My Ex Boyfriend Won’t Pay Me Back the Money He Owes Me, What Can I do About it?

“I was living with a boyfriend who was in deep financial debt.  He then lost his job.  His bills were out of hand and he didn’t know what to do.  We had agreed that I would consolidate his debt, pay off his debtors and he would pay me $445 per month until the  $22,000 was paid off.  This amount was less than the total of what he was paying out:  school loan, consumer debt, car loan, etc.  We then broke up and he told me that  he would not pay me back because “things are different now”.  He moved for a job and I moved to California and I have been staying in contact with him every now and then hoping that he would do the right thing and start paying me back. His father also was witness to this consolidation via phone when it took place, so I had sent him an email asking him to help me recover my loss.   Last week, he had agreed to pay me $25 per month which is ridiculous but an attempt to pay a debt none-the-less.  I had copied his dad into the email as well.  Apparently, his father called him about it because I got an email saying he was going to get a restraining order out on me.

1.  I attempted to hire an attorney to go after this bum a few years ago, but it was costing too much money to attempt to use our legal system with this guy who knows how to work the system to suit his needs.  I spent $2500 and decided to stop the bleeding.  Is there another avenue I can take to get my money?  Perhaps an attorney who will take half of what we recover as payment?

2.  Can he actually get a restraining order on me sending him and his dad emails for trying to recover the money I loaned him?

Thank you for your time and answers!”

There are many attorneys whose practice are not based on hourly fees.  In fact, many attorneys do pro bono work (free legal advice) on the side of their regular practice.  Given the facts as you’ve described them, you likely have a strong case for which a court may grant an order requiring your ex-boyfriend to make good on the payments as you agreed to them.  As such, it may take some time to find one, but it is likely worthwhile and you may be able to find an attorney willing to help you file with the court and obtain this order.  Further, if you obtain this order you can ask the court to attach this judgement to his income; meaning, the court would require his employer withhold income from him and pay it to you to satisfy the court order.  (You may want to also contact some attorneys who specialize in collections, as they often work on a ‘commission’ type of basis – taking part of whatever is collected.)

As for the restraining order, if it was issued by a court it would be valid.  You should consult a criminal attorney to determine what is necessary for a restraining order to be granted and what the procedure is.  Likely, the court would require a statement of facts to explain why the restraining order is needed and you would be able to enter your own statement of facts and it would then be up to the judge to decide whether or not to grant the order.  As above, and more so in criminal law, many attorneys do pro bono work and are willing to help out when asked.

In both cases, your best route is using the legal system.  It is sometimes unwieldy, and time consuming, but there is nothing more powerful than an order of the court.