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Can I file theft charges on a borrower of a promissary note?

Houston, TX |

3 years ago, a so called friend talked me into signing a promissory note of all my retirement money. He payed on the note the first year and has not paid any more for over a year. I can't find a lawyer who will sit with me and advice me what to do. I'm afraid I'm not the only person he has scammed out of thousands of dollars. I would like to do something to stop this man from preying on other senior citizens.

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

Don't save the world, recover your money. That will be done in a civil suit.
The liklihood of police intervention for criminal charges is very, very remote.

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.


So you have contacted lawyers in your area and offered to pay to discuss your matter and legal options and they have all refused? That's unusual, to say the least.

Only a prosecutor can file criminal charges. Based on your limited facts this sounds like a civil instead of criminal matter. You should, however, speak with the prosecutors where this occurred and see if they would consider this a criminal matter. If you hope to get the money back, you will have to file suit for breach of contract and other claims.

This answer is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice regarding your question and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


Only if you have actual knowledge of this person doing this to other people would it be feasible to bring this to the attention of the authorities. If it is the case that he has done this to several others then I would agree discussing with the police or DA is in order.

It is anathema to me that people should prey on the elderly. That said, people such as yourself need to be your own best friends here and as noted not try to "save the world." If this person is judgment proof, meaning they have no assets, money, etc. it will be near impossible to get anything out of them even if you win your case.

Depending on how much money is involved, the small claims court may be an option. Typically, if the total amount in controversy is under 10K. If much more, you may need to hire a lawyer and sue this person under the contract.

Most of us here, including myself, offer a free phone consult.

Best regards,
Natoli-Lapin, LLC
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