Home     Links     Contact Us     Bookmark  
   Homepage      News      Legal Forum      Dictionary  
Home : Legal Forum : Law & Ethics

Can I sue someone who borrowed money but never paid it back?
Find answers to your legal question.

Can I sue someone who borrowed money but never paid it back?

I borrowed $640.00 to someone and they have not paid it back yet. The only thing I have which acknowledges the debt are two emails...one asking to borrow the first $240 and another that apologized for not yet paying back the $400 and promising to do it soon (which never happened). Also complicating the issue is that the person does not reside in the same state as I do. What can I do?


Miss Megan
There is no written negotiation between you two. Tough luck. Don't borrow our money to people who won't pay it back.

I would suggest confronting them more, and even threatening them to get someone else involved.

you "lent" someone money, not borrowed. other than that, i dont know, sorry.

learn that borrowing to someone is actually loaning it ?


Wrong question, though.

What you need to consider are your chances of winning, and is the effort, (time & money), gonna be worth the $640?

If you learned the lesson not to lend money, $640 is cheap.

(By the way, they borrowed, you loaned)

You can use small claims court, (cheaper), then register it in Superior Court...out of state, ....???

Did you have a verbal agreement? (When you gave the money, did they promise to pay it back?)
Verbal agreement are admissible in many situations

Good luck

You lend the money to them. They borrowed the money from you.
You cannot force them to pay what they borrowed from you. If it was only a verbal agreement, it is not valid. A written agreement is a great evidence. Not residing in the same state? The more you will be out of faith. On the first place, why did you let them borrow your money if they don't reside in the state where you are? Your friends or somewhat? If I were you, better to think that the money you lend was only a help to them and don't expect the return. Needless to say, money is where the trouble involves and causes to ignite everything. Keep it a lesson for you to be careful by the next time. And trust only yourself. You can still earn that amount and save it. Furthermore, they will feel guilty of their conscience. So I beg you to forget it instead.

If he's a resident of a different state federal court is where you'd want the case to be. It will be considered a local case, but since it inolves residents of different states they'll hear to pick and apply the law between the two states.

Unless you have some proff of loan (no one borrows to someone) like a check, or money order then without an agreement it's basicly going to be impossible to prove. The emails may help though.

The other things to think about before doing this though are
1)Court Fees
2)Travel Cost
3)Filling Fees/Fees to draw up paperwork
4)Lawyer Cost (it will be better to have one)
5)Any other misc cost

These will add up and can make it costly to do, although if you win you'll probably be able to collect them from the person you're suing.

Note filing in your state will have no effect, the person would have to be served with notice to appear, and since he's out of state, that's impossible. Also if someone he was in state and able to be served, he can argue that your state isn't the proper venue since he lives out of state. He could try to 1)Move it to his state, since he's the defendent or 2)Move it to federal court since the arguement is between people of different states. Number 2 would probably be what the judge orders, Number 1 he probably wouldn't just because you could argue to take the case to federal court once you where there.

Bottom line it's probably going to be a costly process to get the money back, and there's no promise that you'll win.

Small claims court is where you go but it's really not worth the cost and time. If the amount was quite a bit more than I would do it.

One Sexy Jeep Girl
You didn't "borrowed" any amount of money to anyone. You loaned it. The person you loaned it to is the person who borrowed it.

Of course you can. The e-mails are very good proof.

You can sue for pretty much anything, but if they're in another state they probably aren't going to show up for the trial. You'll win the trial, but that doesn't mean they're going to pay you.

pro am
a debt is a debt yes you can sue to recover your money

You can still sue. But it would have been nice if you used a check or money order so you could prove that you lent the money. Anyway, You live and you learn right?

Good luck

Kenneth B

There are several issues here. First, you are counting on a promise in an e-mail to indicate the existence of a contract. However, what independent proof do you have that the e-mail was written by the person who borrowed the money or that the e-mail account is even owned by that person.

To accomplish the level of proof required to make that connection you would need records from the internet provider associated with the e-mail account. That will require a subpoena and subsequent legal proceeding if they tell you no.

Add to that where the transaction took place. Jurisdiction. If you loaned this person the monies while they were in their present state then you must provide proof to the court that the person you are suing has had significant contact in the state for the court to take personal jurisdiction over the party.

If you can't do this, then you will be required to file suit in his state which means travel, hotel, filing fees and associated expenses. And while you can ask for court costs in your pleading, you cannot recover the expense in bringing suit.

All in all, you will spend much more to bring the suit than you will hope to gain if you win.

Write it off as a life lesson.


This is NOT a federal court issue. First, Federal statutes do not apply and jurisdiction is either in the poster's home state or the subject's based on significent contact.

Small claims court but i dont know if you would win since there wasnt a written agreement

Jacob W
You may sue in small claims court. No lawyers needed.


Princess of the Realm
You can take them to small claims court and if the judge deems that they owe you the money, they will have to pay it back and the court costs.

racer 51
you could try small claims or check out judge judy. i'm not trying to be funny,really. i've heard of people doing that when all else fails.

Yeah, small claims court is where it should be taken too. You can go and file it for a small fee and that might scare the person to go ahead and pay you. A verbal contract is good enough.

Actually usually all the cases you see on Judge Judy and such are all about monies owed. Good luck. Its never nice to have someone do that to you after being so kind and letting them borrow the money.

Yes, Small Claims Court.

Steven's Love
Yes you can. You can take to small claims court. If you do not have a written contract of them borrowing and promising to repay then it or a reciept then it will be a lot harder to win your case. For more information visit the court house or its website. They will give you the proper forms to fill out.

 Enter Your Message or Comment

User Name:  
User Email:   
Post a comment:

Legal Discussion Forum

Copyright (c) 2009-2013 Wiki Law 3k Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - Trusted legal information for you.
Archive: Forum  |  Forum  |  Forum  |  Links