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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71132
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Gift now demands repayment

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I was brought a gift to go away that cost nearly £2000. After we verbally agreed this was a gift with no written confirmation of it being so, the purchaser decided to change her mind and make me pay for it.
I was gutted as I would have never agreed to go because I didn't have that sort of money. She said that I could pay when I could with no deadline which I thought this was fair enough but because in the last 5 months I haven't paid anything she's given me until end of August to pay it off maximum deadline before she takes me to court.
I don't have this kind of cash available at the minute, nothing spare each month or any savings. She knew my financial situation and the fact that times were tough for me and that's why she wanted to do this for me but she's hit me when I was my most vulnerable and I feel cheated.
I don't mind paying her back and I said I would in a text message to do my best to get it paid off by the end of the year as that's when I earn my most because I sell gifts for Christmas. Does she have the right to demand it so soon without us signing an agreement for the loan or repayment terms and does she have the right to even demand the money back full stop.
She is an ex solicitor and I'm worried because of her knowledge and what she's capable of doing that it's starting to make me ill.
Thank you for your time
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What was the condition upon the gift?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The condition was she would pay for me to go away but once she had paid for it she insisted I paid her back but there was no rush and I should pay her back when I can
But why was there any charge for you to go away?
Sorry if I'm missing the point.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I really can't answer that because I don't know the answer. Basically I went to Bootcamp in January to lose weight and gain some confidence back. I befriended a lady whilst there who took me under her wing and supported me through my journey.She wanted me to stay until the end of feb with her but I couldn't afford it but later that day she asked how I would feel if she paid for me to stay. I kept saying no and that the gift was too much but she said she wanted to and and that she could afford to do it for me. Eventually I agreed but I did have to return home for a week before returning back to camp for the final 3 weeks which she paid for. Something changed whilst I was away and she started telling me I will have to pay the money back. I didn't understand what had happened and when I returned to camp she refused to speak to me. I agreed I would pay her back but my situation was not Ideal at the moment as I hadn't been earning for a few months and I would do my best to get it paid by the end of the year. She become threatening and has demanded the money no later than August. This just isn't possible. I really don't know why she's changed her opinion on me but regardless of that I just need to know if she has a right to demand the money back so soon.
The difficulty here is one of practicality really.
If your version of events is accepted by the court then you are not liable to repay. This was a gift and a gift cannot be reclaimed.
The risk here is that the Court will accept her version of events which is probably that this was a loan. People who have been close do sometimes give each other expensive gifts but they don't usually make cash transfers as gifts.
This will come down essentially though to which version of events is preferred by the court. On yours you are not liable. On hers you are.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
If I have to pay back that's fine my problem is with her demanding it back so soon. We had no confirmation of re payments and it was clarified verbally that there was no rush to pay back.
As we continued to not speak and it got more tense between us she's now demanded it back ASAP. Will the courts allow me to pay her back what I can afford ??
If the court finds against you then you can ask for the order to be varied so that you can pay in instalments. That would be allowed whether she is happy or not.
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