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  1. #1
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    Default Can You Successfully Sue Somebody Over a Series of Small Loans

    My question involves court procedures for the state of: Tennessee


    My friend borrowed around $1,531.39 from me over the course of 5 months.He borrowed the money for various things(food,hotel,phone card)Every time he'd ask me it was through text and I have the text messages saved.
    Every time he'd ask and I'd say yes,he'd clearly state right after in the next text msg that he was going to pay me back.He still has the same phone number.

    Side note:He's a 100% disabled veteran.He gets $70,000 a year in benefits.
    He has terminal cancer and might pass away in a few months.That's why I helped him in the first place.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Would This Hold Up in Small Claims Court

    Quote Quoting leaflen
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    My question involves court procedures for the state of: Tennessee


    My friend borrowed around $1,531.39 from me over the course of 5 months.He borrowed the money for various things(food,hotel,phone card)Every time he'd ask me it was through text and I have the text messages saved.
    Every time he'd ask and I'd say yes,he'd clearly state right after in the next text msg that he was going to pay me back.He still has the same phone number.

    Side note:He's a 100% disabled veteran.He gets $70,000 a year in benefits.
    He has terminal cancer and might pass away in a few months.That's why I helped him in the first place.
    Did you have a question?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Would This Hold Up in Small Claims Court

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    Did you have a question?

    I'm required to post the question in the first post and not just the title of the thread(bc I posted it in the thread title)? Ok,didn't realize that.
    My question was "Would this hold up in small claims court?"

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Would This Hold Up in Small Claims Court

    Quote Quoting leaflen
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    My question involves court procedures for the state of: Tennessee


    My friend borrowed around $1,531.39 from me over the course of 5 months.He borrowed the money for various things(food,hotel,phone card)Every time he'd ask me it was through text and I have the text messages saved.
    Every time he'd ask and I'd say yes,he'd clearly state right after in the next text msg that he was going to pay me back.He still has the same phone number.

    Side note:He's a 100% disabled veteran.He gets $70,000 a year in benefits.
    He has terminal cancer and might pass away in a few months.That's why I helped him in the first place.
    1 - Do you have anything in writing that says "when" he will pay you back? If not, you will have little chance of prevailing in court.

    2 - You're going to sue somebody who is dying of cancer? Seriously? I doubt that any judge will be sympathetic to you.

    3 - I suggest you call it a gift and stop giving him money if it bothers you that you won't get it back. A simple "Sorry, buddy, can't spare it" ought to suffice.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Would This Hold Up in Small Claims Court

    Quote Quoting leaflen
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    My friend borrowed around $1,531.39 from me over the course of 5 months.He borrowed the money for various things(food,hotel,phone card)Every time he'd ask me it was through text and I have the text messages saved.
    Every time he'd ask and I'd say yes,he'd clearly state right after in the next text msg that he was going to pay me back.He still has the same phone number.

    Side note:He's a 100% disabled veteran.He gets $70,000 a year in benefits.
    He has terminal cancer and might pass away in a few months.That's why I helped him in the first place.
    Quote Quoting leaflen
    View Post
    My question was "Would this hold up in small claims court?"
    Yes, there's a likelihood it will. He knowingly promised (and repeatedly reiterates) he will pay you. The judge might end up weighing mitigating and aggravating factors.

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    2 - You're going to sue somebody who is dying of cancer? Seriously? I doubt that any judge will be sympathetic to you.
    Suffering a terminal illness might be a mitigating factor but it does not automatically void any and all liabilities. He receives $70,000/year, and maybe the OP earns less than that; maybe the OP has other financial burdens that are more important than sponsoring the friend's hotel stays (which itself might be a superfluous expense); maybe the friend inexplicably is giving away to others a higher amount of his pension instead of paying the OP back. These are aspects the OP should argue (and ideally prove) in the small claims court.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Would This Hold Up in Small Claims Court

    Quote Quoting LexisLutor
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    Yes, there's a likelihood it will. He knowingly promised (and repeatedly reiterates) he will pay you. The judge might end up weighing mitigating and aggravating factors.


    Suffering a terminal illness might be a mitigating factor but it does not automatically void any and all liabilities. He receives $70,000/year, and maybe the OP earns less than that; maybe the OP has other financial burdens that are more important than sponsoring the friend's hotel stays (which itself might be a superfluous expense); maybe the friend inexplicably is giving away to others a higher amount of his pension instead of paying the OP back. These are aspects the OP should argue (and ideally prove) in the small claims court.
    Wrong - there's nothing that he stated that said the friend would pay it back in a certain time. Just because there are texts that allegedly state his friend said he would pay him back doesn't mean anything. Texts can come from anyone. His friend could easily say that he didn't send those - AND all while he's dying from cancer. I most definitely wouldn't expect someone dying from cancer to pay me back. I would just call it a gift and let it go. If the OP is hard up then he shouldn't be loaning or giving money to anyone.

    I know I've been there. I have two siblings, my dad, my best friend and a stepsibling who owe me money. My dad just paid me back $2000 of what he owes because my stepmom got her disability finally. My brother and his wife paid me $200 of what they owe which is better than nothing. My brother paid me back $500 of what he owed about 2 years ago. I don't pressure them because I know they would pay it all if they could but they have bills and other things and my dad especially has done a lot for me. My stepsibling - no. I have been asking her for two years to pay me back and I got bitchy responses first acting like I am asking for a loan and now she just ignores me. Now I just text her a reminder once a month because I'm sure it irritates her. I probably won't ever get it back. Lesson learned that IF I were to ever loan anyone money again I will get it in writing and notarized. Whatever I would have to do in order to take someone to court for it. BUT just because you take someone to small claims and the judge rules in your favor doesn't mean you will get the money even then.

    OP - just chalk it up. The guy is dying. Did you and he agree to a specific date he would repay you? If not, let it go. You do realize that it can cost almost $100 to file the paperwork in court. Even if you win you probably still won't get it AND you're going to ruin your friendship with your DYING friend. C'mon. If you can't afford to help people just say no. If he gets $70,000 a year why is he even asking you for money at all? You didn't have to say yes. You could have just said "Sorry I can't help you" and found another way for him to get it. Lesson learned right?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Would This Hold Up in Small Claims Court

    Quote Quoting qwaspolk69
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    Wrong - there's nothing that he stated that said the friend would pay it back in a certain time.
    Even if that's decisive, the OP can cure that "defect" by texting the friend with the question "When exactly are you going to pay me back?".

    Quote Quoting qwaspolk69
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    Just because there are texts that allegedly state his friend said he would pay him back doesn't mean anything. Texts can come from anyone. His friend could easily say that he didn't send those
    That doesn't necessarily mean the judge will believe the friend. Besides, the source of the texts can be verified through the service provider.

    Quote Quoting qwaspolk69
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    Even if you win you probably still won't get it AND you're going to ruin your friendship with your DYING friend. C'mon. If you can't afford to help people just say no.
    One can dispense for certain amount right now with the expectation that it will be paid back and later be affected if later on it's not.

    Quote Quoting qwaspolk69
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    If he gets $70,000 a year why is he even asking you for money at all?
    Exactly. Or put other way, why can the friend not pay back despite getting $70,000/year?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Would This Hold Up in Small Claims Court

    Quote Quoting qwaspolk69
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    Wrong - there's nothing that he stated that said the friend would pay it back in a certain time. Just because there are texts that allegedly state his friend said he would pay him back doesn't mean anything. Texts can come from anyone. His friend could easily say that he didn't send those - AND all while he's dying from cancer. I most definitely wouldn't expect someone dying from cancer to pay me back. I would just call it a gift and let it go. If the OP is hard up then he shouldn't be loaning or giving money to anyone.

    I know I've been there. I have two siblings, my dad, my best friend and a stepsibling who owe me money. My dad just paid me back $2000 of what he owes because my stepmom got her disability finally. My brother and his wife paid me $200 of what they owe which is better than nothing. My brother paid me back $500 of what he owed about 2 years ago. I don't pressure them because I know they would pay it all if they could but they have bills and other things and my dad especially has done a lot for me. My stepsibling - no. I have been asking her for two years to pay me back and I got bitchy responses first acting like I am asking for a loan and now she just ignores me. Now I just text her a reminder once a month because I'm sure it irritates her. I probably won't ever get it back. Lesson learned that IF I were to ever loan anyone money again I will get it in writing and notarized. Whatever I would have to do in order to take someone to court for it. BUT just because you take someone to small claims and the judge rules in your favor doesn't mean you will get the money even then.

    OP - just chalk it up. The guy is dying. Did you and he agree to a specific date he would repay you? If not, let it go. You do realize that it can cost almost $100 to file the paperwork in court. Even if you win you probably still won't get it AND you're going to ruin your friendship with your DYING friend. C'mon. If you can't afford to help people just say no. If he gets $70,000 a year why is he even asking you for money at all? You didn't have to say yes. You could have just said "Sorry I can't help you" and found another way for him to get it. Lesson learned right?

    His explanation for needing the money was he suffered from identity theft($8k stolen from his various bank accts in total)and subsequently all of his bank accounts were blocked.
    The more I look into his life the more I suspect he's lying about everything.I haven't even seen evidence he has cancer.I initially believed it because he came off as such an honorable person.

    I need the money back desperately because I make $9/hr on my job.I'm currently staying with my mom and trying to save up for a car and to move out as well.It's emotionally devastating to go through this and I work in a call center and just broke down and cried in the middle of a call and had to leave early.I don't believe I can handle going back to work.I can't stop crying.I can't sleep at night.It took me so long to save up the money.I've been saving every dime from my job.
    The last hotel I booked for him(last week) ,I booked it for 1 day and he took it upon himself to stay an additional 7 days.I obviously only authorized 1 stay,but because my card was on file(even though the booking was under his name).The hotel is now coming after me for over $500.They threaten to send it to collections.I don't even have credit history.My credit will be ruined before it's even established.I'm going to be forced to pay that in order to save my credit.

    I work in a call center where people call in and yell at me all day(it's telemarketing).I don't think I'll be able to handle the calls without crying like I did yesterday.I'm going to lose my job.
    I'm forced to pay an additional $500(for the unpaid hotel bill) above and beyond what he already owes me($1,531.39)just to save my credit.
    I won't be able to go to school like I planned for summer semester.I don't have the funds because of this.

    I'm going to fight for it because it's not right for someone who makes $70,000 a year to steal this from me.He could easily pay me back.I found out via receipts in his hotel room he orders $30 worth of takeout everyday for lunch and dinner.He could have paid me back the bulk of it with that.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Would This Hold Up in Small Claims Court

    Quote Quoting leaflen
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    His explanation for needing the money was he suffered from identity theft($8k stolen from his various bank accts in total)and subsequently all of his bank accounts were blocked.
    The more I look into his life the more I suspect he's lying about everything.I haven't even seen evidence he has cancer.I initially believed it because he came off as such an honorable person.
    You might be dealing with a pathological liar, which makes it likelier that the court will order him to pay you back. Just because here you refer to him as "friend" doesn't mean that you're compelled to forgive his liabilities upon the blackmail that he's a "dying friend". I don't know enough about small claims, but I doubt that the judge would strike your claim simply because there was "no deadline" for the "friend" to reimburse you. That deadline could well be set up by the court itself.

    You need to argue those details in court, which certainly touch on what I wrote in #5. And going forward don't lend the "friend" any money. Otherwise you might lose on grounds that you fail to mitigate your damages and unreasonably rely on his promises.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Would This Hold Up in Small Claims Court

    Quote Quoting LexisLutor
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    Even if that's decisive, the OP can cure that "defect" by texting the friend with the question "When exactly are you going to pay me back?".


    That doesn't necessarily mean the judge will believe the friend. Besides, the source of the texts can be verified through the service provider.


    One can dispense for certain amount right now with the expectation that it will be paid back and later be affected if later on it's not.


    Exactly. Or put other way, why can the friend not pay back despite getting $70,000/year?
    But he has yet to ask him when he will pay him back. Texts usually aren't used as evidence unless there are other things to back it up. Also all you can find through the service provider is that the texts came from that number. It can't tell you WHO made the texts or calls. Anyone could have been using his phone. Also you have to get a warrant from the police to search phone records and I find that very unlikely to happen in this case.

    Again - just because someone wins in small claims does NOT mean they are going to get the money. There are plenty of times people win in small claims and still don't see the money.

    I don't know why he isn't paying back when he gets that much a year and no one here knows. If that was me I would say "What happened to your benefits/income?" But it's not me. The OP is basically likely to not see his money even IF he wins because his friend has like three months to live.

    Quote Quoting leaflen
    View Post
    His explanation for needing the money was he suffered from identity theft($8k stolen from his various bank accts in total)and subsequently all of his bank accounts were blocked.
    The more I look into his life the more I suspect he's lying about everything.I haven't even seen evidence he has cancer.I initially believed it because he came off as such an honorable person.

    I need the money back desperately because I make $9/hr on my job.I'm currently staying with my mom and trying to save up for a car and to move out as well.It's emotionally devastating to go through this and I work in a call center and just broke down and cried in the middle of a call and had to leave early.I don't believe I can handle going back to work.I can't stop crying.I can't sleep at night.It took me so long to save up the money.I've been saving every dime from my job.
    The last hotel I booked for him(last week) ,I booked it for 1 day and he took it upon himself to stay an additional 7 days.I obviously only authorized 1 stay,but because my card was on file(even though the booking was under his name).The hotel is now coming after me for over $500.They threaten to send it to collections.I don't even have credit history.My credit will be ruined before it's even established.I'm going to be forced to pay that in order to save my credit.

    I work in a call center where people call in and yell at me all day(it's telemarketing).I don't think I'll be able to handle the calls without crying like I did yesterday.I'm going to lose my job.
    I'm forced to pay an additional $500(for the unpaid hotel bill) above and beyond what he already owes me($1,531.39)just to save my credit.
    I won't be able to go to school like I planned for summer semester.I don't have the funds because of this.

    I'm going to fight for it because it's not right for someone who makes $70,000 a year to steal this from me.He could easily pay me back.I found out via receipts in his hotel room he orders $30 worth of takeout everyday for lunch and dinner.He could have paid me back the bulk of it with that.
    You shouldn't have loaned it to him. You do realize that sometimes people have cancer and are in remission and you might not see it. Or it could be early on. You're not going to know unless you saw his medical records which is unlikely. I guess you'll find out if he's not dead in three months.

    Look I've been there. My ex mooched half my savings. That was deployment money, reenlistment money and just saving. Then the other half I loaned to my family and friends and haven't gotten most of it back. Lesson learned to NOT loan people money unless you know for a fact you're getting it back. Lesson learned to put it in writing no matter who it is.

    Why would you let them keep your card on file? You should have absolutely told them only for ONE day. I did that for my ex last year once. He knows how to get to me and said he got kicked out of the shelter, it was cold, I said fine one night I'll pay for a hotel. I called the hotel. I said one night. Told them his name. He stayed one night. If he had stayed longer, you better believe I would have called the motel.

    If you can't handle your job you better find a new one because that just won't cut it. Plenty of people go through what you do and still manage to get to work. I did it. I have a credit card to pay off because of my ex using it on the ATM way too much. I had two loans, I have one now, that I got to pay off two other cards that I cancelled. He also screwed me out of quite a bit of money when I bailed him out last year and when he had his pretrial he took a plea and gave the judge a sob story about our daughter to get some of the bail back and said he would give it to me for her medical bills (she has none I'm military). The bail was in his name and I didn't realize the court worked that way that it goes in the defendant's name no matter who pays it.

    So I get it. I have learned the HARD way about helping out people. I sit there and think about all that money I had saved. I had almost $40,000 saved up at one point several years ago before my ex. I helped my family because most of them have and would help me. I didn't know my stepsibling would screw me. I should have known better with my ex but I was an idiot and followed my heart. I can't get that money back. It won't do me any good to dwell on it. I just learn and don't make the mistake in the future.

    You can take him to court all you want but you will have to pay filings fees. I don't think most small claims allows a lawyer to come in with you. So if you can't handle people yelling at you at your job, are you going to handle this guy in court or the judge? You can try but there's no guarantee even IF you win that you'll get that money.

    Could've, should've, would've but he didn't. You got scammed. It happens. Do what you think you need to do but just be prepared that you might not get that money back even with a win and you have to pay to file the paperwork. You have nothing that states that it was a loan or that you had a specified time to pay it back. Those texts don't really prove that it was a loan either. You can take your chances. It's your life.

    If it was me, I'd cut all ties with this guy and never talk to him again. I would go find another job and just work at paying that crap off.

    Quote Quoting LexisLutor
    View Post
    You might be dealing with a pathological liar, which makes it likelier that the court will order him to pay you back. Just because here you refer to him as "friend" doesn't mean that you're compelled to forgive his liabilities upon the blackmail that he's a "dying friend". I don't know enough about small claims, but I doubt that the judge would strike your claim simply because there was "no deadline" for the "friend" to reimburse you. That deadline could well be set up by the court itself.

    You need to argue those details in court, which certainly touch on what I wrote in #5. And going forward don't lend the "friend" any money. Otherwise you might lose on grounds that you fail to mitigate your damages and unreasonably rely on his promises.
    How does his friend possibly being a pathological liar make it "likelier" the court will order him to pay the OP back? How is he going to prove the guy is a pathological liar? I could see the judge asking for documentation that it was a loan, documentation that he would pay it back and so on.

    Again as I mentioned the OP has to pay filing fees to file this in court. If he already is barely getting by is he really going to have the almost $100 it can cost to file these things? That's how much it would have cost me to go to court if I wasn't outside the statute of limitations on oral agreements in my state.

    I just see the OP spending more money and not getting any of it back that he has given and will spend in court.

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