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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 778
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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I naively lent £15000 to a friend who told me to pay it into

Customer Question

I naively lent £15000 to a friend who told me to pay it into his business account which he shares with 2 other partners with the understanding that the business would turn around and he would repay me with interest. 2 years have past and now he claims that the business is making no profit and everything is ploughed back into the business. He has given me a signed letter headed by his company as follows..

"This letter is evidence of a £15000 payment made by ****** to *******Ltd during 2012. It is also a guarantee that Ms L Knight has first call on any profit or funds that ******* Ltd make from sales or trading. Also, Mr ***** is offering a personal guarantee for the sum of £15000 to *****. The accountants for *****, W****& Co and Mr ***** (main shareholder) are also aware of this payment."

This letter is signed by my friend and he has obtained his general manager's signature as a witness.

My question is, does this letter carry any weight in the eyes of the law.. and is there anything else I can do to ensure that the loan is repaid?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.

LondonlawyerJ :

Was there a written agreement at the time you made the loan?

LondonlawyerJ :

Hello. I am a solicitor with over 15 years experience. I will try to help you with this. Please be aware I am a working solicitor and fit in answering questions here with my law work so there may sometimes be a delay before I reply.

JACUSTOMER-xf59r080- :

Not at the time the loan was made. It was just a verbal agreement as I thought the loan was short term. Only recently have I asked for a written agreement as I was worried due to the fact there was nothing written down about the loan apart from the bank transfer I made to their company.

LondonlawyerJ :

Ok well that letter doesn't reflect the agreement made. It does at least confirm that you paid some money but has nothing about repayment. The term "first call" sounds impressive and the meaning of that letter seems to be that you will get the first £15,000 that they earn. However I think this doesn't really have any meaning here and could effectively be a stalling move. This also does not reflect the fact that a loan was made, presumably with an indication of when the money would be paid back and whether there was any interest paid. If you are content t be paid back when they start making a profit which is what is stated in that letter then you might want to write confirming that you will accept payment of the 1st £15,000 profit in satisfaction of the debt. This coud arguably create a binding contract. Do you have any idea when or if they will be in profit?

JACUSTOMER-xf59r080- :

I have no idea when they will make a profit as he keeps on claiming that the business is not making money and yet they can still carry out minor refurbishments. Is there any way I can tie him down with making some form of payment on a regular basis as I also need the money for downpayment for a house.

LondonlawyerJ :

What was the original agreement for time for repayment?

JACUSTOMER-xf59r080- :

There was no specific time agreed as it was implied that the business could easily take in a lot of money and the loan paid off easily. I simply assumed the loan would be repaid ASAP. Is there anyway I can get an agreement drawn up where there is a set minimum payment plan and would it be legally binding.???

LondonlawyerJ :

You lent the money expecting it to be paid back very quickly. Presumably this was on the basis of what the person you lent the money to told you. You need to think carefully about why you expected the money to be paid back quickly and what was said to make you think that. You should then write to the person concerned explaining that the agreement was made on the basis that the money would be paid back within whatever period you had in mind You can argue that this was part of the contract (this is contract dispute even f there is no written contract) and or that representations made by the borrower induced to lend him the money. YOU cold then express disappointment at his failure to honour his obligations and either demand payment forthwith or suggest a time frame for repayment perhaps in installments.

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