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Ex taking friend to court for money not loaned and items they don't have

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  • Ex taking friend to court for money not loaned and items they don't have

    Hello. Posting on behalf of friend with their permission. Hoping someone can advise.
    SHORT VERSION: Ex-partner demanding items that their ex doesn't have and money not owed.

    LONG VERSION: My friend and their partner of 15 years split up 3 months ago (not married, no kids, both living in my friend's house). A year before break up, they weren't getting on and partner went to stay with parents for a couple of weeks, then ended up staying with them for months, which caused rows on the phone and they stopped paying rent to my friend. Even though all their belongings were still in friend's house and partner wasn't paying rent to parents. They just stopped paying for months to make a point / be spiteful.

    About two months before break up, friend and partner were on better terms and even talking about partner coming back home and partner sent my friend 2k in lieu of rent (not that the 2k was even close to what they had missed paying).

    Anyway, very long story short, the harmony didn't last and partner called quits on relationship and my friend asked them to come back to collect all their belongings. Partner replied "Do what you like with my stuff. Burn it for all I care!"

    I told friend to dump / sell ex's stuff, but friend decided to be the bigger person and spent an exhausting week going through the entire house and packing ex-partner's belongings into boxes. Ex-partner's brother collected all the boxes. There was so much stuff that they used a large van to pick it up.

    Friend thought that was end of it. They didn't speak to each other again. Friend started getting on with life and looking to sell house and move for a fresh start.
    Then recently a letter arrived, friend given 14 days to reply.
    Ex-partner has gone to a solicitor and demanding "missing items" from their belongings silly things like DVDs, clothes, frying pans, tools, books, nothing of any value, and also demanding the 2k "loan" they supposedly lent friend!

    Friend has been through entire house and everything of ex-partner's was packed up and sent off in ex-partner's brother's van. There's nothing left in the house that belongs to ex-partner.

    They also certainly did not borrow 2k off ex either.

    Anyway, friend panicked and ignored letter, and now been advised they are being taken to small claims court. Friend worried for two reasons:

    1. How can they prove that they sent everything back and that the 2k absolutely wasn't a loan? They didn't make an itinerary of the items, but did get pics of all the boxes they had packed and filmed the boxes going into van. They actually only took pics and video just to send to me to show that it was all sorted. They also still have message from ex saying to burn the stuff as they didn't care.

    2. If court finds in ex's favour, will friend get a CCJ? As I mentioned, they are in the process of getting house on market and will be applying for new mortgage.

    I'm really angry, my friend has worked SO hard after split, not just in their job, but around the house and on themselves as they were understandably devastated by split. They were in a good place when the letter arrived and it's really set friend back mentally due to the worry and having ex tormenting them.

    Many thanks in advance for any advice.
    Tags: None

  • #2
    To take your last point first, re CCJ. Your friend would only get a CCJ if the court ruled in the ex's favour but your friend ignored the court ruling and refused to pay the amount of the judgement. As long as your friend paid in full within 30 days of the judgement there would be no CCJ.

    The procedure is actually that the CCJ is recorded in the register of judgements when the court makes its judgement but as long as it's paid within 30 days your friend would apply for it to be removed and then the judgement would not appear on his credit record with the credit reference agencies.

    County court judgments for debt: CCJs and your credit rating - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

    In any case at the moment your friend is a long way from having a judgement against them.
    All opinions expressed are based on my personal experience. I am not a lawyer and do not hold any legal qualifications.


    • #3
      Thanks PallasAthena regarding CCJ, that will be a big relief for them to hear.


      • #4
        Evidence will be key I believe. Any proof it was not a loan - emails, texts? I think the other person will have to prove it WAS but the more you can find the better. Equally any proof of the pick up? Packing up of goods? (pics etc). Every tiny piece of evidence will help.


        • #5
          Thanks islandgirl. The 2k was sent after a phone conversation, but friend has bank statements showing months of no rent from ex, then the 2k, then nothing else.

          Friend has pics of all the boxes packed and a video or them being loaded onto van.

          Also has voicemail from ex saying to burn the stuff as they didn't care.


          • #6
            Well all that will certainly help! Without proof it was a loan the ex will struggle to prove it and the voicemail will be extremely important evidence should it actually come to court. The solicitor is only acting on information given by the friend remember (who will have told them their side of this story only). I think a brief reply saying that a) it was not a loan and b) everything wanted by the ex was returned and that your position can be proved if necessary and that you will robustly defend any action taken would be my next step and saying that you only wish to hear from them further to confirm the matter is closed. Do not send any evidence etc at this stage. Hang fire though because those with more experience in this area of law may come along and advise - this is just what I would do in this situation


            • #7
              Just to add to islandgirl's good advice. I'd include a clear statement in whatever you write to the solicitor that you have searched your house again in case the items were still there but can confirm that they are not and you have no idea of their whereabouts. Don't get into any more detail about it at this time, just enough to make clear you don't have them and therefore can't return them.
              Last edited by PallasAthena; 20th October 2023, 18:06:PM.
              All opinions expressed are based on my personal experience. I am not a lawyer and do not hold any legal qualifications.


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