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How do I go about chasing an unpaid debt?

(10 Posts)
Namechanger2015 Fri 21-Apr-17 06:48:29

Hi, I am not very legally savvy, currently going through a divorce, and my ex has paid a fortune (£850,000) to his friend for investment into a business.

Friend has signed a letter confirming that ex and I gave him the money either as an investment or as a loan (but didn't confirm which it was used for), and that he has not paid back any of the money yet.

Ex and I are going now through a very bitter divorce and ex is now claiming his friend has disappeared with the cash and we won't get it back. In reality friend has invested it for ex and will return it after divorce financial remedy hearings are over.

I don't want to pursue this as part of my divorce financial remedy as it is crippingly expensive and my sols are not very good. We are waiting on final hearings and I am keen to resolve this without the expense and stress of a final hearing.

I've been advised to claim as a debt outside of divorce hearings. How do I go about this? Is it still a similar and costly process? What kind of legal expert do I need? Any recommendations in the N London would be great.

Namechanger2015 Fri 21-Apr-17 06:49:38

I should add - friend owns multiple businesses and is just as savvy and ruthless as my ex. They are best mates and go way back, so friend would happily do this for ex.

eurochick Fri 21-Apr-17 06:52:43

You gave someone the best part of a million quid on the basis of a signed letter?!?

What were the repayment terms?

Namechanger2015 Fri 21-Apr-17 07:09:06

I didn't, strictly speaking. My financially and physically abusive ex did. I wasn't actually aware this had happened at all until I left the marriage.

I am sure he will have some paperwork but at the moment he is refusing to supply any of it and claiming it was a verbal loan to a friend.

Repayment terms were 10% interest or a share in the business. Friend has confirmed in writing that he has not paid back any of it.

FinallyHere Fri 21-Apr-17 08:01:33

Well, I would in my disclose of finances, make clear that the 'load/investment' was made by him alone, without your knowledge or consent, so that that it counted as his, rather than joint investment. How would that work?

prh47bridge Fri 21-Apr-17 08:15:53

As far as I can see the money is not owed to you so you can't chase it as a debt. The agreement appears to be between your husband and his friend. Even if you can claim it will be expensive. The court fee would be £10,000. As you are already concerned about costs I doubt you would want to risk that much. It will be far more expensive and stressful than the final hearing.

Your best approach is to persuade the court that this transaction was intended to reduce your settlement (which it sounds very much like it was) and therefore should be set aside.

Namechanger2015 Fri 21-Apr-17 08:17:38

It didn't really work that way. I have already been to court re financial disclosures and the judge has deemed this a joint loan to be recouped by us both. I've really lost faith in the family law legal system as a lot of facts around my financial abuse were dismissed because of my education (i.e. Judge agreed I am educated and therefore not financially abused).

I plan to speak to a debt liability-type sol (is there a thing?) and pursue my repayment outside of the family law area, as I have been told it's a cheaper and more straightforward process to accept the loan exists and then to recoup directly from friend.

Namechanger2015 Fri 21-Apr-17 08:19:25

Prh47 thanks for your comments. I had a set aside hearing for other points and I lost this because the judge deemed me to be too educated to be financially abused.

The money is owed back to both of us as the friend has signed a letter confirming this is due back to us both and a further statement to court stating that no repayments have been made to date.

prh47bridge Fri 21-Apr-17 10:44:21

If it is due to both of you that is a different matter. The court fee is still going to be £10,000 even if you only claim half the loan but you will be able to reclaim your legal costs from your ex's friend (assuming you win). Before taking action you need to see if he will repay you voluntarily. You need to consult a solicitor with experience in debt recovery.

Namechanger2015 Fri 21-Apr-17 11:46:31

Thank you prh47bridge and everyone for your comments, I will look into getting someone with debt recovery experience on the case. If you have any recommendations in the London area I would be very grateful.

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