Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default How to Collect Money Owed By Friends

    My question involves judgment recovery in the State of: California ( Los Angeles, and Orange County)

    I used to be less wise and as a result lent money to friends when i shouldn't of... In the words of Shakespeare " Neither a borrower nor a lender be " ... I've learned this the hard way.

    Case 1: I lent a close friend roughly $3000 of money and goods over a few months time. He never made payments, and approximately one year ago we signed an agreement stating that i loaned him $3000. The agreement was collateralized with sports memorabilia and personal items, however they are not worth more that 1000$ tops. These items have been in my possession for the last year. Unfortunately the contract was not notarized. I do have some evidence of communication (via text messages) in regard to the loan between me and the borrower.

    I sent him a letter of demand in late may stating that if he did not pay or negotiate terms i would sue. He paid $300 over the next few weeks (late june). I filed suit against him in the LA small claims court online (Efiling).

    Problems: A) He is currently out of state, but due back in a few weeks. B) He changed addresses about 2 weeks ago (still in Los Angeles) , and i do not know his new address. (I put his old address on the suit, hoping that it will get routed to his new home address) C)In filing on Efiling, i submitted the case without printing the PDF of the paperwork that is in the 2nd to last step(you are supposed to 'review, print, and sign' it); will this be an issue later on? Does anyone know how to access this page? I have emailed Efiling to no avail, and just paid the fees so i assume my case has been accepted.

    I am fairly confident in my chances in court assuming he is served, considering i have a written contract and that i have collateral... Still any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    .................................................. .................................................. .....

    Case 2: I lent a 'friend' $6000 in mid March 2012, with the promise that it would be paid back by May 2012. It was not paid back, and i have been having much difficulty in contacting the borrower. The only contact i have had have been recent calls/texts, all fairly vague in context; i ask about the loan, and, he responds that we should meet up soon, but does not admit/deny/acknowledge owing it.

    This is the loan i am more nervous about, as, I have not written proof of it. The loan was given in cash, and only our oral agreement/handshake contract exists (as well as the withdraw records from my account). The loan was made in Orange County, and the borrower resides in Los Angeles. ( I reside in both counties )

    The only saving grace for me is that the loan was made inside of a bank, a bank in which i am friendly with the tellers and staff. I have spoken with a teller who witnessed the transaction, and he agreed that if i suepena (spelling?) him, he would testify to what he "saw" (didn't hear the deal). I am hoping that i could somehow supena the security footage from the bank as well... is this wishful thinking? Is it possible, if so how would i go about requesting it?

    Problems: A) I have little information on my 'friend' , his name is very common (and who knows if i even have it right). I know the car he drives, and where he lives, but i do not know his exact address nor do i know his license plate number, or his middle name for that matter. I could most-likely acquire his license plate number, since i know his friends/hang outs; i am considering doing this and then passing the info on to a PI the get his full name, address, ect. Any approximation on how much this would cost, and if it is even legal? B) He has a fairly nice car and assets, but no (significant) legitimate source of income; will this be a problem or advantage in collecting the debt?

    I have yet to file case on this debt. I know that i would have to do so in the county it was made in, and that i would need the borrowers information. Is the evidence strong enough to pursue it? Any advice on retrieving information on the debtor and/or gathering evidence would be so greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: How to Collect Money Owed By Friends

    If your friends owe you money and won't pay you back, you can sue them. For small claims court you must serve the defendant in California. You will need to find the defendants in order to serve them. If the defendants deny receiving money you will have to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that you made the loans. Having a judgment does not guarantee that you'll be able to collect the judgment.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    638

    Default Re: How to Collect Money Owed By Friends

    Mr. Knowitall,

    I don't know California. Here, if I didn't know where he was, I could publish the summons in the newspaper. Can you do that in California? It worked out great for me because the debtor defaulted by not showing up for court. I still subpoenaed and took a couple witnesses, and because of the informality of small claims the judge heard the witnesses. Still, the win was by default.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: How to Collect Money Owed By Friends

    You can petition the court to permit substituted service and, if the court grants permission, effect service in a manner consistent with the court's order.

    If it needs to be said, it will be no easier to find him after you get a judgment than it is before.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    638

    Default Re: How to Collect Money Owed By Friends

    Thanks for the answer. If someone really burns me, I'll go to some lengths to make him uncomfortable even if it's just screwing up his credit with a judgment so he can't perhaps buy a car or a house or get another credit card.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: How to Collect Money Owed By Friends

    You'll probably find that his credit is shot anyway. Getting the judgment is the easy part. Collecting is another matter entirely.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    638

    Default Re: How to Collect Money Owed By Friends

    Yep, I'd probably never collect it. I'd still add another judgment to his record.

    It's said he has a "fairly nice car and some assets." I don't know if that includes real estate. I've been paid "out of the blue" a few years later by a title company when someone was selling the house they owned when I got my judgment. The title company withheld the money in escrow, sent it to me, and filed the satisfaction themselves. (Yes they can.)

    I was also paid "out of the blue" when someone wanted to buy a house and the title company wouldn't issue a policy knowing that the judgment would immediately attach.

    Title companies don't know, and don't want to try to learn, all of the ramifications behind that judgment. They just want it cleared.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: How to Collect Money Owed By Friends

    Thank you for the replies. If i cannot find the individual , is it acceptable to take out an add in the times? would that amount to serving him?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    massachusetts
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: How to Collect Money Owed By Friends

    it appears obvious that this person isnt going to pay you back. getting a judgment (if you have written evidence) is relatively easy. collecting is the hard part. sure you can tack on court costs to the judgment and let it accrue statutory interest, but if you never collect.... it is just more money out of your pocket.

    if you can contact this person your best bet may be to offer this person a 'deal.' better to get 50% of your money back than 0%.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Security Deposits: Tenant Owes More Than Security Deposit, Can I Keep Money Other Money Owed
    By tcuwilliams in forum Landlord-Tenant Law
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-21-2011, 04:33 AM
  2. Roommates: Ex-Roommate Won't Pay Money Owed or Collect Property
    By BeeSharee in forum Landlord-Tenant Law
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-06-2011, 08:50 PM
  3. Debt Collectors: How to Collect Money Owed To Me By an Inmate
    By cj_xoxo in forum Debts and Collections
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-14-2010, 01:12 PM
  4. Debt Collectors: Owed Nearly $30,000 - How to Collect
    By brita in forum Debts and Collections
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-04-2009, 12:40 PM
  5. Debt Collectors: How To Collect Money Owed On A Promissory Note
    By dhcpaul in forum Debts and Collections
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-25-2007, 02:20 PM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources