Winter Haven, FL asked in Collections and Small Claims for Florida

Q: Years ago I lent some money to a friend. He vanished and recently discovered he is a paralegal in Montana.

The loan was made in California. I live in Florida now. He is Montana. I have sent by certified mail and certified email. I know he got the correspondence. I have offered him payment plans. I have asked him to contact me if there is some issue. He continues to ignore me. I doubt there is much I can do. I was hoping because he was part of the legal profession now he would want to do the right thing. I guess I was just a fool however I thought I would ask if there was anything I hadn't thought of...it isn't like I can bring him to small claims court and it has been over a decade. The loan was under 2,000.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
Answered
  • Freeeport, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: You're probably right: there doesn't appear to be anything you can do. You would have to sue him in either California or Montana, and the statutes of limitation in either of those states are probably less than 10 years.

Bruce Alexander Minnick agrees with this answer

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Answered
  • Collections Lawyer
  • Tallahassee, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Mr. Thorgarrd is correct. I write merely to suggest an alternative way to recover some of this old bad debt.

1. IMO, offering payment plans on an uncollectible debt does not work.

2. Reducing the amount owed works much better.

3. But reducing the amount AND also allowing periodic payments works the best.

4. Experienced debt collectors also know that if they can convince the debtor to start paying again--any amount--that fact alone (in most states) starts the limitations clock running again.

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