Q: My 70-year-old service disabled veteran father loaned money to a much younger person who he thought was a friend. That person has a failing business and asked my father for multiple loans, over a year or two, often promising to pay it back the following week. He has never paid back one penny. The loans total $23,000. At the time of the loans my father was heavily medicated for multiple health issues and was not thinking very clearly. The person that requested the loans does not deny that he borrowed the money and has even signed a handwritten document showing the total, however, he has made no effort to repay any of it. He owns a house, land, vehicles etc. that could be used to pay my father back. I’m trying to figure out to proceed. A small-town lawyer told my father that not much could be done. That even if the court ordered him to pay he still might never get it. Any advice you can provide would be much appreciated. I just don’t know where to even begin.
A: Much more information would need to be know if it would be worth suing this person or not. A lawyer would need to know if this person held any property of value in their own name. If they did, it might be worth suing to obtain a judgment. The judgment could then be executed on the property which could be seized and sold off to satisfy the debt. The problem is that many people are not worth suing because they have no property held in their name only or what they do have is mortgaged or already encumbered by a lien. For example, their house is held in husband and wife name, or their vehicles are also held with a spouse on the title. Both house and vehicles could also be encumbered by a mortgage.