What legal actions can I take to recoup borrowed money which has not been paid back?

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What legal actions can I take to recoup borrowed money which has not been paid back?

My daughters college soccer coach texted me last week in a n urgent manner stating that he lost his wallet in a bar while entertaining out of country clients for his business. He stated he was desperate to get $300to pay the bill and he tried to call everyone and that if he didn’t pay the bill, he would be charged with theft of services by the manager of the establishment. In a show of good faith and trust, I sent him the the money through a service which he suggested. Since that time, he has scammed me and lied to me and avoided repaying his debt to me. What can I do legally?

Asked on November 15, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) You can sue him. When money is loaned to someone under a promise (whether oral or written) to repay, but is not repaid, the person loaning the money can sue for its return. For this amount, you might consider suing in small claims court, where you would represent yourself (no legal fees).

2) You can report him to the police for theft (theft by deception)--this may help you get your money back, if he is either ordered to pay restitution or offers to pay it in hopes of more lenient treatment or as part of a plea deal. It's not clear that police will act--they may consider it just a "civil" dispute, not a criminal action--but it costs you nothing to contact them.


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