What to do if my ex claims that I owe her $30,000?

UPDATED: Jun 14, 2012

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What to do if my ex claims that I owe her $30,000?

She has not provided any documentation but I do admit I promised to pay her back about $4500 initially. She refuses to return my property until the debt is paid in full. Additionally, she is adding 8% interest monthly, which exceeds what I can pay her (I am disabled and on a limited income). I have made 2 payments and the balance is already over $400 higher than the initial “statement”. She sent me another statement today, with a due date of today. I located some info online that a debt between 2 parties cannot exceed 7% interest. Do I have any legal recourse here? At the rate she’s charging interest, I will never be able to pay this debt off.

Asked on June 14, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) If  there  was an agreement to repay her, that agreement is enforceable; you would seem to have to repay your ex the principal balance that you borrowed. You *only* have to repay the amount you agreed to borrow from her--she cannot hold you liable for amounts you did not borrow, or amounts (if any) which she gave you as a gift at the time (since once a gift, always a gift; a gift cannot be "ungiven").

2) She cannot charge you interest UNLESS you had agreed to pay interest at the beginning--and then she could only charge you the rate you agreed to. If there was no agreement for interest, she should not be able to recover it from you.

3) She may not legally withhold your property from you unless you had actually given that property as collateral or security for a debt.

Given how much is potentially at stake (such as if she sues you and you do not respond correctly, thereby losing even if you should not have), you should retain an attorney immediately to help you deal with this situation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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