I'm looking for some advice, if possible
In 2012 my wife and I were given a gift of £5000 by a friend who owned his own successful business after he found out we were in some financial difficulty.
We refused the gift which he paid straight into our account, but he was adamant that it would be taken out on his company account and it would be written off. We didn't know if this was true or not but the money was gift with no strings attached.
A few days later he called us to say he needed the money back as his accountant advised him that he was incorrect and the company could not write it off.
We couldn't pay him back as the money was used to pay a credit card off. Being nice people that we are and seeing that he was in some distress about the situation (along with us now being in a position of having to pay back £5000 immediately) we approached our parents for the money and explained why, but they couldn't help - in their view it was gift which he decided to give us and got it wrong with his company accounts - why should they be put in a position of paying £5K. We told the friend we would get a loan or credit card to get it back to him but he told us to forget about it, it was his mistake and he would sort it out.
2 years later he contacted us wanting the money back. Again being nice people we said we would try to pay it back to help him, but it was not financially viable for us at that time and would need to look at the possibility of a monthly payment later in the year.
That time has come and gone now, our circumstances haven't changed - we cant afford to help get the money back to him and he has taken legal advice - the solicitor told him to mediate the situation with two options 1. a monthly payment of £100 or 2. a one off payment of £4000 (£1000 less than the gift amount - which seems strange to me).
It was personal letter from him, not from the solicitor.
He has texts from my wife discussing how we could try and help get him the money back ie we would see how our circumstance were early next year and pay £100 a month - this was our good nature trying to help him resolve his mistake with his accounts. But he is taking it out of context and saying it was a loan which we agreed to which he is saying he can prove by using the text from my wife.
He has no texts from us or contract in place with us saying it is a loan and will be paid back monthly etc etc.
He is using the texts against us now, they were written in good faith to try and help him out when we could and we're fearful of our what position is now and what may happen if its goes further.
Can anyone shed some light on what our best course of action is. His personal letter demands a reply by the end of the month, choosing and payment option or confirming we will not pay, at which point he will take it further.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to read.