Can I sue for a debt if I have no promisory note?

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Can I sue for a debt if I have no promisory note?

I let a friend borrow $120. Since I trusted her I didn’t make her sign a promissory note to pay it back. It’s been months and I’ve contacted her 3 times about this issue. Do I have any legal recourse here?

Asked on May 1, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, New York

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You have legal recourse but here is the tricky part, you need some sort of proof. For any contract for a loan for less than $500.00 without a writing, you may get around the statute of frauds if you can find something proving the existence of the money being a loan and not a gift. So, do you have copies of your emails and her responses. If so, then that is your proof. Did you write a check to your friend or give it in cash. If you wrote a check, it might help, especially if you placed in the memo section the word "loan". If any of your friend's comments state it is a loan or she intends to pay you back or doesn't have the money yet, then that could be considered by a small claims court as enough proof there was a loan from you to her. Do not wait; you usually only have one year to file such a claim.


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