If you lend money to a friend, neighbour, or even someone from your church, you deserve to get it back. Here’s some great legal and practical advice from Scorpion Legal Protection to make sure you’re not taken advantage of.
Lending money to someone means that you have the intention of getting the money back. The best legal advice we can give is that when you lend someone money, you make sure that you have a signed acknowledgement of debt in place.
This written agreement should include:
- The name of the lender
- The name of the borrower
- The amount you are lending
- The date the money must be paid back (or dates if you have agreed on being paid in instalments and then also when the last instalment will be paid)
- The date when the acknowledgement was signed
- Confirmation/signature by both parties
If you make a verbal agreement, make sure there is also a reliable witness present. We strongly suggest you sign a written agreement as well though because dealing with ‘he said, she said’ can be tricky and tough to prove.
It is very important to note that you cannot charge interest when you lend money. Only a financial services provider like a bank can do this.
- If the amount you lend is less than R15 000, and the person you gave it to does not pay, you can take them to the Small Claims Court. The Small Claims Court is free to the public. You are not allowed legal representation in the Small Claims Court.
- Don’t wait too late! If the person you lent money to has not paid you back three years after the agreed upon pay-back date, legally you could lose the right to claim back your money.
Note: This is not financial advice. This is basic legal advice that should not be relied on solely.
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