Sacramento, CA asked in Contracts and Small Claims for California

Q: I had an agreement with a former classmate of mine to help fund his start up business.

I loaned him an amount in expectation of getting a monthly payment after his business got off the ground. The month came to when we agreed he had to start paying it back with interest and he never did. Can I sue him for the principal investment plus the interest we agreed upon? Also I have the agreement we agreed to and text messages back and forth from this guy about payment and date, I just don’t have an signed version. How should I handle this situation?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Thomas A. Grossman
Thomas A. Grossman
Answered
  • Palm Springs, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Unfortunately, without a signed agreement it is more difficult to convince a person to pay back money he or she owes you. The emails help somewhat, as that confirms that an agreement was reached, even if it was not signed. Also, the mere fact that he acknowledges the debt is helpful. I would start by nicely asking this person to set up a schedule of payments. If he refuses, you should then tell him that you will take him to Small Claims Court if he doesn't start the payments immediately. I don't know how much money we are talking about, but you can sue for up to $10,000 in Small Claims Court. You have nothing to lose by doing so. Good Luck.

Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
Answered

A: You can, but it will not be as strong as a case based on a signed agreement.

Tim Akpinar

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