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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience in general law, including real estate, criminal, traffic, and domestic relations
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About 18 months ago my then-girlfriend and I got a debt consolidation

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About 18 months ago my then-girlfriend and I got a debt consolidation loan. She used her paid-for million dollar house to secure the 99k loan (of which 70k was hers, 29k was mine). She insisted that the loan be ten years in length because that would correspond to when her youngest child turned 18, at which point she would sell the house. The relationship did not work out. Sadly, I also lost my job and was unable to pay my portion of the consolidation loan for a while. Before I started working again, she sold the house to move in with a new boyfriends and paid the entire debt in full. Now she claims that I owe her the money under the same terms that were in place with the original lender, as if I were a debtor to her. We did not share any bills, or assets, were not married, and have no written agreement of any kind that if she were to pay the loan off, the debt transfers to her.

Now that I am finally working again she and her new boyfriend have become insistent to the point of harrassing me, insisting that I pay her as if she loaned me the money herself and that I need to pay her the interest that the original lender would have charged us had we stayed together and paid the loan to resolution over ten years.

What I want to know is, do I LEGALLY owe her anything. I live in the state of Texas.

Trying to figure out where I stand.
Dear JACUSTOMER - Legally you would owe her for any money you received from the loan if she paid the entire balance. This is what is legally called "contribution". I'm not certain from your facts whether or not you actually co-signed the loan but if you did then you could have been sued for the entire amount if the bank chose to do so had the loan not been paid. As between you and your ex, it would appear that you had agreed to an approximate 70/30 split meaning you would pay your portion and she hers. So by paying your portion she essentially loan you the money that was your share meaning you gained the benefit of the payoff and she could claim that you were unjustly enriched to the extent that your portion was paid by someone else. Until she files a suit there's nothing she can do to collect the money and if she files a suit she would have the burden of proof as to what agreement the two of you may have had, especially if you never signed the note with the bank.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks! I am not looking to escape responsibility here. I actually intend to pay her becuase it is the right thing to do. My issue is with respect to interest and payment. She insists I am required to pay her the same monthly amount, and at the same interest level, as the lender set up before she paid it off. Is this true?

I disagree that you owe her the same rate of interest or any interest for that matter unless there was some agreement in writing. Some courts will order interest on judgments so I can't guarantee that if this actually went to a trial the court would or wouldn't order interest. The quicker you can get this settled the better but paying her interest is excessive. She was the one who chose to pay off the loan early.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Again, thank you. You're very helpful. There is NO written agreement between us for anything.


One last question, then I'll leave you alone. What can I do about the overly-frequent (in my opinion) emails and texts (mostly from her new boyfriend). I'd love to make what I used to, but sadly my income isn't quite what it should be for the time being and I'm a single father (not our kids). I don't need to tell you how difficult that can be. When I start paying her, I know as sure as the sun rises that they will continue to email and text me frustratingly frequently unless I make the payments in the amounts they want, including interest. Is there a way to stop those short of legal action?


I would not make any payments UNTIL you get something in writing. You will end paying and paying and she will keep asking for more and more and this will never end. I would tell her that you will agree to pay and that you want it in writing and that one of the terms is no contact with her new guy and no phone calls or letters unless you fail to make the payments. If these terms are violated the balance of the payments will be forgiven and the loan considered as paid. The boyfriend is not a party to the case and I assume he is not a lawyer and he has no right to represent her in any legal way. If he continues trying to play lawyer you can report him for the "unauthorized practice of law" to the state bar association. So if she wants her money she needs to agree to some terms. If she refuses then you can refuse to pay and you can seek a no contact order from the court on both of them.
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