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Small claims court?

Small claims court? Topic: How to write a contract for money owed
April 19, 2019 / By Carran
Question: I loaned someone $3,500. He signed a contract we wrote up (with witnesses, but not notarized) that stated he would pay $100 a month until it was paid off. Six months later and he's not even acting like he wants to pay it off, I haven't seen a penny. Ive warned him multiple times that I would take him to court, and ik he has money as we work in the same place with the same hours. How do I go about a small claims case, do I need a lawyer, can I sue for the full amount plus court fees at this point? Thank you in advance In case anyone else looks this up, I would like to add that although the court may not do anything personally, a debt collector would be happy to get your money back.
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Best Answers: Small claims court?

Allerick Allerick | 1 day ago
You don't need a lawyer... Im pretty sure if you win case he would be required to pay the court costs + the money he owes you + a days pay you took off work to show up at court...if you claim that also...If you have a written contract then you will win the case...
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Allerick Originally Answered: Have you other been to small claims court?
The last time I went to Justice of the Peace court, they scheduled a hearing about a month from the date of the complaint. The tricky part is often getting service on the defendant. The court typically will send the complaint to the defendant by certified mail, return receipt requested. However, the problem is that a lot of people refuse to pick up certified mail because it always means bad things for them. If the defendant does not pick up the certified mail, it means that you must get personal service on him. That means paying an additional fee to have a constable serve the complaint. Once the defendant is served and there is a firm court date, you show up for the hearing. Typically a list of cases is scheduled for the same time, and the Justice of the Peace (or District Justice) calls them in order and hears cases of people who show up. You have a chance to present your case, show estimates of how much it costs for repair of the car, and question your own witnesses. The defendant may take the stand if he wants to and can call his own witnesses. In a lot of cases, the defendant does not show up, and you will receive a default judgment. After you receive the judgment, you can go over to the Prothonotary's Office and record the judgment. The bad thing is that the defendant can appeal the judgment, and you will have to file a complaint "de novo" with the Court of Common Pleas (County Court) and if you do not, your judgment from small claims court is worthless. If he does not file an appeal within the time limit, the judgment is of record and is a lien against any real estate he owns. You can, if you want, get a writ of execution and have his bank accounts seized, have some of his household stuff seized and sold at a judicial auction, etc. Also, you should be aware that if this guy has a judgment against him for an auto accident, Pennsylvania's financial responsibility laws permit you to have his license to drive revoked.
Allerick Originally Answered: Have you other been to small claims court?
Be aware that a lot of small claims courts have volunteer attorneys serving as judges, rather than full-time judges appointed by the Governor. These volunteer lawyers are qualified to hear the case, but judging is not their full-time discipline within the legal profession. If the other person doesn't show, you'll have to provide a very brief description of the accident, provide some written proof of your damages, and you'll get your judgment. If they do show, you'll have to offer a more detailed version of events and respond to their evidence and claims. Be clear, direct, and succinct. Have as much written evidence to back up your claims as you can gather. Good luck!

Taylor Taylor
You go to the court website for your state...drill down to small claims, find the form to file a claim. You need to initiate the claim, pay a deputy or process server to serve the other person with the papers...then you get a court date. No lawyers allowed. Only the two people involved and any witnesses. Bring your contract...then you two argue it out for the judge. The judge says if you win or lose. Here is the bad part though. If you win...the court will file a judgement against the guy telling him he has to pay. BUT...they don't enforce it. Nobody does. It means jack. It's the truth. I am very sorry,but your money is gone. I tell people again and again...don't lend money you can't afford to lose. You tried very hard with the contract, I respect that...but the money is gone.
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Robynne Robynne
Your local court should have a guide to small claims. If he doesn't have sufficient assets or income to pay you, it could be a long time before you collect anything, even if you win. Generally speaking, you need to be ready for personal loans to end up as "gifts." You also probably shouldn't expect rapid repayment, even if they can pay. In the future, let someone use their credit cards, borrow from family, get a work advance, etc. They can give you collateral, too. If someone needs $3500, I'd be darn sure they'll really have ability to pay it right back, and that it's just some temporary thing. If they were going to make payments of $100/month, that sounds like you knew they weren't really going to have the ability to pay you back anything right away.
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Robynne Originally Answered: Should I Take My Mom To Small Claims Court?
In order to clear your credit report (which is probably severely damaged at this point) and not have a bad credit score following you for years, damaging your chances to rent an apartment, buy a car or in some cases, even get a job (many employers run credit checks), you will have to file fraud/identity theft charges against your mother. If convicted, the credit bureaus will be compelled to correct your credit reports and that will fix your credit score. A simple dispute will not work because the bills *were* established in your name and that's all the bureaus care about. However, if informed that the bills were incurred due to identity theft and you have the court papers to prove it, they will remove the items from your reports. This is primarily a criminal matter, not a civil one, although you may be able to recover some type of damages in small claims court due to the damage to your credit score. Since you did not actually pay these bills, the courts cannot award you restitution for them. More steps to take here: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/id...

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