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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3497
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I loaned my brother (Sayeed) £10,000 for his wedding costs

Customer Question

I loaned my brother (Sayeed) £10,000 for his wedding costs in Bangladesh in 2006. Sayeed was Unemployed at the time & wanted to get married. I have a written contract between myself & Sayeed of the loan with his signature. My family are witnesses to the arrangement/agreement. Sayeed agreed to pay me back at a later date, but no payment has been received to date it has been 6 years. Wedding loan money was sent to my father’s Bank account- I have proof of this & father is a witness to this.
Sadly,my bothers wife (Sadia) only married my brother to obtain a Brtish passport/citizenship. In January 2013, she divorced my brother after a 2 year separation period. In order to end the marriage without any blame any suspicion falling on her, Sadia has given a false statement to the Police in 2010 where she alleges falsely that Sayeed committed domestic violence against her. Also that I have taken her Gold Wedding Jewellery and kept it safe in my house (please read further below about the Gold Jewellery situation and why it is in my possession). It is clear now to the whole extended family Sadia just wanted to secure a British Passport and exit the marriage with the Gold Jewelry given its rise in value over the years and as they have no other assets etc

When Sadia first arrived in the UK in 2008, I requested the Wedding Gold Jewellery be given to me which had been purchased with my loaned money - as partial repayment towards the loan I made to Sayeed& it has been in my possession since 2008. I am now worried that Sadia will try claim the Gold Wedding Jewellery be returned back to her via the Courts in the financial divorce proceedings/settlement with Sayeedand potentially myself .The value of the Jewellery is estimated £12,000 now.



Is the Gold Jewellery matrimonial assets given that it was bought with money loaned from me a 3rd party person i.e myself ? I did not gift the Gold to the bride or my brother. It was not purchased with Sayeedor Sadia’s money/income etc. What is the legal position regarding 3rd party gifts/loans in a marriage during a financial settlement in a divorce ? Can a gift be requested back ? How can I protect the Gold asset legally from confiscation –pls advise ? Who is the legal owner of the Gold Jewellery in the eyes of the UK Law/ Courts based on the information provided above ? Am I in lawful possession of the Gold Jewellery based on the situation described above ? If I sell the Gold Jewellery asset and convert it to cash is this legal ?

Assuming allowed to sell the Gold Jewellery, I am concerned that if I sell the Gold Jewellery asset about the future repercussion and/or being dragged into any future lengthy Legal Court Case and actions via the courts and Legal Costs in connection with the Gold Jewellery following this sale and conversion of the Gold to cash assett. Especially, if any future Legal cost ends up being more than the value of the Gold Jewellery. Sadia is also claiming dowry lump sum payment of £8000 off Sayeed; he is currently Unemployed has no assets/money & in debt Pls advise best how to protect myself legally from legal action and any future court action that could be taken against me. Thank you.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer.

Did your brother actually purchase the Jewellery?

Does he have any proof of purchase?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi AJ,


 


I purchased the Jewellery in Bangladesh. My brother had an arranged marriage.


 


Yes I have the original receipt of the purchase of the Gold Jewellery. It has my signature on the receipt. But be aware the Gold Jewellery was purchased in Bangladesh in a foreign Jewellery shop were all people go and shop for weddings.


 


I went to the Jewellery shop in Bangladesh to pick up the Gold Jewellery myself with a relative before the wedding night to hand over to the bride.


 


 


 


Kind Rgrds,


M,

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

So the evidence you have in your favour is:
- you paid for the gold jewellery;
- you have the receipt in your name?

Did you ever actually gift the jewellery to your former sister in law?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi AJ,


 


The matter is complicated because it can either be considered as a gift from me to the bride or a financial loan to my brother. Because a loan can be converted to a gift also. It depends how the judge views the situation because technically it can be a gift or the latter a loan to my brother.


 


Furthermore, complicated by the fact it is a financial divorce matter, where UK Matrimonial law may see the things differently.


 


Kind Rgds


M

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you I appreciate the complication.

I would note the following:
1. You are in possession of the Jewellery;
2. You purchased the Jewellery;
3. The receipt is in your name.

All your brother's ex wife has is a statement that you gifted the Jewellery to her. Your position is far stronger as it is supported by the factual evidence.

Presumably you deny that this was ever gifted to her?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi AJ,

 

 

During the wedding ceremony there will be video evidence of her wearing the Gold Jewellery. And she does have picture of the Gold Jewellery wearing it etc. So she does have that evidence and ofcourse her family members will be witnesses that she had Gold in her posession upto a point until she handed over to me etc.

 

In terms of the gift point, she will ofcourse claim that it was a gift from her Husband to her as a wedding gift and deny she had any knowledge that I was the one paying for the wedding jewellery via a loan or gave it to her as a gift. Or she may say I gave it to her as a gift. Basically she will say what ever helps her to get back the Gold Jewellery with the greatest chance etc

 

 

She is viewing the Gold Jewellery as her assett/posession. I am viewing it as either a loan to my brother at the moment - unless the UK law sees it different.

 

The Police may veiw it differently if she states I taken the Gold Jewellery

by cohersion or other means. If she states now that her relationship with

my brother has ended she has no vested intrest of the financial welfare of

my brother and she probably wants what ever financial things she can out of him and our family etc.

 

 

Please advise you understanding of how best to protect the assett. UK Family and Matrimonial law about possession is a bit complex.

 

Please repsond soon as possible as I need to know where I stand with the matter now as it has been a few days since I opened this question. Thank you.

 

 

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

The best way to protect it is to ensure that when asked your statements are consistent.

Ultimately her case will look weak as she actually handed the Jewellery back to you so how can it possibly be a gift?

You purchased it for your brothers wedding but then quite rightly wanted your money back, therefore the gold Jewellery was only ever loaned to her.

Has she commenced a claim yet?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi AJ,


 


As the ex-wife has raised a false domestic violence police statement against my brother and in that case she has , I assume she will pretend to be bullied into handing over the Gold Jewellery. Remember,


if you read her statement as above in my first e-mail to you. She is


stating I have taken it and kept it safe. So indicating in my mind she is indicating that only for safe keeping or otherwise from her point of view.


I suppose she was advised by her family what to say this, so she could put a claim against the assett being hers only and her possession etc.


She is also claiming it is a gift to her from her husband my brother.


She is not stating it is a gift from me because she is trying to get my brother to hand the Gold Jewellery back to her via Financial Divorce Proceedings and at the same time claim it is in my possession etc. Please note this point carefully.


 


 


 


Also during the divorce stages on her 'Form E' she has indicated a lump sum transfer order she wants to claim for the item as there are no other asetts in the marriage and my brother is unemployed and in debt.


 


Problem with UK Law is that the Judge may view it as a gift from the Husband to the wife as part of the wedding arrangement. This part of the issue I am not sure of. Also they may think I put pressure on her to hand


over the Gold Jewellery because of the loan arrangement with my brother.


 


Will the UK Law view the Gold Jewellery as her possession - is the Key question ? Or will they view it as my property based on the fact that I


purchased it, with my money etc. This is a bit of a complex area to think


about -please advise carefully as this matter is the most complex part of this case.


 


I believe she is in the process of commencing a claim shortly at the courts. Ex-wifes claim is that it is part of the wedding arrangement


and so forms like a gift.


 


Please advise how best to explain to the courts/ judge it was never intended for her to keep the item, until the either my brother had fully


paid me the loan and money he owes me.


 


Please respond quickly as possible with you view given the time constraints on me as I want to understand where I stand.


 


Thank you.


 


 


 


 

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

The overriding point here is that the Jewellery never belonged to your brother it belonged to you.

At no point did you gift it to him, you loaned it to him? Is that correct?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi AJ,


 


 


Yes the jewellery belonged to me and not my brother. I did not gift the item to him at no point or to his bride.


 


But the ex-wife will argue it was gifted from the husband to ensure she has the maximum chance of gaining possession of the asett now that the relationship had ended and all she is interested in is getting maximum money and financial assets out of my brother etc. She may even bring


witness to state it is a gift to support her case.


 


The problem I am facing is that during arranged marriages people do


give gifts and I am worried that the judge may view it as a gift to the bride from the groom side. This may be the perception as opposed to the reality of it just being loaned out to the bride for decoration purpose.


Judge may just assume it is a gift. Please advise how to defend this matter should the brothers ex-wife try do a lump sum transfer or


carry out a civil litigation on the matter against us or any financial proceedings etc. What action can I take to protect myself from the Gold Jewellery from being confiscated from me ? Can I sell the Gold Jewellery without any legal ramifications ? Please explain what options/actions I could perform etc


 


What hard facts will the judge/courts decide when they weigh up who


is the legal owner of the Gold Jewellery based on my circumstance- please advise ? Am I right in understanding that I am the legal owner


of the Gold Jewellery ?


 


What is the legal difference in the eye of the UK Law between a gift and a Loan in matrimonial law -just out of curiosity?


 


Thank You.


 


 


Kind Regards,


M


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

Firstly you are the legal owner of the Jewellery to the extent that you paid for it and it is in your possession. More importantly you can prove your ownership to it.

Secondly if you sold the Jewellery, which as legal owner you are entitled to do, if a court then ordered you to return it, you simply be liable to account for the proceeds.

Finally with a gift you actually party with possession factually and legally, a loan envisages that legal title will not pass. If it is relation to money then it creates a legal obligation for that money to be returned if loan is made.

Please note that I take on face value the information you provide. I do not have all the facts so I can only provide an answer based on what you tell me.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

AJ

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