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Small Claims Court - worth it for £90?(6 Posts)
Hello everybody, I'm just after a little advice regarding money owed me by an ex. I did post about this in Chat last week and was advised to try asking here. At the time I didn't think it was worth pursuing but the more I think about it the angrier I get.
Background (I'll try and keep it brief) - I was in a relationship with a man, I'll call him Sam. Sam and I were only 'seeing' each other for about 2 months before I realised we simply weren't compatible and I ended it (not maliciously, I was just honest with him). The problem is, the week before this I lent him £180 which he said was to get his van fixed. I realise how stupid it was of me to lend him the money after such a short time together, especially when I already knew by that point that I didn't really want to be with him, but I had the money and despite my feelings (or lack of) towards him he did seem trustworthy.
A couple of days later, when he got paid, he gave me £90 back with the promise that I could have the rest the following Thursday. I broke up with him on the Monday. He sent me a text saying he'd put the other £90 into my bank account that Thursday. Thursday came and went and the money didn't materialise. I sent him a message on the Friday apologising for being a pain (I know, I know) and asking whether he was still going to transfer the money, the reply I got said 'Yeah I forgot.' and that was it. Text him again the following Monday saying I really needed the money back and he replied saying it would have to be Thursday. No apology. That was the last I heard from him (May 11th). He's blocked me on facebook (which is where I was sending the messages because he didn't have any credit on his phone) and wont respond to text messages or phone calls. I went to his work (a pub) on Sunday to see if I could catch him and ask what he was playing at but he apparently wasn't there.
It isn't so much about the money now, £90 is quite a lot of money to me in my current situation (student with 2 children, trying to learn to drive/save to buy a car, summer holidays coming up, etc) but it isn't a huge problem that the money is gone. I'm just pissed off that he thinks he can get away with taking £90 from me. He knows that money is tight (he took complete advantage of me by asking to borrow the money when he knew that part of my student loan had been paid into my account), he lives in a house paid for completely by his Dad, bills etc all covered, he has very few outgoings. It's principal now. I have saved all of the messages sent between us regarding the money.
So, I've been looking into the Small Claims Court. What I want to know is whether it's worth it for such a small amount of money. Is it even possible in this situation? I've never had to do anything like this before and have absolutely no idea about what to expect if I go for it. Or do I just forget the money and move on? Sorry this was so long - thank you if you read through it all.
I think I'd probably just put it down to experience and move on. I don't know if its possible to sue someone in this position, but I have heard people say that they have sent people copies of Small Claims Court forms with a letter stating that the forms will be filed on x date if the outstanding money has not been received. In most cases the money was quickly paid and there was no need to go to court.
It is possible to use the small claims court for any amount of money. It will cost you £25 if you claim online. You can claim this fee back from your ex if you win. You will need to send him a letter before action first, giving him a deadline to pay and telling him you will take legal action if he doesn't. The court makes decisions on the balance of probabilities so you don't have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he owes you this money. There is no guarantee you would win but if you have all the messages it sounds like you would have a good chance.
If it's £25, I think I probably would, if nothing more than the principle of the damn thing. Whilst I do take the other posters point about leaving things be, I also think it won't be the first time he'll have done this and why not give him a kick in the pants.
Thanks everybody. I think I'll go for it - like you said Tribble it probably isn't the first time he's done it, the more I think about it the more I convince myself that I've been conned. If I'd not broken up with him when I did I'm sure the amounts he wanted to borrow would have increased. I've learnt from it that's for sure.
Have you got evidence to show the amount lent, and that it was a loan? If not, you might have difficulty proving your case.
I'm not sure it would be worth the effort and stress. Unfortunately, even if you win your case, getting paid can be tricky.
In your position, I would try contacting your ex a few more times. Sometimes persistence works with debtors.
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