What To Do If Your Friend Does Not Return Your Money?

In our social setup, it is common to see people requesting monetary assistance. Request for money can come from various people such as our friends, relatives, colleagues and acquaintances. We often feel compelled to help such people, as we consider it a moral duty. Also, there’s the thought that we could face a similar situation in the future.

While giving money to friends and others in need is generally acceptable in a societal setup, things become problematic when the money is not returned voluntarily. Usually, money is given to a friend in good faith and there’s no legal documentation. It is assumed that the borrower will return the money when they are in a position to do so. A specific period to return the money is not even discussed, as it is considered as embarrassing.

If you have lent money to your friend or someone else and that person is not returning it, you need to consider all options you have. There are legal remedies too, but you should use it as a last resort. If your friend has not returned your money for more than a year, it becomes imperative to take action. Here’s what to do if your friend does not return your money.

Suggest EMIs – It is possible that your friend may be in some serious financial crisis. Due to this, they may not be able to return the money all at once. If communication channels are still open, you can suggest them to pay small amounts instead of returning the entire amount all at once. If your friend intends to pay you back, they might consider this idea.

You too have an emergency – You can tell your friend that you are facing an emergency situation and need funds on an urgent basis. For example, it could be a surgical procedure that needs to be carried out. It can be related to you or one of your family members. Or you can talk about issues related to your job or profession that has resulted in a financial crisis. Your friend may or may not return the money, but their response to such requests will reveal a lot about their intentions.

Involve your social circle – You can take some of your common friends and acquaintances into confidence and share with them all the updates. If they agree, you can ask them to talk to the borrower and request him to return the money. This will put pressure on the borrower, and they may think about returning the money.

Legal options

If it has been more than a year and the borrower is mostly incommunicado, it may indicate that your friend does not intend to return the money. If the amount you have given to your friend is substantial, you will have to take legal action.

  • Send legal notice – Legal process will begin when you send a legal notice to your friend via your lawyer. The notice will have a period within which the borrower will be required to return the money. If they fail to do so, they will have to face legal action.
  • File an FIR – You can file a police case for criminal breach of trust. This is covered under section 406, 420 of IPC. Involvement of police will surely be beneficial in recovering your money.
  • Civil suit for recovery of money – If the borrower does not respond to the legal notice, your lawyer can file a civil suit for the recovery of money. However, keep in mind that this will be a long-drawn process. You should choose this option only when the amount is substantial and when all other options have failed.

Documents you will need

If you have given cash to your friend, it would become very difficult to prove your case. Maybe you will have to provide audio recordings of your conversations with your friend to make some headway in court. However, if you have given money via cheque or bank transfer, it will work to your advantage.

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