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!
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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!