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Dan
Dan, Retired JD
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Retired attorney, general practice, with an additional background in financial planning,
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I loaned someone money in 2006. It was only 680.00. This person

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I loaned someone money in 2006. It was only 680.00. This person verbally promised to pay me back as soon as they started to work again. To this day I haven't received a dime. Now she says she doesn't owe me anything. I have the cancelled check that I gave her with her name on the Pay to the Order of. Can I sue her in small claims for this money?
Pepper:

Yes, you may sue in small claims court and claim that you made the loan in exchange for her verbal agreement to repay. Agreements of that type do not have to be in writing to be enforceable. However, with only a canceled check with her name on it as physical evidence, she could still try to claim to the court that the money was a gift. Then it is up to the judge to decide whose version rings truth.

(FYI: As you can see, it would be better to have something in writing. For future reference, if you take a moment to use one of the simple "Promissory Note" forms, these things become easier.)

In general, the court should be more likely to believe this was a loan than a gift unless you make a habit of making gifts of that type to persons in this borrower's situation. You basically only have to show that "it is more likely than not" that your version is the truth. Anything you can do to add proof to your claim (such as testimony of anyone else who witnessed or knew of the loan) would help.


I hope this has been helpful. Let me know if you have any followup questions. If none, please remember to click on the ACCEPT link so that I may receive credit for working on this topic with you. (I'd greatly appreciate it!)


Thank you,

Dan

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The information provided is general in nature only and shall not be construed as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship. You should always consult with a lawyer in your state.

PS: If an answer appears to you to have been very helpful, or to have taken above average expertise, and/or research, or if the answer shows an above average amount of time and dedication devoted to your issue, a bonus is nice way to say "Thank you". Thanks!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
thank you so much. My son is a witness to the transaction. I also wrote on the check at the bottom 'mortgage payment. That is what she needed the money for. She told me and my son she was going to pay after she went back to work.
It's too bad that you have to go through that. But you do have enough to go to court on, at least. Best wishes,

Dan


I hope this has been helpful. Let me know if you have any followup questions. If none, please remember to click on the ACCEPT link so that I may receive credit for working on this topic with you. (I'd greatly appreciate it!)

The information provided is general in nature only and shall not be construed as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship. You should always consult with a lawyer in your state.

PS: If an answer appears to you to have been very helpful, or to have taken above average expertise, and/or research, or if the answer shows an above average amount of time and dedication devoted to your issue, a bonus is nice way to say "Thank you". Thanks!
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