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Lucy, Esq.
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Is a personal signed IOU, legal if signed in Greece? Both

Resolved Question:

Is a personal signed IOU, legal if signed in Greece?
Both parties are US Citizens, that were traveling together.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

Yes, that is legal, even if the two of you were in a foreign country when it was signed. Two American citizens can enter an agreement elsewhere and ask the US courts to enforce it.

If the person does not pay, the other person may be able to sue in Small Claims Court for a refund. What he would typically be entitled to is the reasonable value of the miles.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 19928
Experience: Lawyer
Lucy, Esq. and 9 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Why, and is it legal for her attorney to state that my note is illegal, if that is not the truth? Can he just tell me whatever to intimidate me?

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Her attorney does not represent you. He represents her. He can deny that she owes you money, or he can ask you to prove it. There are Rules of Professional Conduct that generally prohibit an attorney from saying whatever they want when talking to an unrepresented party on behalf of a client.

There's also a theory in the law called "unjust enrichment." If you do something to benefit someone else, expecting to receive something in response, and they accepted the benefit knowing what you expected, they can be legally required to disgorge the benefit that they received - that is, they can be forced to pay you for it. In this case, where the benefit your friend received was the value of a last minute plane ticket from Greece, you could actually sue for that amount, which could be more than the value usually placed on airline miles.

Also, if your "friend" never intended to repay you, and assigned the agreement intending to claim that it's not enforceable in the United States, that's basically fraud and that STILL means that you get repaid.

So, there are three separate legal theories, all of which mean that the person who gave the miles is entitled to be paid for the value of those miles.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Since this is of 5000.00 value, do you think I should hire and attorney, or just take it to small claims for 2500., but no attorney fees?


50,000 points is equal to a business class seat to Asia or Europe.


You have been very helpful.


Thank You,


Sherry

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 10 months ago.
That's really up to you. Most lawyers charge by the hour for these cases, It's unlikely that you could hire a lawyer that would charge you less than $2,500 to try a case. A lawyer might be willing to write a demand letter and try to negotiate a resolution with the other person's lawyer for less than $2,500, if you wanted to try that instead.

If you have evidence of what the last minute ticket to Greece would have cost (or you remember), and that amount is $2,500 or less, that might help you decide. One of the measures of damages in this scenario is the amount that the friend benefited himself at your expense. Also try doing some research on the monetary equivalent of an airline mile. I've been looking a bit, and what I'm finding is that estimates anywhere between 1 and 3 cents, all of which would put 50,000 miles at worth less than $2,500. You would need documentation to support an award of $5,000.

The other option is to file suit in the regular civil court for the full amount and represent yourself. You're not required to hire a lawyer to sue outside of Small Claims Court.

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