If I lent money to a friend and wrote “loan” on the check that he later endorsed, will this hold up in court since he is now refusing to pay me?

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If I lent money to a friend and wrote “loan” on the check that he later endorsed, will this hold up in court since he is now refusing to pay me?

Friend refused top sign a promissory note. The check was much larger than a small claims case. I am just trying to figure out if it is worth hiring an attorney and pursuing this any further.

Asked on November 7, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, any agreement to repay money is enforceable, even if the agreement was purely oral or verbal--the issue is whether you prove the existence and terms of the agreement. In the case you describe, having written loan on the check does not make it a written agreement (since there are no terms of the loan reflected on the check), but it does provide evidence that the money was a loan, not a gift. You will also have your own testimony to help prove that matter, though your "friend" may try to argue it was a gift--in which case who is more credible, both generally and under these circumstances, will matter.

From what you write, you would  seem to have a reasonable chance of winning--at least enough of a chance to make it worthwhile to consult with an attorney, since the amount is greater than the small claims threshold.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, any agreement to repay money is enforceable, even if the agreement was purely oral or verbal--the issue is whether you prove the existence and terms of the agreement. In the case you describe, having written loan on the check does not make it a written agreement (since there are no terms of the loan reflected on the check), but it does provide evidence that the money was a loan, not a gift. You will also have your own testimony to help prove that matter, though your "friend" may try to argue it was a gift--in which case who is more credible, both generally and under these circumstances, will matter.

From what you write, you would  seem to have a reasonable chance of winning--at least enough of a chance to make it worthwhile to consult with an attorney, since the amount is greater than the small claims threshold.


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