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John, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 5557
Experience:  Licensed and practicing attorney.
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I have an IOU for one thousand dollars for money borrowed

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I have an IOU for one thousand dollars for money borrowed from me and owed to me by a former neighbor. He recently moved out of his home next door. to live with his in-laws. I have the address. How do I begin a legal process to collect on this debt?

Hi, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I’m happy to assist you with your question today.

Your procedure to collect the debt would be to file a breach of contract claim in the Justice of Peace Court in your jurisdiction. At this website you can find model complaints that you can use to file your claim. After you have that filed and have served the debtor, he'll have 15 days to file an answer. After the answer is filed a trial date will be issued at which time you can prove to the judge that the debt is owed and get a judgment.

With regard to the claims of libel and slander, these would have to filed separately in a court of common jurisdiction and are significantly more difficult to prove. Specifically, you'd first have to send a cease and desist letter and demand a retraction of these statements. You'd have to be able to allege and prove that the person intentionally misrepresented facts to these people, with the intention to defame your character and cause interference with your job/life that caused you financial and emotional distress as a result. Opinion statements are an absolute defense to these matters, which makes these cases difficult to prove because you have to prove the person made a "factual" (as opposed to opinion) and inaccurate statement intentionally with the intent to harm you. It's difficult to prove that. But if they refuse to retract them and you are harmed as a result it is your only recourse.

I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – simply reply to this answer. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX wish you all the best with this matter.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your expediency and the information provided. I have another concern that was not covered in your response.The IOU is signed but not dated. The amount is reflected in the IOU and my name is XXXXX XXXXX the statement as well regarding the payback. My first name is XXXXX XXXXX instead Deborah. Does that make a difference?

If none of this matters is the document sufficient enough for me to go forward?


The lack of date and misspelling of your name will not prohibit collection on the debt. A contract can be supplemented by evidence external to the writing - meaning you can supplement the writing with your explanation of the terms such as testifying to the judge regarding the date the contract was entered and why your name is misspelled. It will not be an issue.

Let me know if you have any further concerns or questions. Thanks.
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