Can we sue my boyfriend for not paying my mother?

Q: Theft by deception in Pennsylvania? My mother purchased a vehicle for the man I’ve been with since 2009, the same year of purchase. He is under verbal agreement to pay her over $20, 000 for it and hasn’t paid a dime yet. During this time I asked about the money then he physically mentally and emotionally verbally abused me when I mention the money owed. I need to know what to do to get her paid. He makes plenty if money to have paid her. She was very ill a few years ago he was waiting for her not to survive so he could get out of paying but she did. I’m not getting any answers from anyone else. Can you help?

A: Theft by Deception is a crime. I think you will have difficulty having the police or District Attorney file criminal charges with these facts. You may be able to sue him civilly, even though this is a verbal promise to pay and not a written contract. You need to decide whether you want him out of your life as this will make the lawsuit easier to carry out. For a civil suit, you could have a one or a four year statute of limitations, depending on the facts, but most likely a four year statute of limitation. So, time is of the essence if it is not too late for a suit at this point. I advise you to speak with a lawyer. Although it is a verbal contract, recovery of $20,000.00 should be pursued.