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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50191
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have lent a family member (well it is the brother of my partner)

Customer Question

I have lent a family member (well it is the brother of my partner) a sum of money (£6500) which he agreed to pay back when I required. He said he'd only need a couple of weeks notice to pay me back. I approached him last October and requested for the money to be returned when he said he's circumstances had changed and so he could actually pay back all my money. Things got heated and we argued. he then paid back £1000 in November and £1000 in December. he sent me a text message saying the balance would be settled by April. My partner messaged him this morning just asking as we've not heard anything and reminding him of what he said. he then responded with how much money he has lent his brother over the years (my partner) amounting in his head to be somewhere around 1000 pounds and he wants that back!!! It appears hes threatening that if he doesn't get it then he will not repay the money he owes me (£4500). This is the first time he's mentioned monies he has lent to his brother 'over the years' which has had nothing to do with me and the debt he has to me and probably even before I was involved with his brother. I unfortunately had nothing drawn up and only have proof of the transfer of the funds and text messages.
Do I have a hope if I take him to small claims court?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Ben Jones :

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

Ben Jones :

I presume your partner was not in any way part of the agreement you had with him when you lent him the money?

JACUSTOMER-5a1irk24- :

Absolutely not. The agreement was between me and his brother. Today has been the first time he has mentioned monies he has lent his brother over the years

Ben Jones :

ok thanks let me get my response ready please

Ben Jones :

You could pursue this person for the money owed, even if there was no written agreement in place. A legally binding contract would be in existence in any event as that would have been implied in the circumstances. If the person has failed to repay the money as agreed and in turn breached your original agreement then you are able to consider the small claims track route to try and get that back. The fact that your partner owes him money is irrelevant here – the contract in your case was between you and that person, it makes no difference if your partner owes them money separately – they cannot offset that from the money you are owed.

In terms of taking the mater forward from here, as legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:

  1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due.

  2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.

  3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.

Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.

I hope this clarifies your position? If you could please quickly let me know that would be great, as it is important for us to keep track of customer satisfaction. Thank you

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? I just need to know whether you need further help or if I can close the question? Thank you