What to do if my ex-boyfriend, who supported me with money 6 years ago, now claims he actually loaned it to me?

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What to do if my ex-boyfriend, who supported me with money 6 years ago, now claims he actually loaned it to me?

He showed up with bank statement slips of transfers to my account and demands repayment

Asked on December 13, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if the money was a gift, he can't get it back--once gifted, a gift may not be recovered or "ungifted." On the other hand, if it was a loan, even one made pursuant to an oral (verbal) agreement to repay, he may be able to recover some or all of it. For an oral contract or agreement to repay, the statute of limitations (or time period within which to sue) in your state is six years, so depending on the exact time frame involved, he may or may not still be in time to sue. (He can bring the lawsuit up to 6 years from when he claims or alleges you were obligated to repay.)

Practically, when the two parties disagree as to whether it was a loan or a gift, if there is a lawsuit, it will come down essentially to credibility--who is more believable to the court? You, as the person who would be sued ("defendant") has an advantage: the plaintiff (person suing) must prove his case by a "preponderance of the evidence," or that it is more likely than not that he is right. Therefore, he must be more persuasive and credible than you: if he is only as credible, you would win.

That said, the outcome of a lawsuit is never predictable--you could lose. You may wish to consider trying to settle for some mutually agreeable amount.


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