Legal Advice

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Squilly, Jan 1, 2015.

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  1. Squilly, Jan 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015

    Squilly macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #1
    Here goes another story that I've been meaning to post a couple of months ago. I've known a friend for about a year now and we happen to go to the same college campus and tend to talk on a daily basis. Unfortunately, he has a financial issue and is god awful at paying for things. Three times now, I've forked the cost, one of them being the bulk of it. In late August, I had sold him a 13" rMBP for $1000 with a written (chicken-scratch) contract stating what was purchased, how much it was, a payment plan, both our signatures and the date, albeit a little longer than that. We agreed to a payment plan that would pay me back in full by mid-late September and signed. No witness, no notarization. More on this later. He leaves with the laptop.
    You probably know where this is going, so I didn't get paid by then. Every single time I ask (which is almost daily nowadays and was even worse in September), he has some financial issue going on or simply doesn't want to pay up, nor does he want to give up the laptop since he needs it for coursework and sidelining with DJ events. Why he couldn't afford his own laptop is beyond me. Okay, so early November, he begs me for $600 as his two bank accounts got hacked (I call BS), I refuse. He calls again a few days later about it, saying he got most of it but needs $100 with a stipulation that a check for $1100 is written out in my name, cashable a week or two later due to his bank account issue. So that rolls around and he gets into a car accident the day I'm supposed to cash the check (he showed me proof of this, pictures of the car, in the hospital, etc.) so I wait for a response after his short recovery.
    December rolls around, I'm finally able to cash the check with his permission. The bank I cashed it with allows $1000 available immediately and a couple days of processing for the remainder ($100) to clear. I cash it, but the ATM allows a $600 daily limit. Deposited on a Friday, took $600 out, take another $400 out Saturday and the last bit on a Monday. Turns out the check bounced but the bank didn't notify me until that Friday by letter. I thought everything was good with my friend and he asks me for $20 for a party he's attending, I oblige, but request $5 interest and trust that it'd get paid back in two days, which of course never happens. When I got back from campus, I got the letter in the mail, realizing I got screwed over, yet again. Bounced for being from a closed account, the one with fraudulent activity/hacked so I call up my friend immediately. Says he'll call the bank and get it figured out, although this has been occurring for some time now. The bank called me recently, accusing me of fraud for a bounced check, no activity on the account and withdrawing all of it in three days so I set up a payment to pay them back in full and wrote a nasty letter in return.
    He's working a lot over break which is his excuse for not going to the bank to get the money (no online banking, no debit card, must go to branch to get cash out). He says he'll be making $10,000 due to his numerous jobs but I have no idea if any of that will go towards me or not. We talk again today, I ask about it casually and he jokingly says something along the lines of "I may still pay you off if I still like you by then) which has me a little worried; could just be another excuse to prolong it. I'm still out of $1125 here with not much to go off of. Can I take him to small claims court or civil court without an attorney in this situation and/or sue for even more than the $1125 (ie. profits made from DJing, stress, backing out of the agreement)? He said he'd pay me off in full the second week of the semester (~January 20) but if that falls through like the others, I'm tempted to pursue this. Again, sorry for another long thread but thanks for reading and advice is appreciated.
     
  2. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #2
    It is not often that I am lost for words, but this thread has left me completely dumbfounded.

    Squilly, it is only the very, very beginning of January, the first day of the month, or the first day after the first day of the month. The month is not a day old, and you post a thread like this………

    All those heartfelt New Year's Resolutions are already trembling tenuously and treacherously - you know, the ones where you promise yourself not to write sarcastic posts, (above all, to poor Squilly, whose life appears to be one unending tale of improbably creative disaster)……….where you try to advise people Not To Believe Fantastic But Utterly Improbable Tall Stories……..and where, above all, You Grit Your Teeth And Moan, 'But I Promised [Myself] that I would Try To Be Nice, and Kind, and Sympathetic, and Caring, and Endlessly Patient With Completely Crazy Stories This Year'…

    What can I say? Between your brother and your erstwhile friends, your life is rich indeed……..
     
  3. richwoodrocket macrumors 68020

    richwoodrocket

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    #3
    Doesn't sound like a friend to me. A true friend would pay you back immediately. Sounds like he is using you.
     
  4. Squilly thread starter macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #4
    That brother of mine owes me $1350 (technically it's over $3,000) as well, which is a three year old debt and I have yet to be paid back a cent. I won't sue him though. Please, need actual advice though.
     
  5. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #5
    Without reading the whole post I can offer some advise.

    Forgive his debt. You will feel better.
     
  6. Squilly thread starter macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #6
    Unfortunately, he does know I have a bit of money saved up, which he does seem to be taking advantage of. I'm trying to get through to him that I do need the money back though, and he knows I've been pushing for it, although it doesn't seem to be helping at all.
     
  7. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #7
    First and foremost, stop enabling this guy. I don't understand why you continue to allow yourself to be financially and emotionally abused from someone, who doesn't seem to respect you much less himself.

    In my opinion, your actions are just as dysfunctional as his.

    You can sue him in small claims court for the amount due on the computer. You don't need an attorney to file. You will need to pay a small fee is all. Make sure that you file suit in the correct county using his full legal name and address.

    The more specific the contract is, the better your chances. If you have any witnesses as to his acknowledging to them that he owes such a debt, you would do well to ask them to accompany you to court. If there are people that can testify to this fact but cannot attend (for whatever reason) make sure to get a notorized statement from them.

    Unless there is a specific statute in your state that addresses double the damages in such cases, (as is the case in some instances of rental agreements etc.) you can only sue for the amount owed from the contract.
     
  8. Squilly thread starter macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #8
    And let him keep the laptop I 'sold' him (in quotations since he didn't pay yet)? I don't want to forgive something like that.
     
  9. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #9
    That's your prerogative.

    I simply offered a way to relieve stress.
     
  10. Squilly thread starter macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #10
    I have discussed a lawsuit with him before, he's given two excuses: he was high when the signing took place, which doesn't apply in court, much less criminally and two that it's not a legal document and a lawyer needs to be there for it to be considered legal - which contradicts this article.
     
  11. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #11
    A lawyer does not need to be present for things like this. As long as there has been a 'meeting of the minds' between two people as to consideration (whether verbal or written) there is solid ground for a contract. And unless he can show the court that he is either under the age of consent or incapable of being liable for the signed contract due to physical or mental defect, the contract (more than likely) will be binding against both parties.

    Your case is civil not criminal.

    In my opinion, you would do well to stop having any contact with him and proceed forward with a lawsuit against him.
     
  12. Squilly thread starter macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #12
    The fact that we go to the same college campus makes that option a bit uncomfortable to me, like a last resort, if not paid by end of January or earlier like he said type of thing.
     
  13. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #13
    Do not discuss suing him or anything else. Limit your contact to that which is necessary and nothing more. Anything you say to him or anyone else on this matter can be used against you in court.

    This person is not a friend. This person has been abusing you. And you allowed him to carry on much longer than he should have. That needs to stop. You don't owe him anything.

    The other issue is the computer. The last thing you want to do is make him angry where he decides to take it out on the computer.

    http://www.smallclaims.com/?cat=41
     
  14. Squilly thread starter macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #14
    Would court truly help me though? If I did small claims/civil court, wouldn't they just say he owes me $___ guaranteed but no specifics like time frame or payments? We've chatted over Facebook Messenger about it A LOT so there is evidence there too.
     
  15. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    #15
    The bounced check interests me. Was it from his account, written in your name by his hand? I'd suggest getting a copy of it.
     
  16. Squilly thread starter macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #16
    I have a legal copy of it from the bank that cashed it for me, although it's not the original. It was from his closed account, although when he wrote it out to me (by hand), he said it was from the new account he opened with them. Had his name and address on it so I know it was his as well. I don't think much of this adds up though.
     
  17. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #17
    If you won the case and he failed to pay as specified by the court, you can file with the court to have his current wages garnished. If that occurs, a set amount will be taken out of his paycheck.

    You can also go after any assets that he may have.

    To file in small claims court will probably cost you around $60.00 (give or take).

    The more evidence you can provide the court, the better.

    The computer has been in his care, custody and control. And in return, he obligated himself to not only abide by the terms of the contract, but to act as a reasonable person would in using and caring for item(s) in question.

    You have to prove that you giving him the computer was a loan and not a gift. The written contract should be the focal point. Any subsequent writings you have on the subject with him admitting to such will be of benefit to you.
     
  18. Squilly thread starter macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #18
    Could he attempt to say it wasn't him that signed it since there was no witness or I could prove otherwise with our other conversations?
     
  19. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #19
    Clarify for me, when was it dated, and when did you cash it? Do you have any type of proof of the permission he gave you before you took it to the bank?
     
  20. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #20
    In regards to the check, that is between him and the bank in question. Depending on the specifics of how that transpired, he can be arrested and have charges brought against him by the District Attorney.

    ----------

    Yes, he can make such a claim. If you happen to have any of his writings in your possession, make sure to include that in your evidence, should you need it.
     
  21. Squilly thread starter macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #21
    Cashed December 12, written November 13 and I have consent from a week before that says I could cash it the 12th (referred to as Friday in the conversation but it is time stamped so this shouldn't be an issue). I may have another message on the 12th that says I'm good to go as well.
     
  22. Wiggle macrumors member

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    #22
    Didn't learn the first time huh? NEVER, EVER loan money to family or friends that you expect to get back. Getting paid back is a bonus.
     
  23. Squilly thread starter macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #23
    He hadn't told me too much, just that his SSN, and two bank accounts were hacked, both with different passwords. He's a pretty tech savvy guy so I find this hard to believe in itself. As for the second part, just digital conversations. Appreciate the help thus far.

    ----------

    The only reason I gave him the $100 was so he wrote me the check, but that just turned into this mess. Third was a nice gesture since it's a smaller amount.
     
  24. Wiggle macrumors member

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    #24
    Yeah, you're friend is an *******, but I gotta say, this is on you for trusting him three times after he screwed you the first time.
     
  25. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    #25
    If you have the timestamped message, and the copy of the check, then you have enough to prove he wrote it in bad faith, which, in your case, is a second degree misdemeanor.

    You have options besides small claims court if you want to pursue them.
     
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