If I loan a business some money should I be able to see their Financial Papers?

The owner of a small business passed away and left the business to his children.
The business owes me money for a loan. I would like to see their Profit Loss and
Balance Sheets to work out a payment schedule

Asked on May 11, 2017 under Business Law, Oregon


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you have no right to this unless when you loaned them the money, the loan agreement they signed specifically gave you the right to see this information. Otherwise, just because someone owes you money does not let you view their financials. (For example, do you have a credit card? If so, when you charge something on it, you owe the issuer money...but that does not let them come in and look at your bank account or tax return.)
If the loan is not paid on time (i.e. when, under the terms of the loan, payment(s) should be made), you can then sue for its repayment, based on "breach of contract": the loan is a contract. If the loan was to an LLC or corporation, you'd sue the LLC or corporation. If you loaned the deceased owner personally, you can sue his estate for the full balance of the loan, since now that he is dead, he *cannot* continue paying the loan--i.e. a personal loan or debt comes due from the estate when the borrower dies.

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