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  1. #1
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    Default Collecting Money Owed by Family Members

    My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: Iowa

    I loaned money to several family members over the years and most have made attempts to repay those loans. One family member; however, has not made any attempt to repay what I loaned. About five years ago my stepsister asked me if she could borrow $800. I had the financial stability to help out. In fact, she did not even ask me. My dad asked for her. I said yes. He was on our accounts at the time (small town bank) and he got the money out and gave it to her. She texted me thanking me and said she would pay me back with her tax refund that year. At this time she had left her abusive ex-husband and was caring for three kids by herself. I could help and thought if I was in that situation she would help me back.

    Five years later or so and she has not made one attempt to pay me back. I have repeatedly messaged her about this, more in the last year and a half. Her mother (my stepmother) has talked to her about it even. I just messaged her twice in the last two weeks and I will admit I got bitchy. I can see it says "seen at" but no response. The only response I got was three weeks ago I asked if she could pay all of it back but if she could start off with $100 that would be fine. She said "Yeah I get paid tomorrow." No response the next day and since then.

    Is it worth it to take it to court? I really do not want to go that far and I know it will probably cost more than the $800. It is more a matter of principle at this point. She promised to pay me back and has not done so.

    I know. Lesson learned the hard way do not loan money to family and friends. A friend said I should send her a bill - but was half joking and half serious. I thought about it not that it would likely do anything. I just was not sure about any legal recourse since we did not get anything in writing. This, also, is a lesson learned and I will definitely get these things in writing and legal forms if I ever loan money again.

    Also I realize that it was not smart but I am too nice when it comes to family and people are in trouble or in situations like hers.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Collecting Money from Family

    Quote Quoting qwaspolk69
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    Is it worth it to take it to court?
    Only you can answer that question.

    Quote Quoting qwaspolk69
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    I really do not want to go that far and I know it will probably cost more than the $800.
    Small claims filing and service fees are often under $100.

    Quote Quoting qwaspolk69
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    It is more a matter of principle at this point.
    No, it's a matter of money.

    You might have one problem though. The statute of limitations on oral agreements is 5 years from the breach (default). You'll have to determine when she got her tax refund for that year because that would appear to be when the breach occurred.

    If the breach was within the 5 year period you are welcome to go for it.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Collecting Money from Family

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    Only you can answer that question.



    Small claims filing and service fees are often under $100.



    No, it's a matter of money.

    You might have one problem though. The statute of limitations on oral agreements is 5 years from the breach (default). You'll have to determine when she got her tax refund for that year because that would appear to be when the breach occurred.

    If the breach was within the 5 year period you are welcome to go for it.
    I am fairly sure it was for 2010 tax year so beginning of 2011 she would have gotten it. I know I was living in another state at the time and she had lived with my dad and stepmom for a year after she left her ex-husband and that was about end of 2009 she started living there.

    She is the only person who has made zero attempts to make any payments out of everyone and it is just frustrating. *Sigh* Hard lessons learned.

    Thank you.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Collecting Money from Family

    Quote Quoting qwaspolk69
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    I am fairly sure it was for 2010 tax year so beginning of 2011 she would have gotten it. I know I was living in another state at the time and she had lived with my dad and stepmom for a year after she left her ex-husband and that was about end of 2009 she started living there.
    Well, if you're going to say that in court, I suggest you don't waste your time on a lawsuit.

    Even small claims court requires evidence, not "I am fairly sure."

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Collecting Money from Family

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    Well, if you're going to say that in court, I suggest you don't waste your time on a lawsuit.

    Even small claims court requires evidence, not "I am fairly sure."
    It had to be then because she moved in end of 2009. I left end of 2011. She lived there for a year and it was right about the time she moved out.

    I probably will not take it to court and probably just keep messaging her and the others until I get it. I just find it immature to not pay someone back especially family. That is another topic but it is frustrating.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Collecting Money from Family

    Quote Quoting qwaspolk69
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    I just find it immature to not pay someone back especially family. That is another topic but it is frustrating.
    In the future do not make loans to family or friends. Gift them gifts, assuming you can afford it. If you get paid back it's just a bonus.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Collecting Money from Family

    Quote Quoting bcr229
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    In the future do not make loans to family or friends. Gift them gifts, assuming you can afford it. If you get paid back it's just a bonus.
    THIS ^^^

    A million times.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Collecting Money from Family

    Quote Quoting bcr229
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    In the future do not make loans to family or friends. Gift them gifts, assuming you can afford it. If you get paid back it's just a bonus.
    I believe I already said lesson learned about loaning any family. IF I am ever at that point, I will make it legal with some form of contract or whatever legal forms would apply in a personal loan like that. I will not ever gift someone money if they ask for a loan. It will get put on paper if I ever am in the position to help - and it definitely will not ever be these people again.

    This stepsister did unfriend me yesterday along with another. I messaged her and said she can ignore me all she wants but if she does not come up with a solution to this I will take it to a higher level.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Collecting Money from Family

    Quote Quoting qwaspolk69
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    This stepsister did unfriend me yesterday along with another. I messaged her and said she can ignore me all she wants but if she does not come up with a solution to this I will take it to a higher level.
    Here's an idea.

    File your lawsuit and allege that she breached the contract after April 2011 (which would be after the tax season deadline). That keeps you within the 5 year limit for now.

    As matter of strategy, getting served with a lawsuit often scares people into doing what's right.

    If not, win or lose, you get your day in court.

    Wait much longer and you can just kiss the money goodbye as talking and peer pressure isn't working.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Collecting Money from Family

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    Here's an idea.

    File your lawsuit and allege that she breached the contract after April 2011 (which would be after the tax season deadline). That keeps you within the 5 year limit for now.

    As matter of strategy, getting served with a lawsuit often scares people into doing what's right.

    If not, win or lose, you get your day in court.

    Wait much longer and you can just kiss the money goodbye as talking and peer pressure isn't working.
    She lives in Nebraska and I did just move back so I suppose it applies to Nebraska. I looked up small claims in Nebraska and it states on the supremecourt.Nebraska.gov page that I either file in the "county where the defendant's agent resides or doing business or the county in which the cause of action arose." I loaned it to her when I was living on the east coast and she was in Nebraska. Do I file in the county she lived in at the time? She just moved and all I know is the town I do not have her new address. So I do not even know where to send it and I do not know if her stepmom will find it out for me. I would assume she knows. Or do I file in the county she now lives in? I am not even sure how far I can go when I cannot get her address.

    It also states this: "Small claims court provides a prompt and inexpensive way to resolve minor disputes. Legal procedures are held to a minimum and lawyers may not participate."

    If necessary I can get advice from a lawyer but they are generally not allowed in small claims court? (In Nebraska it seems).

    I suppose if I cannot find her address I am not sure that I can file. This information states you have to file in the right county or it gets dismissed and have the right address to serve them. My stepmom generally says she likes to "avoid" drama whenever I mention anything in my personal life so I am not hopeful she will get the address. I would assume she has it. She has been to their house for a birthday party recently.

    This is just infuriating. All she had to do was pay me back when she said she would or made payments like everyone else who owes me money has done here and there. Even my ass of an ex paid me back $200 from his first paycheck in December. That is more than I think he has ever paid anyone back in his life.

    The site did also list mediation centers. I could see if that might be easier and less costly. It could scare her a little and not have to take it to court level. I am looking to see if there is a limitation to file in Nebraska. It is not listed on the .gov page. Another page states "contract (oral or not in writing) statute of limitations 4 years." Nothing else close to this is listed for civil statutes of limitation.

    I may have to look up a lawyer and get a consultation at least. *Sigh* All this for whatever reason she has and could easily be paid off considering she works, they just sold their house and bought a new one and her boyfriend works too. I guess concerts in KC are more important than debts.

    Thank you.

    I looked up the mediation centers and found one that covers her area and emailed them to see what they suggest or can do.

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