The answer could be different if all the facts were known. This answer does not establish an attorney client relationship. I am admitted only in California.
(Bryant) Keith Martin