Can one debt cancel out another?

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Can one debt cancel out another?

My mom is dating a man that let her borrow $2,000. They went before a notary to sign a document that says that he would lend her the money and she would pay him back $100 monthly for 22 months. He wants to sue her to pay the money because she doesn’t want to pay the money. The reason she doesn’t want to pay the money is because he lived in her house for 9 months and didn’t pay her anything for rent or utilities. So she wants to counter sue him for this. My question is, if he sues her for not paying the money, can she countersue him saying that technically he owes her because he lived in her house for 9 months for free?

Asked on October 15, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your mother can only countersue for utilities or rent IF there was an agreement between them, in place prior to him moving in, that he would pay these items. If there was, she can enforce that agreement and force him to pay; but without an agreement, he does not have to pay her. You cannot let someone live rent and utility free with you then, after the fact, tell them that they owe you money; people can only be obligated to pay by their agreement to do so, entered into before the obligation is incurred.


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