Legal Actions I Can Take if a Friend Owes Me Money
Money and friendship can make a very awkward couple — and if you are in this scenario, please know that wanting to get back the money you are owed is not a bad thing. It’s a tough lesson to learn, but there are a variety of legal actions you can take if a friend owes you money.
Starting with simple approaches and moving to more direct legal actions, here’s a look at some things you can do to get your money back:
Ask: It sounds dumb, but have you emailed, texted or verbally asked about getting your money back yet? In many cases, bringing up the topic in a direct but nice manner may be just the prompt your friend needs to finally pay you back. A conversation might also help you figure out what’s going on and come up with an alternate solution. For instance, maybe your friend lost his or her job and needs to figure out a weekly or monthly payment plan but was afraid to bring up the topic.
Demand Letter: Taking the conversation a step further is to work on your own or with an attorney to put together a demand letter. This is a type of legal notice that lets the person know you will seek legal action if they don’t pay you back. If you have a written or oral contract with them, great; but if you don’t, then just find the record (paypal, check, etc.) of when and what you gave the person and the informal terms you discussed. Demand letters represent a cheap and easy way to ask for money without having to waste your time going to court.
Small Claims Court: With cheap filing fees and quick decisions, small claims court is a great option for many people in your very position. And in many cases, sending your friend the filing notice with the court date is enough to inspire payment on their part. In California, small claims court deals with cases involving $10,000 or less. While an attorney cannot represent you in your initial case, you can certainly consult with one to make sure your arguments are relevant and organized and to help with the filing and service of process.
Unlimited and Limited Civil Lawsuit: Having a lawyer argue on your behalf can be a huge benefit, especially if you are dealing with a substantial sum of money. Unlimited cases (more than $25,000) and limited ( $25,000and less) should be something to consider after you have already asked for the money and sent a demand letter.
If you have questions about money collections in Pasadena, give the Law Offices of Andrew Ritholz a call. I know this can be a sensitive issue and we can work together to come up with a way to get your money back and keep your friendship intact. Whatever stage you are at in trying to collect your money from your friend, let my experience be your guide. The sooner you act, the better — so don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and give me a call today. I look forward to hearing from you.