If I loaned someone $5000 and nowthet don’t want to pay me back, how can I collect on this debt?

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If I loaned someone $5000 and nowthet don’t want to pay me back, how can I collect on this debt?

When we were together, I loaned my boyfriend money to purchase a car. I wrote a check for $5000 to the car dealer as a down payment on the car. It was clear to both of us that it was a loan, not a gift and he was supposed to get a loan from the bank and pay me back immediately. He failed to get the loan and now that we are no longer a couple, he is avoiding me and has not made any of the payments to me that he promised. He has stated in the presence of others that he would pay me back, but he continues to come up with excuses. What legal rights to I have and how can I get my money back?

Asked on August 14, 2011 Hawaii

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can sue your ex-boyfriend for the amount of the loan plus interest.  Since it wasn't in writing, you will need to provide evidence of the loan.  You could sign a declaration under penalty of perjury that the $5000 was a loan.  The witnesses who were present when he made the statements about paying you could also provide evidence of the existence of the loan.  They could either testify in court or could provide declarations signed under penalty of perjury attesting to the existence of the loan instead of appearing in court.

You may be able to file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court depending on the maximum amount recoverable in your state's Small Claims Court.  Your damages (the amount you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit) should include the $5000 loan plus interest plus court costs.  Court costs would include the court filing fee and process server fee.

If you get a court judgment against him, you could also obtain a wage garnishment to enforce the judgment. 


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