Can I sue my ex-girlfriend for a loan that I took over for her?

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Can I sue my ex-girlfriend for a loan that I took over for her?

My ex-girlfriend owes me approximately $10,000. I took over her high interest rate loan and got a better rate. She was making payments but we broke up and she told me she had every intention to pay back the loan. Now, 8 months have gone by and I have tried with e-mails and even sent a demand letter to her but no response. Can I sue her if there was no written agreement?

Asked on May 3, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You write that you "took over" her loan and received a better rate. If the debt is now your debt (e.g. you took assignment of it, refinanced it, etc.) and you, not your ex-girlfiend, is the actual debtor on this loan, then you probably cannot sue her for not paying it if there was no written agreement. Under OH law, an agreement to "answer for"--or pay--the debt of another person must be in writing to be enforceable. If you are the debtor, then your girlfriend's promise to pay would have to be evidenced by a written agreement in order to sue her.

Given how much is at stake ($10k), it would be worthwhile consulting in detail with an attorney to evaluate whether you have any rights or recourse; however, you have to be prepared for that fact that, based on what you write, the law appears to be against you

Here is a link to the relevant OH law: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/1335.05


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