At times, people call me who have questions about Minnesota law as it relates to collection of a personal loan against a significant other.
I often hear the story that the purpose of the loan was to “help” the boyfriend or girlfriend because they “needed it”. That is ok if the boyfriend or girlfriend is honest. If they are dishonest. Bad idea.
loans, divorces, separations, and dumps
As a family law lawyer, I know that people are often get involved in romantic relationships that are not good for them. Frankly, if people didn’t make mistakes in relationships, I wouldn’t have a job. But they do and I do.
Whether you are dealing with a divorce or a break-up, people often don’t tell the truth. For example, lets imagine that you loan a boyfriend money because he says he needs it. You do it because you love him and want to help. You take out a home-equity mortgage from the bank because that is how you get the loan. The bank, of course, is more than willing to lend money at, probably, high interest rates.
Everything seems fine until the boyfriend skips town. Now what?
You can try to ask the now “former” boyfriend for your money back. Guess what, they often say no. Your next step is to probably hire a lawyer like me.
Lawyers who practice debt-collection may be able to send a letter to the boyfriend threatening a lawsuit if he doesn’t pay up on the loan. However, if the boyfriend doesn’t pay, your next step is to seek a civil judgment.
Of course, filing lawsuits cost money. There are court filing fees, attorney’s fees, service fees, and possibly other fees associated with filing a lawsuit. Now, you can ask for your costs for having to file such a suit, but you are still out the costs unless you can recover them from the boyfriend.
Furthermore, lawsuits take time. There is leg-work to get the necessary evidence ready, then the lawyer must draft the necessary legal pleadings, then there must be a hearing with proper service of process and notice on the boyfriend. Assuming the court believes your story, you still have to present evidence in the proper legal fashion before you get a judgment (if you get one at all).
Assuming you can get a court judgment against the boyfriend you can now try to recover the debt. It is not as easy as it sounds. Do you know where he is. Is he in hiding? Does he have money, bank accounts, assets you can levy on? These are all important questions.
Don’t make bad personal loans
In conclusion, making bad loans to bad people. I know it sounds simple but it happens all the time. If you find yourself in a situation where you made a bad loan and you don’t know how to recover the money, guess what, you will probably have to hire a lawyer for help.
For more information on collection of personal loans, divorces, and other topics, contact Joseph M. Flanders at Flanders Law Firm LLC. 612.360.4721.