How to recover money and property from an ex-girlfriend?

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How to recover money and property from an ex-girlfriend?

Girlfriend and I split up; I visited my daughter in another state and she moved my stuff out. However I still have 40k of equipment that she will not give back that is stored on her property. Additionally, I paid off her mortgage for $189k and paid 16k in house furniture and repairs, credit card debt,  etc, for a total of $342,000. I did this in the assumption of spending the rest of my life with her. Also, I loaned her son 20k and her daughter (who just recently passed away) 26k. I called, text, e-mailed. She says that she deserved all this. Mind you, I only dated her for 1 year. What are my rights? I want it all back now.

Asked on June 1, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You could sue your ex-girlfriend for the amount of the loans plus interest.  As for the equipment, you could have a separate cause of action (claim) in the same lawsuit for conversion.  Conversion is the assumption of dominion and control over the personal property of another.  This means assertion of ownership over your personal property since she refuses to return your equipment.

If you obtain a judgment against your ex, you will need to enforce the judgment if she refuses to pay.  You could place a lien against her property for having paid off the mortgage and for the other items you paid.  A wage garnishment would be another method of enforcing the judgment against her, but it may not be practical if her income is low, given the large sum you are seeking to recover.

As for the 20k loan to the son, you could sue him to collect this amount plus interest.  After obtaining a judgment against him, you could pursue a wage garnishment or you could place a lien on his property. 

As for the 26k you loaned the daughter, you could file a claim against her estate.


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