How can I sue somebody who I lent $24,000 for a business and there there is a signed contract?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How can I sue somebody who I lent $24,000 for a business and there there is a signed contract?

I lend a friend of mine money 8 years ago to buy vehicles for sale at his garage. He agreed to pay back the money plus interest, however he hasn’t paid back a cent and he moved out of state.

Asked on June 14, 2017 under Business Law, Connecticut


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You sue them by filing a lawsuit in court and then having it served on them (personally delivered to them). To sue someone, you need a physical address: you *must* be able to physically deliver the summons and complaint (legal documents starting the action). If you can't find him, you cannot sue him.
For $24,000 plus years of interest, it would be worth it to hire an attorney specializing in collections-style work to help you. Such a lawyer will not only know the how to write, file, etc. the complaint and how to litigate the case, but will likely have tools and resources to locate your former friend. Possibly you can find an attorney who will take the case on a commission basis--for a share of what is recovered. While you may pay a higher amount if the lawyer wins and gets the money for you than you would have paid under a different fee arrangement, you will pay little or nothing if the attorney does not recover money for you; thus, a case like this on a contingency basis is essentially risk free for you. Even if you have to pay the attorney, say, 1/3 of whatever he collects for you (one-third is a common amount), right now you have nothing--2/3 of up to $24,000+ will still put you well ahead of where you are now economically, and you can have the chance to get all that money without actually risking anything.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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