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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3655
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I was gifted some money by a dear friend but I said I would

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I was gifted some money by a dear friend but I said I would repay it to her. She said it was my decision & she wasn't bothered. Sadly she died before I had repaid it all but I understood the debt would die with her. Now 2 years later her family are trying to get the money back from me through the small claims court. What should I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. Have they issued a claim? What evidence are they relying on to show it is a loan? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I received a claim yesterday. The only evidence is my friends bank statements that show her payment to me & my repayments to her. Nothing in writing re gift/loan
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Thank you. You will have to defend the claim or at least respond to it now it has been issued. Did they demand the money from you before they made the claim? How long ago was the money loaned to you was it 2 years?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The money was loaned in 2012. She died 2013. The family asked for the money back in 2014 & I have not heard anything since then
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Thank you. I am afraid the debt does not pass on with her, it is still a right (known as a chose in action) that belongs to her estate. Technically they would have six years to enforce it . The point here is that you are saying it was a gift, if it was a gift that is different, you cannot rescind a gift. The family would have to prove that you agreed that this was to be a loan with your friend. If they cannot actually prove this then their claim wont be successful. Do you want to avoid repaying it?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do want to avoid paying it ....personal reasons. The cheque stub just said my name. I made repayments as Louise loan but she was always adamant I need not repay anything & even said she would give me the money back when it was repaid! It is all she said, I said
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

Hi Thank you. Do you have anything in writing to show that she was adamant it wasnt a loan? Emails etc? Ultimately you can submit a defence on the basis that it is not enforceable as a loan and was always a gift.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your help. There is nothing in writing, we always spoke on the phone or in person
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Thank you. You will have to submit a defence on the basis that this was never intended to be a loan and was always a gift. You can say payments were made to her as a gesture of good will but ultimately you had no contractual obligation to repay the money. How many days do you have to respond to the claim?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
14 days
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Thank you. Do you have the defence reply form? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Thank you. You will need to respond to their claim and go through point by point and deny the allegations. You will then need to summarise and say that the money claimed was a gift and there is no legal obligation on you to repay it. What does their claim actually say? Have they provided any evidence?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They just say a loan was made to me & was repayable at £500 per month (that was my goodwill gesture & Louise never asked for a specific amount) & as executors seek to claim the outstanding amount. The only evidence is the cheque stub & bank statements. Copy attached
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Thank you. Their claim is fairly short, you will have to write in your defence a time line of how you received the loan and confirmation that it was never intended to be repaid. As the claim has been issued you have to respond to it otherwise you risk a judgment against you.

Alex J. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** do that & hope Louise is looking down on me! Kind regards, Shandy

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