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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Can I Waive My Right to Sue if Someone Owes Me Money

    My question involves small claims court in the state of: New York

    I fronted the money for an apartment with another guy. We entered an oral agreement that I would put the money down and he would cut me a check. He "forgot" his checkbook on the day of the signing and against my better judgement, I went ahead and signed the lease and put the money down. the cost of moving in the apartment was $3550; $1183 for broker fee, $1183 for security deposit, $1183 for first month rent.

    I have been trying to recover the money from this guy however he is telling me he will only pay me $1183 since he never moved in the apartment, he feels that he is not entitled to pay broker fee and security deposit. Even though he signed the lease. Now he tells me that he will pay me $1183 if sign and have notarized a waiver that he created saying I will stop coming after him for the extra money. I am in a bind and really need the $1183 now, so ideally I would like to sign the waiver and recover at least that portion of the money now, before going forward with legal action.

    Agreement and Release

    By signing this document:
    I Joe _________________ (dd/mm/yyyy)
    and Mike __________________(dd/mm/yyyy) confirm this release is mutually agreed upon and was in no way forced or coerced. In signing this document I/we are agreeing to the terms set forth hereafter and consequently no civil action will be necessary. To be clear you are willfully waiving your right to sue thereby ensuring this is settled for good. The terms set forth in this document will outline the agreement and shall be record for future use. By signing this document you acknowledge reading and understanding its terms and conditions.


    I Mike am paying Joe $ 1183.00 for Rent money that he used to secure an apartment at 123 Cherry st. When Joe secured the apartment he used his own bank account and had a bank check written for roughly $ 10,500.00 before entering into “THE” oral agreement with Paul and myself (Mike). The oral agreement we entered into was that he would secure the apartment and because neither myself nor the third roommate (Paul) could muster up the cash that very day, we would pay him back by paying rent the following months to ‘square up’ immediately. To be clear Joe would NOT pay rent for the months after he secured the apartment.
    A third of that money was to be ‘borrowed’ to me and a third to Paul, however no monies ever transferred hands nor did the payment itself manifest in the hands of the borrowers and furthermore the payment was consummated before the parties entering in to the oral agreement were able to concur.
    The total amount representing each individual party was $ 3550.00. Broken down this amount is $ 1183.00 x 3.
    In essence it meant we each paid 1183.00 for June’s Rent, 1183.00 for the broker fee and 1183 for the security deposit.
    Both Paul and Myself (Mike) were to pay rent for the months following the lease consummation in June and make good with Joe.
    All of the problems started when Joe went on vacation for a month and “needed money badly” and Paul backed out of the lease to start a new tech company. With no penalty or civil recourse both Joe and our landlord agreed to ‘swap’ out Paul for a new person named Lee without asking me (Mike).
    I (Mike) objected because I know Lee and would not agree to live with him. Joe then informed me (Mike) that he did not want me living there and would prefer Lee replace me and an additional roommate be found for the third bedroom. I reluctantly agreed to this because I viewed it as a breach of contract insofar as Paul, Joe and Myself would no longer be living together because of powers outside of my being.
    Admittedly, I immediately had my room subleased against the terms of the lease I signed in order to offset the cost of the apartment while Joe and Paul figured out how to remedy their situation.
    Abruptly and without notice, towards the end of July / beginning of August 2014 when Joe returned from vacation with Lee, he began threatening legal action if I did not immediately pay him $ 3550.00 even though I was longer wanted at the apartment and I had yet to move in. He then stated that Lee had been put on the lease and the subleaser I found would become the third roommate.
    At that point in time I informed our Landlord of the situation and she asked for written proof I no longer wanted to live at 123 Cherry st. and that I would be allowed (like Paul) to be taken off the lease.
    I sent our landlord an email stating I no longer wanted to live at the apartment when truthfully I gave Joe and Lee the choice as they are best friends and I am just another person to them. Shortly thereafter, Joe and Lee tentatively agreed to sign a new lease backdated to the date of the original lease (June 21st). Since tentatively agreeing to sign a new lease Joe has followed through with the new lease and I am no longer connected to or associated with 123 Cherry St. The subleaser has since moved out and the new lease has taken effect without my name on it (Mike).

    The Terms coinciding with the payment of $ 1183.00 from Mike to Joe in the form of a bank check will include a .01 % interest rate from the date of the original lease payments consummated in June, to the date of this release. That equates to a $ .03 / day interest rate and should total roughly $ 1.80 . The total amount in return to Joe is $ 1184.80. Due to the breach of contract, the payment outlined in this agreement is NOT money borrowed but instead a ‘rent payment’ for an apartment that was occupied during the months of the first lease. To be clear I (Mike) received rent money from my subleaser for the month of June and given Joe’s initial expenditure, He (Joe) is due said rent money from the subleaser retroactively with interest. In no way does this payment set a precedence for remedy or further payment(s). In no way should this payment be viewed as ‘late’ or ‘delinquent’.

    A lot of the synopsis that Mike provided is simply not true, however that may be irrelevant. I really just want to know if I sign this waiver will I truly be giving up my right to sue Mike in small claims court to recover the rest of the money?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Can I Waive My Right to Sue if Someone Owes Me Money

    Yes, you'll be giving up your right to sue for more money.

    You'll be agreeing to a negotiated settlement and negotiated settlements are binding and enforceable in court.

    I suggest you file suit for the full amount now.

    Once he's served with the summons and complaint he may change his tune and offer you a larger amount as settlement. Then it would be up to you to accept it or go forward and try for all of it. Keep in mind that getting a judgment is only part of the battle. Collecting on it may be difficult or even impossible.

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