What to do if I loaned a friend a sizeable amount of money when she was in dire straits and going throug a divorce but she has not paid me back?

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What to do if I loaned a friend a sizeable amount of money when she was in dire straits and going throug a divorce but she has not paid me back?

She was aware that I was taking out a loan. She and her husband had an expensive house that was not selling and the promise was that she would repay the loan when the house sold. It has taken the house almost 5 years to sell. During the 5 years she was unable to make any payments with the exception of one payment on the loan. I approached her about paying back the money and she is refusing to pay. All I have are cancelled checks written to her and the contractor that had made the repairs on her father’s house that she had to go live in. Is it futile for me to hire a lawyer? Unfortunatley I have no IOU signature loan and I know, not wise.

Asked on December 9, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Legally, an oral loan agreement is enforceable, though obviously, it can be difficult, as a practical matter, to prove the amount and even the existence of the loan, if the borrower disputes that she received it; however, cancelled checks written to the borrower will help prove the loan.  However, in your state, the statute of limitations, or time to sue, on an oral (or verbal) agreement is only 5 years; from what you write, depending on the exact timeframe involved, you are either out of time or close to out of time. If you want to try to take action to recover this loan, consult with an attorney IMMEDIATELY, before any more time passes.


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