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Richard
Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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I loaned a person over $27,000.00 almost three years ago. This

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I loaned a person over $27,000.00 almost three years ago. This man is now an owner of a Titlted Kilt bar/ restaurant refusing to pay my money back. It was a verbal agreement. Please Advise.
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.


Good morning. Can you tell me what kind of support you have, if any, of the loan, and the fact that is was intended as a loan rather than a gift? Do you have any emails, texts, voice mails, etc. that would indicate such? Thanks.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


It was not a gift, This was a loan that was agreed that he would pay back. This man is married to my brother-in-law niece at the time of the agreement .It was written a piece of paper that he would pay me back. But , has not.

Thanks so much for following up. And, you have this piece of paper? I'm sorry for all the questions...I just want to be able to provide you full and accurate information. :)
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes.

Perfect! Then, even though you don't have a formal promissory note, you can overcome this by the concepts of promissory estoppel, detrimental reliance, and unjust enrichment. This situation arises when Person A relied upon the verbal agreement, Person A performed based on such reliance, and because Person B defaulted, such reliance is now to Person A's detriment. Where there is i) partial performance by Person A based upon the mutual promises, ii) Person A relied upon such promises to perform, iii) Person B's failure to perform would be to Person A's detriment, and iv) result in Person B being unjustly enriched, Person A can overcome the legal requirement that the agreement be in writing. Your situation satisfies each of the foregoing elements and your sheet of paper confirms this was intended as a loan.


So, since he won't pay you voluntarily, file suit against him. This will give you the collection options and leverage you seek because once the suit is filed and a judgment awarded, you become a judgment creditor, and if the losing party doesn’t then pay the judgment, you can have the sheriff serve a summons on the losing party for a debtor examination. That forces the losing party to meet the judgment creditor in court and answer questions under oath about the losing party's assets. After that information is obtained, the judgment creditor has the power to garnish wages, attach bank accounts, have the sheriff seize other personal property, and/or place liens on any non-homestead property to satisfy the judgment.



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Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Does the amount of time owed matter?

Thanks for following up on this. It only matters as to what court you file the suit. Since the amount is over the small claims court limit, you would need to file in a state district civil court.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Will I need a lawyer to represent me or can I do it myself?

It would be helpful to have a lawyer, but you are not required to do so. This is not a complex case, so if you do use a lawyer, you would want to engage one with only one or two years experience to avoid paying the high hourly rate an experienced lawyer would charge. Under my terms of service with JustAnswer, I'm not allowed to make a specific recommendation, but I can give you direction. You would want to either contact the state bar association or your nearest law school for a referral. I prefer the latter because they take great pride in their graduates and will take a more personal interest in making sure your referral is a good one because it will be a reflection of the school.
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