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Category: Law
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I lent £2,300 to an ex-boyfriend which he promised to pay back

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I lent £2,300 to an ex-boyfriend which he promised to pay back at £125 a month. He has only repaid £100, the last instalment of £50 being in June. He was full of promises for our future, but as soon as he got the money he didn't want to know. My requests for him to stick to the agreed repayments have been met with text messages ranging from death threats (reported to the police) & abuse, such as go f*** yourself etc. A solicitor I have used previously wanted £500 just to send him a letter! When I wasn't prepared to pay that, they suggested I pursue him through the small claims court. But having looked into that on line it doesn't seem I fit their criteria. Can I pursue him for fraud? He told me many lies, about not being married when he was, about an investment about to mature, which didn't exist, and about money he will inherit from property in Nigeria which I don't know if is true but I doubt on the basis of his previous lies. Originally he wanted me to be a guarantor for a Payday loan but I thought that was a bad idea, so lent the money myself. Since then I have become very ill & am not able to work much so I really need the money back. He refuses to pay me because he says he has so many other debts & I will have to take him to court. I don't have anything in writing, only text messages where he promises I will be repaid. Is there any legal way for me to pursue him & recover this money which I now desperately need? We no longer have any contact. Any advice would be really appreciated.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

Why do you not meet the criteria to go through the small claims court?

JACUSTOMER-hc984uit- :

It seemed to only apply to disputes with traders for faulty goods or employers, not private loans between individuals.

Ben Jones :

That is certainly not the case, the small claims court is open to anyone who has some sort of a contractual claim they wish to pursue and may certainly include debts between individuals, it is actually a common claim made there. You do not need a formal contract in place just some evidence that the debt is owed.

JACUSTOMER-hc984uit- :

Well, the only evidence I have is details of transfers from my bank to his bank account.It would be my word against his that he agreed to repay £125 a month.Would that be enough? I also now believe that although he told me I was paying the money into his sole account, it is actually a joint account with his wife. I know he is in arrears with mortgage, council tax etc, and even if the court did rule in my favour it would be difficult to get the money back. Can I pursue him for false pretences? And if I did take him to the small claims court what would my chances be if he has so many other debts?

Ben Jones :

Leave this with me please, it is getting late and I have an early start but will respond to your queries in full first thing in the morning, thanks

JACUSTOMER-hc984uit- :

Thank you, Ben. Much appreciated.

Ben Jones :

Good morning. Whilst the evidence you have will assist, as you say it would be your word against his and in such cases the court will try to work out who is more consistent with their story, who is more likely to be telling the truth and ask questions to determine that. Not all cases have the full documentary evidence that is needed and it often comes down to what the people involved in it say - the courts are used to it.

There is little you can do to sue for false pretence in this case, I would not recommend it as it would not get you anything extra than what you are already owed.

When it comes to your chances of recovering the money, no one can guarantee you will get it back. I can speak from personal experience as I recently had to take someone to the small claims court, tried every trick in the book, but still did not manage to recover a penny from them. Unfortunately it is easy to ignore a claim or a judgment issued against someone and our legal system is not great in that respect - they can ignore everything that happens with the claim and even if you win and get a court judgment, they are still not forced to pay you back. It would be then up to you to try and 'enforce' that judgment, which means either engaging bailiffs, trying to get a third party debt order, etc. Each option will require you to pay more money to try and apply it so whilst you try different methods of enforcing the judgment, the costs will continue to rack up with no guarantee of you getting anywhere closer to getting your money back. So court action always carries a risk.

I would say there is only little to lose by actually making the claim and seeing where it takes you, but if you obtain judgment ion your favour and you are still struggling to get any money back from him, then reconsider your options and how you wish to continue trying to pursue it.

Ben Jones :

I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you are unhappy for some reason with the advice - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you very much

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 4 years ago.

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