What should I do if my ex-boyfriend owes me over $600 and is saying that he won’t pay me back?

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What should I do if my ex-boyfriend owes me over $600 and is saying that he won’t pay me back?

I paid for his restitution and cell phone, but have no legal records of this transaction, besides maybe seeing when I withdrew the money from my bank account. This boy also gave me his grandmother’s ring and he wants that back. I am afraid that if I give it back I will never hear from him again, so I am holding it as collateral. I am struggling financial and really want my money back ASAP.

Asked on July 12, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A gift, once given, cannot be recovered by the gift giver, unlike a loan, which must be repaid according to its terms, or a contractual arrangement, where if party A honors his or her obligations, party B must pay the agreed-upon amount. So if the ring was a gift, you do not have to get it back; that's the good news. The bad news is that if the money you paid for him was a gift--that is, at the time it was paid, there was no agreement to repay it--then you can't get that money back, either. If the money you paid was a loan, you can seek its return, though you'd have to be able to prove the existence and the terms of the loan agreement, which may not be easy if there are no records and your ex-boyfriend should dispute your version of events.


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