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What state are you in?
When did last make a payment to you? When did he leave that message that he was no longer going to pay the debt?
July of 2009 - just a couple months ago - correct?
Do you have anything that could be used to verify when he last made a payment? Does that voice message reflect a date?
The statute of limitations starts to run at the time of breach - not when the contract was originally entered.
So the statute of limitations in your case just started. You can most certainly file suit in your local small claims court against him.
Is there a prepoderence of evidence with just the verbal contract and the voice mail of the Defendant mentioning the $5000 loan and intent not to pay.
I also have one credit card statement from 1997 that shows the balance on the account
and one charge that he made.
Yes. I believe the judge would think that you have met your burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence.
Too, you could bring copies of the old charges he made. Additionally, you could bring anything and everything which would show his past payments.
I did want to mention - when you go to court on this issue - come with a very nice itemization/balance sheet of when he paid and when he didn't and how much he paid. That will show to the judge that your thorough and responsible and that your more credible than he.