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Breach of Loan Agreement

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What is the name of your state? Illinois

I recently borrowed $3300 to a close friend and her husband to get them out of a serious bind they were in (her mother was about to lose the house due to a bankruptcy judgement against them). We all signed a loan agreement, which was affective Jan 1st of this year. They paid me in monthly installments for the months of Jan and Feb, and, had given me $100 of the March payment.
Due to her mother's sudden and rather violent change of mental state, they were forced to leave the residence and move in with his parents instead. We reached a verbal agreement that payments would be held off until April, to get themselves settled. Since then, I have received $50. Since then, her husband has made it very clear to me, through his wife that he has no intent of paying me back, even though $1800 went towards keeping her mother's house, and, he is executor of her estate. I also know that about $800 went towards paying off the lease on the truck that he had at the time.
He has since made it clear that he feels that this debt is exclusively his wife's debt, although both of their signatures are on the contract. Just a quick note, this couple lives in the state of Michigan.
I guess that my question is; is it worth me trying to sue them? I don't think that I could sue them in small claims; the amount left over is in excess of $2,500, icluding late fees, per the agreement.
Or, should I let them go into default for the remainder of the contract, and, write it off as bad debt at the end of the tax year? Due to the financial strain caused by them not paying me back, I honestly can't afford an attorney. I don't think that I would be able to scrape up the money to even file the papers.

Any advice? :(


Beth Pouncey

First of all, I think small claims court usually allows up to $5000...so you would be fine in that respect.

I do feel like you would have a great case against them...and the husband IS STILL RESPONSIBLE for the debt b/c his name is on the contract (which was very wise of you by the way). What the money was used for is not relevant, it all boils down to the fact that both of their names are on the contract, so both of them should pay.

If you can't afford an attorney or the court fees, I don't have any advice. The best I can offer is that you do what you can, and if it doesn't work out, you always have the bad debt option.

I hope I helped!


Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, because I have to file in Michigan, the limit is only $3,000. The fees aren't as expensive as I thought they would be, so, I'll be able to handle it. I know that I will have to resort to wage garnishment to get my money back (these people will not pay willingly), so, I guess my question would be whether anybody knows what the wage garnishment limits are in the State of Michigan? I read about some poor sap from FL, and, their wage garnishment allowances are a joke. If a certain percentage of their wages are protected, then, I'd rather just get the judgement against them, write it off as bad debt, and, report it to the credit agencies so that it gets stuck on their credit reports instead.

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