If I lent my oldest neice $1500 that has not been repaid, what can I do?

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If I lent my oldest neice $1500 that has not been repaid, what can I do?

It was 18 months ago and was to be repaid at $100 a month minimum, with no interest if paid on schedule. So far she has made 3 payments for a total of $500. Do I have a recourse to collect the balance. My sister, her mother died last year so I have not been pushy. She told me 2 months ago that she got a raise and would pay me but she has never sent me a dime.

Asked on March 26, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A loan agreement (including an oral loan agreement; i.e. one not in writing) is enforceable. If your neice has  not repaid you as per the agreement , you could sue her for breaching or violating it--since she has breached it, you could seek repayment of the entire remaining principal balance. One option would be to sue in small claims court, where you could act as your own attorney (saving on legal fees). You would need to prove that the money was a loan (not a gift), how much was loaned, and the terms of the loan by a "preponderance of the evidence" (that is, that it's "more likely than not" that things are as you describe). You should be able to get sample forms and instructions from your court, either in person or online.


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