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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 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.


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