What can I do if my roommate owes me roughly $2700 and verbally agreed to pay me back but has not?

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What can I do if my roommate owes me roughly $2700 and verbally agreed to pay me back but has not?

I have lent money to a person over the last half a year because I needed a roommate. I helped him move out here and he offered to pay me back for the trip as well as for back rent that I covered for him as he looked for a job. I feel like I let my kind and I suppose naive nature get taken advantage of because I agreed to it. He has only ever given me $200 but he now owes me somewhere around $2,700. He is currently on the lease with me. I have a spreadsheet with detailed info on what he owes me and what for, although he has never actually signed anything.

Asked on April 26, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

An oral (often called, incorrectly, verbal) agreement to repay money loaned to a person is enforceable; you may thereore sue your roommate for the money which you loaned him but which he has not repaid. The problem with oral agreements is that as a practial matter, it can be difficult to prove the existence or terms of the agreement, if the other side disputes your version. If you can show the payments to him (e.g. cancelled checks), that will help; the fact that he has paid you $200 will also help (take evidence of repayment to court), since that  will provide evidence that he borrowed money and began (though not completed) repayment. For $2,700, you may wish to sue in small claims court, where you could act as your own attorney.


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