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  • FIRST POST
    • kikilarue
    • By kikilarue 11th Oct 17, 10:01 PM
    • 2Posts
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    kikilarue
    Loan to family and won’t repay (they live abroad).
    • #1
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:01 PM
    Loan to family and won’t repay (they live abroad). 11th Oct 17 at 10:01 PM
    Okay this is a weird one, I have lent my sister Ł26,000 over a period of 2 to 3 years and she promised she would pay back. I have messages and texts to this effect but no formal documentation. I have tried over the last 18 months to get payment but to no avail. The added fact to here Is that she is a resident in Greece where she lives and works and has done for the last 20+ years. What are My options and what can I do? I will literally do anything at this stage to get the money.
Page 1
    • zx81
    • By zx81 11th Oct 17, 10:04 PM
    • 14,331 Posts
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    zx81
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:04 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:04 PM
    It's not a weird one at all. It's a depressingly common one.

    You're probably sunk, given the lack of evidence and the fact she lives abroad. It's up to you if you want to spend further funds on any kind of legal action.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 11th Oct 17, 10:23 PM
    • 7,664 Posts
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    AnotherJoe
    • #3
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:23 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:23 PM
    Sue her in the Greek courts ?

    Or burgle her house and steal possessions worth Ł26k. Jewellery maybe ?

    Or send hired thugs in ?

    You did say “literally anything”.

    Realisticallty you are screwed. Revenge by getting her tied up in the courts might work.
    Last edited by AnotherJoe; 11-10-2017 at 10:26 PM.
    • DCFC79
    • By DCFC79 11th Oct 17, 10:25 PM
    • 30,395 Posts
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    DCFC79
    • #4
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:25 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:25 PM
    Its a common occurence, I fear your money is gone. What was the reason behind the money being asked for ?

    No harm in trying to getting your money back but has she the funds to return the money.
    Last edited by DCFC79; 12-10-2017 at 9:55 AM.
    Can people stop loaning money/being a guarator to family/friends, it rarely ends well and you lose out as your money is gone or you get shafted with being a guarantor.
    • CKhalvashi
    • By CKhalvashi 11th Oct 17, 10:25 PM
    • 8,789 Posts
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    CKhalvashi
    • #5
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:25 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:25 PM
    It's not a weird one at all. It's a depressingly common one.

    You're probably sunk, given the lack of evidence and the fact she lives abroad. It's up to you if you want to spend further funds on any kind of legal action.
    Originally posted by zx81
    However both parties being in the EU will significantly help the OP if they do want to take legal action and have the legal paperwork to do so.

    The EU legislation as enacted can be found here.

    The UK advice can be found here.

    If OP is in Scotland there may be a slightly different procedure, however the entire process is easy enough in practice.
    "I kada sanjamo san, nek bude hiljadu raznih boja" (L. Stamenkovic)

    Call me Remainer or Romaniac, but not Remoaner. It's insulting and I have the right to have my voice heard too.

    I can spell, my iPad can't.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 11th Oct 17, 10:26 PM
    • 11,196 Posts
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    Pixie5740
    • #6
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:26 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:26 PM
    The first time you loaned your sister money and she didn't pay it back should have been the last time you lent her money. Instead it appears that you continued to lend her more money over a 2 to 3 year period.

    If you gave her the money whilst she was resident in Greece, living and working there then there is little you can do from the UK. I have no idea if Greece has something similar to the small claims court although Ł25k is over the limit of the small claims court here.
    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 11th Oct 17, 10:43 PM
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    IAmWales
    • #7
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:43 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:43 PM
    Given the situation in Greece, does she have any funds to pay you back, has she used the money to live off?

    I'm not suggesting you don't pursue it, but even with a court order you'll have to enforce it, and if she's got nothing you're not going to see the money again.
    • worried jim
    • By worried jim 11th Oct 17, 10:47 PM
    • 8,755 Posts
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    worried jim
    • #8
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:47 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:47 PM
    Bob hope and no hope.
    "Only two things are infinite-the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not so sure about the universe"
    Albert Einstein
    • phillw
    • By phillw 12th Oct 17, 7:55 AM
    • 1,025 Posts
    • 607 Thanks
    phillw
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 17, 7:55 AM
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 17, 7:55 AM
    I don't personally think that going to court will help.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intention_to_be_legally_bound

    Family agreements are presumed not to give rise to legal relations, unless there is clear evidence to the contrary.

    If she is flat out refusing to pay you back, then you've had an expensive lesson in how you don't really have a sister. Just make sure she is unable to make a claim on your estate.
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 12th Oct 17, 10:58 AM
    • 1,731 Posts
    • 1,189 Thanks
    Tarambor
    No written agreement which specifies it is a loan, how the payments are to be made, when the payments are to be made and the duration, the total amount payable including any interest when lending money to a family or friend?

    Not going to stand a chance of a win in a UK court and I doubt you would in any other EU country.
    • Candyapple
    • By Candyapple 12th Oct 17, 11:42 AM
    • 2,495 Posts
    • 1,862 Thanks
    Candyapple
    Okay this is a weird one, I have lent my sister Ł26,000 over a period of 2 to 3 years and she promised she would pay back. I have messages and texts to this effect but no formal documentation. I have tried over the last 18 months to get payment but to no avail. The added fact to here Is that she is a resident in Greece where she lives and works and has done for the last 20+ years. What are My options and what can I do? I will literally do anything at this stage to get the money.
    Originally posted by kikilarue
    I presume your family in Greece know about it? Most Greek families are very close, I'd be surprised if your mum/dad haven't tried to intervene in order to bring about a peaceful resolution to your family unit.

    Think of it as a Ł26k lesson that you had to learn. As hard as that may seem, you can't get blood out of a stone so if your sister doesn't have the money to return to you, then there is nothing you can do.

    The sooner you come to terms with that, mourn the loss and let it go - the better your life will get. Unfortunately some people never let it go and live the rest of their days as bitter beings. Don't let this consume you.

    Be grateful that you had Ł26k spare in order to help your sister, which likely means that you are doing well in life to have that much in savings lying around.

    Whilst it's not nice being taken for a fool, the harder lesson will be for your sister who will have to deal with the consequences of her actions which would mean not having her sister in her life and everything that goes with that. Not to mention whatever the reasons for her borrowing the money in the first place, if they were debt related, her issues will still likely remain and come back to bite her because next time she needs money she won't be able to tap you up again.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Credit Cards, Loans, Credit Files & Ratings boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 12th Oct 17, 12:00 PM
    • 6,076 Posts
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    TBagpuss
    I am slightly more optimistic than others that you may be able to satisfy a court that there is a genuine loan, given that you mention texts and messages.

    However, I would strongly recommend that you get some professional advise from a solicitor dealing with debt recovery before you go further. If you were to take her to court, you would have to pay a court for of over Ł1,000, for a claim for Ł26,000, so paying a couple of hundred pounds to get advice on your prospects of success makes a lot of sense.

    The other thing it may be worth doing is to complete all the forms to take her to court, (but don't issue them) and then write to her to say that you have been very patient and she has repeatedly promised to pay back the debt, but that unless she is able to make payment, or at the very least, come up with a workable proposal for starting to make payments, that you will have no option but to apply to court. Send her a copy of the forms and be clear that you will be making the application if you don't get a substantive response from her with payment or concrete proposals to pay, by a specific deadline.

    Unfortunately if she doesn't have any assets than at best you may get an order for her to pay Łxx per week/month, and trying to enforce in a foreign country is always likely to be more difficult and more expensive than doing it in the UK, because it adds an extra lawyer of work and you will probably have to pay additional fees, get stuff translated etc,
    • Voyager2002
    • By Voyager2002 12th Oct 17, 12:12 PM
    • 11,717 Posts
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    Voyager2002
    I see things rather differently...

    Your sister needed money; you had money; so you helped. Great. However, why did you insist on making it a loan? Giving is the way: surely if you now need money, and she has money, then she will help.

    My sister died almost a year ago, and I would gladly pay any amount of money for a little more time with her if that were possible.
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 12th Oct 17, 12:49 PM
    • 1,812 Posts
    • 3,767 Thanks
    IAmWales
    I presume your family in Greece know about it? Most Greek families are very close, I'd be surprised if your mum/dad haven't tried to intervene in order to bring about a peaceful resolution to your family unit.
    Originally posted by Candyapple
    I can't see any reference to the rest of the OP's family living in Greece?
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 12th Oct 17, 1:34 PM
    • 4,827 Posts
    • 9,104 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    That is a substantial loan and unfortunately you won't be the first or last person to be stitched up by family members, partners or friends. Your options are limited given there are no legal documents or charges on assets. You can look into taking some sort of civil action suit in the courts but it will be time consuming and depending on her circumstances may not get any of your money back and you will incur costs and a lot of stress. Trying to enforce any sort of judgement abroad will not be easy though.

    You could try going over and reasoning with her face to face. What is her excuse for not repaying it?
    2 weeks to go until early retirement in December . Debt free and mortgage free.

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Herzlos
    • By Herzlos 12th Oct 17, 2:05 PM
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    Herzlos
    I think your legal options are limited, so unless you can apply some other pressure (getting other family members to lean on) then you've probably had it
    • MEM62
    • By MEM62 12th Oct 17, 3:12 PM
    • 1,392 Posts
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    MEM62
    Read all the other posts on the subject of money lent to friends and family and realise that your chances of recover are nil. Regrettably, your money is gone.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 12th Oct 17, 4:24 PM
    • 7,664 Posts
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    AnotherJoe
    I have tried over the last 18 months to get payment but to no avail.
    Originally posted by kikilarue
    Does she work for the Greek government by any chance
    • Robisere
    • By Robisere 12th Oct 17, 6:06 PM
    • 1,888 Posts
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    Robisere
    As has been said on this thread and many others similar, you are unlikely to be repaid and the prospects of successful legal action are not good.

    Do you have any reasonable expectation that your sister has the financial or other assets which could result in getting your money back? Do you have any knowledge of her situation in Greece? The situation in that country is known: she may be truly struggling and may also be ashamed of that fact. If you know for certain that she can afford to pay you back, but is refusing to do so, then I think you should cut her out of your life, writing to tell her that. If you are also certain that she has no way to repay you, then the answer is obvious. Either way, you must be sure of her financial position to make a decision. And either way, the result is the same. You will never see that money again, until and unless your sister either changes her mind, and/or becomes wealthy enough to repay you.
    There may be more than one way to skin a cat.
    But the result is always inedible.

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