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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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I lent £10,000 to a friend of mine back in 2007 while we were

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I lent £10,000 to a friend of mine back in 2007 while we were in Dubai as she was with an abusive relationship and wanted to get out of the house she was sharing with her boyfriend at the time and was short of money. She promised to pay me back as soon as she could, and I have email correspondences with her from 2012 where she promised she will pay me back as soon as she can as she just got a job in Scotland, but I still haven't seen a dime. Every time I ask her she has an excuse - another abusive boyfriend, being out of job, etc. Recently I saw on linkedin she got promoted and now I feel betrayed and stupid for having given her so much slack over these years. Is there any way I can get the money back from her legally?
Hello do you think she can afford repaying you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, given what I see on her facebook page of all her expensive holidays, chanel bags, etc I am sure she can pay me back -- even in installments. I am so frustrated...
Thank you for your response. I will review the information and get back to you as soon as possible. Please do not respond to this message as it will push your question back and you may experience delays. Thank you
Is she based in England?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No. She is based in Aberdeen at the moment.
Whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. 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. You can check the procedure for doing so here: 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 has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Ben, thank you for this. This is great. May I ask you to clarify a few things?- Are you saying even though I don't have a contract with the debtor, only emails, it is enough to take legal action?
- The transaction happened using a UK bank account when we were both in Dubai in 2007. Now I am based in Egypt and the debtor is in Aberdeen. Would the Scottish court still be able to help?
- The debtor is British and I am Danish. Do our nationalities matter?Grateful if you can help clarify these.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry - one more thing. The link you provided defines small claims as up to and including £5,000 whereas the outstanding debt is £10,000. Can I still use small claims court for this?
Hello, you do not need a formal written contract to pursue this. A contract would be implied in the circumstances anyway, based on what was agreed at the time. So yes, emails will suffice to at least try and show what you are claiming, a lot of other evidence can come verbally You would really need a UK address to make the claim, so if you have at least someone whose address you can use to forward the documentation to that would work. Also your nationalities do not matter In Scotland the small claims limit is £5,000 so unfortunately you cannot use it but it will just be a normal claim, not subject to the small claims rules which are slightly more relaxed Hope this clarifies?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. One last question -- where would I be able to get information on normal claims? I read somewhere that if the debt has been outstanding for more than 6 years it may be difficult to recover. Is that also true for normal claims?
In Scotland it is 5 years, 6 years in England. That can mean that the debt cannot be legally pursued but there are ways to get an extension, for example if any payments have been made or the debt has been acknowledged within this time period, then the time limit can start from the date either of these last occurred. Normal Claims details can be fund here:
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