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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 101444
Experience:  Lawyer
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While in underraduate school, my girl friends parents loaned

Customer Question

while in underraduate school, my girl friends parents loaned me money to cover my tuition and other school expenses for a graduate school i wanted to attend(no contract, just "handshake"). My girl friend and I eventually married (after graduate school was finsihed) and were married for 12 years. We have now been separated for over a year and will be getting a divorce. During my schooling and the subsequent years I was not in a position financially to pay them (her parents) back, and I'm still not. However, now my ex-wife is asking me to put together a payment plan to pay them back. I cant really afford to, not any way that will payback what I owe in any kind of reasonable time. They essentially payed for my graduate studies and the approximate amount "loaned" was $125,000. I could realistically afford 1-200$/month but obviously that wouldnt come close, even over 20 years... What are my obligations to make repayments?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.

What was the agreement in terms of your paying them back?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
There was only a loose verbal agreement that i would pay them back when i was able. But nothing regarding terms or interest etc.
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.

Did they ever once ask them to pay you back before now?

Did you ever pay them back anything towards this debt?

Are they asking you to pay them back or is it just your former spouse?

Do you have any assets?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They've never asked before this, and i've never paid anything back towards this debt. I'm actually not sure if this is just my former spouse or them. The email regarding this was from my ex-spouse.
My assets include: Car (2007 ford focus), approximately, $19,000cash (left over from my share of the sale of our home when we separated last year). Currently I am renting.
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.

It is likely the case that this is just coming from your ex-spouse and that her parents never expected to be paid back. It is not likely that they will sue you, and your ex-spouse cannot sue you for this money; only her parents can. If you receive a letter from the parents or a lawyer for the parents then it would make sense for you to pay a lawyer to write them back. The letter could state that all of these years this was a forgiven loan and that you never had any attention, nor do you now have the ability, to pay them back, and if they sue you you will declare bankruptcy. It is unlikely that they will sue you at the end of the day.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
even though there is nothing in writing, you feel that a court or lawyer would agree that they have basis for a suit or claim against me? I dont like the idea of bankruptcy but at the same time i could see where it would dispose of this issue
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.

They have the basis for a lawsuit if this was a loan and not a gift.