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Law Pro, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  20 years trial experience in defense of criminal cases
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Hi, Going to make a long story short. I own my own business.

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Hi,
Going to make a long story short.
I own my own business. My step daughter works for me. She talked me into loaning money to a family friend of hers that I know but not personally. We will call the borrower Janet. In return for giving her several loans over the couse of a year and a half she verbally agreed to give me a high interest payoff at the end of the deal ( but all of this was co-ordinated though my stepdaughter Kim. I tried to give get her to sign a loan agreemnet about a year ago but she said she wanted her lawyer to look at it. I stupidly edned up giving her about $53,000 in loans to keep living while waiting on her settlement. Janet has now moved about 2 hours away from our area withour notifiying me and she now has told Kim that she feel she owes me nothing because she use to give Kim a tip for brining her the money every now and then and because she heard my stepdaughter Kim has talked about her new husband. The only proof of the loan are some limited text messages between Janet (borrower) and Kim. I also found out that my stepdaughter Kim would cash the checks for Janet and take her the money. I was furious when I fouund this out because it was my only proof of loaning Janet money. After texting Janet it is obvious she is talking in circles: saying that the money she received from Kim was because Kim was cashing Janets personal check for her (total Lie)..

I want to hit her hard and fast with a demand letter or something to get her attention but have no idea what direction to go in.

PS: Two of Janets children one 8 and the other 22 were home several times when Kim delivered the loan money to her house and Kims daughter Kayley was in the car with her mother everytime my daughter Kim took her money.

Thank you in advance / Kept this as short as possible

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I don't care what the friend says - will your step-daughter (Kim) verify the loans?

The result may be that they are both jointly liable for the debt.

The text messages would be evidence of the loans to the extent of what they say and what the response is to them.

SAVE THOSE TEXT MESSAGES!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Yes. I already mentioned that to her and she said that is ok with her. I also sent a tect to Janet telling her that I was going to take her and Kim to court and they could explain it to the judge.


 


What should I do next?


 

Regretfully, this is only a civil matter and not a criminal matter. It would be nice to be able to file criminal charges but the DA wouldn't take the case.

Too, you have to be careful she doesn't file bankruptcy - that would discharge potentially any obligation to you.

I would write a letter of demand and include therein a promissory note (along with a return self addressed stamped envelope, postage prepaid) as to amounts and an interest rate and times of payment - and inform her that if she doesn't execute the promissory note before a notary public and return it to you within 10 days you will have no alternative but to pursue any and all legal remdies available against her.


Then the ball is in her court and you will know within 10 days if you are going to have to file suit or not.

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I would give her 10 days to

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


She agreed in text to pay me back 272,00. Is there a cap on cival judgement amounts?


 


What would be the quickest and easiest way to obtain her current address so I am not wasting time

No, no caps. But the amount considering how much you loaned her could be considered "unconscionable" by the courts as to the amount of interest.

Unconscionability is a term used in contract law to describe a defense against the enforcement of a contract based on the presence of terms that are excessively unfair to one party. Typically, such a contract is held to be unenforceable because the consideration offered is lacking or is so obviously inadequate that to enforce the contract would be unfair to the party seeking to escape the contract.

 

In and of itself, inadequate consideration is likely not enough to make a contract unenforceable. However, a court of law will consider evidence that one party to the contract took advantage of its superior bargaining power to insert provisions that make the agreement overwhelmingly favor the interests of that party.


Usually for a court to find a contract unconscionable the party claiming unconscionability will have to prove both that there was a problem with the substance of the contract and the process through which that contract was formed.


The substantive problem will usually be the consideration, but could also be the terms, interest payments, or other obligations the court finds unfair. Procedural issues that a court could consider include a party's lack of choice, superior bargaining position or knowledge, and other circumstances surrounding the bargaining process.

Upon finding unconscionability a court has a great deal of flexibility on how it remedies the situation. It may refuse to enforce the contract, refuse to enforce the offending clause, or take other measures it deems necessary to have a fair outcome. [Wikipedia]

It's a risk given that you loaned her monies but only over the past year you stated.


The quickest way is to pay a people search firm to find her - they don't charge that much but charge accordingly as to how much time they put into finding her.

You can find such companies through google or your local Yellow Pages.


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