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Pursuing a small claim against a man with no money.


Xanadu2
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Hello Folks,

 

Some years ago I foolishly lent some money to a friend who convinced me all would be well when his next book was in print, or some such excuse.

 

I have waited years, with small repayments coming my way, but always several hundred pounds outstanding. We have a written agreement on the amount, and the rate at which interest accrues, drawn up and signed by both parties. The trouble is that this guy never has any money. I’ve helped him with his Income Tax returns, and I know the size of his overdraft.

 

Friends who know about the situation say I am far too kind, and I should recover my money now, not at some future date that never seems to come. I spoke to a solicitor who believes I will have no problem getting a judgement in my favour in the small claims court. I’ll speak to him again tomorrow, but I can’t resist asking in the forum as well.

 

This man is usually up to his limit on his overdraft. He doesn’t have his own house, but he has a good collection of books, some for sale and some not, and also some pictures. Since he is most unlikely to be in a position to write me a cheque for the money, how do I recover it?

 

If he can’t borrow the money from someone else, do the bailiffs go in?

 

Thanks for any answers.

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Guest ArthurP

Some people can infuriate others to the point that they will pursue a claim against them even knowing they can never really recover the debt just to get some satisfaction and revenge.

 

Is that the case here? I'm not having a go by the way!

 

Maybe if you get a judgment you could force some other measure to get your money.

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Hello xanadu2 i know exactly how you feel,thats the risk you take when you lend money to a friend in need,if they arent willing to pay the loan back it can be awkward to say the least.

 

Why not suggest to your friend that they set up a standing order to pay you an amount they can afford even if its a quid a month or whatever,the result i feel would be same if you went to court,like any other creditor you would probably just get a token amount but obviously this would be "official" as your friend would have to abide by a judgement if granted.

 

If this is agreed then you will get your money back albeit slower than expected and your friend can rest easier in that the debt is being repaid to you and you wont have to pester him/her for it back it would be automatic. :)

 

Also your friend would have to keep their eye on the ball to ensure their expenditure covered the repayments,as we know too well about bank charges :(

 

Regards S

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if they never have any money can they not repay it in other ways, like odd jobs? gardening etc?

 

court action would probably be pointless if he really is skint.

 

Hi, I'm glad to find some responses not accusing me of vengeance, but the system didn't notify me they were there.

 

I don't think he can repay me by those means now. A friend suggested that the bailiffs might come in, if I can bear to let things go that far, that is!

 

It's a sorry solution, but he does have a lot of valuable books.

 

Xanadu2

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Hello again Xanadu2,seems like you are running out of options,to reclaim your money,if the fella has a lot of valuable books then ,and i know this is a longshot could he be willing to auction some off or sell them to a rare book collector,or someone who collects first editions say.

 

I know this because i can see both points of view and i must confess i do love books :) it all depends on your friends attitude to his books and his personal attachment to them,sorry trying not to come across as a wacko,but whatever you do the friendship is going to suffer.

 

Maybe this fella had no one else to ask and couldnt part with the books to raise the cash originally,i`ve had to sell things in the past i`ve since regretted,but i`ve put it down to experience and moved on :)

 

Its your choice in the action you take in the end.

 

Regards S

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Hello demon x slash ,i discussed this topic with my son who feels the same way,whos off to do a degree in English lit later this year he said "would have to be ultra desperate, to sell any of his books".

 

I`m the same though as i have a lot of aircraft books which are rare :)

 

Looks like the OP might have to come up with something else

 

Regards S

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Hi there

 

If the guy really cant pay then you will achieve nothing by taking him to court and sending the baillifs in. He is a friend after all and you do know his circumstances. If he is genuinely unable to pay because he has no money then you are unlikely to get anything more than £1 per week/month from the courts anyway.

 

If you have helped him with his tax returns then you really do know that he is not faking and that he doesnt have the money. I think these are the chances you take when you lend friends money.

 

I suppose at the end of the day it depends how much you value the friendship. Im sure when he borrowed the money from you he did so with the best of intentions to pay it back but things havent worked out that way for him.

 

At the end of the day it is up to you what you do but if the debt is several years old; you havent had anything/much back to date; you know he is skint; he is a friend etc., etc., I would personally just let it go and put it down to experience.

 

Gemspan

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