I lent a friend a few hundred dollars a couple of years ago. Initially, he agreed to pay me back in a few months, but it never happened. The only evidence that I have is my check slip and also a long facebook message logs in which he agrees to pay me back and asks to extend the deadline. But now, after two years, he eventually explicitly says he is not going to give it back to me and started cussing at me in his messages.

Is there anyway that I can legally collect my money, perhaps in the small claim court?

  • 5
    While you may have legal options, the money and time they will cost you is probably not worth a few hundred dollars. – BrenBarn Apr 22 '15 at 19:57
  • @BrenBarn: Agreed. I just need to know what are my options. – Ari Apr 22 '15 at 21:09
  • You need better friends. – Silviu Burcea Dec 8 '15 at 15:19
  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it seeks legal advice not financial advice. – user32479 Dec 21 '15 at 0:02

File a small claims lawsuit in the city that the person resides. The court will charge you a small fee and give you a date. They will also summons the other person to appear.

Bring all the documentation that shows the following

  • The contractor (you)
  • The contractee (your friend)
  • The goods being transferred ( in your case the money with exact amount )
  • The start date of the agreement
  • The end date of the agreement
  • Proof that you transferred the money to them

BONUS - Bring the documentation that shows them saying they will not pay you back

I had to sue someone once for a very similar problem. I lent them a 6 month interest free loan. They told me to shove it after 6 months and 1 day. So I sued them.

The court should accept facebook messages as proof. More than likely though your friend wont even show up which means you win by default.

Here's the bad news, that was the easy part. Just because you win in court doesn't mean the money appears the next day. There are a couple ways you may have to recover your money.

  1. Ask REALLY nicely for it back (no seriously, this is the easiest)
  2. File for wage garnishment (state dependent)
  3. Sell your claim to collections company to collect for you
  4. Hire an executioner (The city has a sheriff usually that handles this. Call them and ask the fee, last resort)

Best of luck to you!

| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    It might be worthwhile to emphasize that the "lawsuit" should be filed in Small Claims Court and not the Circuit Court or District Court etc. The latter almost always need a claimant to be represented by a lawyer. In Small Claims Court, the plaintiff and defendant can appear on their own behalf; no lawyer needed. Also, please edit the silliness of the numbered items that end your answer. – Dilip Sarwate Apr 22 '15 at 20:40
  • Number 4 is definitely not an option for me since I am a peaceful person, but I really appreciate the details about the lawsuit. – Ari Apr 22 '15 at 21:08
  • 4
    Lmao an executioner is a sheriff.... – Anthony Russell Apr 22 '15 at 22:49
  • 4
    They execute the court order. Their naming not mine – Anthony Russell Apr 22 '15 at 22:50
  • 2
    That said, hiring a (debt) executioner is hardly a peaceful option, and can inflate the debt and make the "friend"'s life very unpleasant, at least where I live. – tomasz Apr 23 '15 at 3:24

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.