‘I’m really upset’: I borrowed $10,000 from my brother with a $200-a-month payment plan. We fell out, and now he wants the money back in full


Dear Quentin,

Just before the pandemic I had some financial problems and my brother lent me $ 10,000. During the pandemic, we fell and we haven’t spoken in months. We are now communicating through our sister.

Now he says he wants to return all the money even though we had an agreement that would pay him $ 200 a month and so I wonder, even though there is no agreement on the paper, how do I do it because he demands the money from me? . I have not.

I’m very upset. Obviously now I wish I hadn’t borrowed the money, and I wish I could get the money elsewhere to give it away so I could leave it behind, but I’m not in a position to do so. ho. What can I do?

Indebted Sister

Dear debtors,

If you lend money to a family member or friend, it is always advisable for the person to sign a promissory note stating the terms and duration of the loan. In this case, it looks like you had a verbal agreement. You do not intend to waive the loan, but you want your brother to adhere to the original terms of the agreement: $ 200 a month.

Verbal agreements are binding on many states, including New York and Florida, but do not include real estate, among other restrictions. In Florida, these agreements must meet the legal standards for the formation of contracts, and of course you must be able to show that you had an agreement in the first place, including that there was an exchange of value.

Demonstrating a verbal agreement is another challenge: as Kimberly Schultz, a lawyer from Plantation, Florida, points out: “This is where it gets complicated. In the event of a dispute, you first need proof that there was a contract. If it was a verbal agreement, it was a word-for-word situation against each other. “

“Who can believe it? If you have doubts and have a choice, always send something in writing, “Schultz said.” A written contract can be examined and separated and helps to resolve disputes quickly. It is always preferable. But now you have. You have signed a verbal contract. What can you do?”

The good news is that you want to honor your agreement with your brother, even if he is using your personal dispute as leverage to put you under pressure, emotionally and financially, to return the remaining $ 10,000. You may have an email chain or other testimonials to attest to this loan and your payment plan.

Few families have members who have not fallen at some point in their lives, and I hope this situation is resolved over time. But it is a lesson in borrowing money from family and / or friends as a last resort because the relationship, and pre-existing problems in the relationship, will inevitably complicate matters.

Money, when we have enough to pay our bills and hope to save, can provide peace of mind and not a little freedom to make decisions about our lives and futures, but unfortunately they can also be used as a way to control people. and punish them, as you are experiencing now. It is being unreasonable.

Separate your personal relationship from your financial relationship. Assuming you don’t have a credit score high enough to apply for a loan from your bank to pay off in full today, tell them that the two issues need to be addressed separately. Rest assured and in fact. Follow your original plan.

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