How do I proceed to get money back from my husband’s friend who borrowed from us 7 years ago?

I do have his signed statement that if he doesn’t (which he didn’t) give us money back by a certain date he will pay us later with an interest. What kind of a lawyer should I be looking for? What are the chances we will get our money back? How long could it take? PS: My husband lend him $8,000 and $4,500 of it was my money, so I made his friend to write and sign a statement that he borrowed the money and would give it back. Is it too late already? He was in prison for 2 years and now he lives out of state. I’m ready to get the money back with a good (not expansive) lawyer.

Asked on January 21, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, District of Columbia


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking from your question alone, most statutes of limitations indicate you already lost the battle. Now let's look at the facts. The total of the $8,000.00 is a joint loan. If your husband lent the money while you were married, it is not his money or your money, it is you and your husband's marital asset lent to someone, so it is a debt owed to the two of you together. It may wind up costing you more in the long run for hiring an attorney and spending thousands in filing in the proper court and in the proper jurisdiction to get a judgment in your favor and then another series of steps to attach liens or freeze assets. If the person signed the agreement and you made no attempt to collect before the statute ended, it could be considered a dead transaction and totally uneforceable. You should first consult with an attorney (most consultations are free) and see if you can stand any chance in getting it back. 

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