Question

I hope you can help me with this.

I gave or lent money to my friend about a year ago. They needed money to move and get a new place to live, and asked me to lend them £3,000, which I did. We agreed they would repay me £200 a month for 18 months, making a profit for me of £600, which I thought was good. All this was agreed, I gave them the money, and they moved, and for a few months I received my monthly payments of £200.

Then about 7 months ago the payments stopped. I phoned them to ask why and they said they were out of work due to the pandemic, and could not afford to pay their rent and me. I understood this, but also knew that they were on furlough, so they were receiving some money.

I next heard from another friend that the couple I gave the money to were back working full time, but they still did not pay me. So once again I rang them, no answer, they have avoided my calls, and when I went around to their place, no one is home. I think they are home just avoiding me.

I would like the rest of my money. How can I do this? I understand the friendship is over, they just do not want to pay.

Any advice is helpful.

Mr. B

Answer

Mr. B,

Your situation, not that it makes it any better, is an age old issue of lending money to friends or family, and getting it back. It is the getting the money back part that can prove difficult.

Did you get anything in writing about the loan? That may help.

Verbal contracts can be binding, but also difficult to prove. Were there any third party witnesses?

Your only recourse would be to send them a demand letter to repay the balance of the loan. You need to keep things in writing. You may need to seek legal advice via a Solicitor, and go through the courts, all of which will cost you more money.

You may also need to write off the money you gave your friend, and chalk it up to experience and a lesson learned.

Regards,

Jon

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