Someone Owes You Money
|Update: This page is in the process of being updated and the content is not to relied on. To access this booklet in the meantime, see the PDF version at www.publiclegaled.bc.ca/uploads/89/14/8914c4c79476887bebdc9461b3726fa3/English_Consumer-Law_2011.pdf|
Suppose you loaned someone an amount of money. They promised to pay the debt within three months. But they did not pay the debt. You want your money. What can you do? This section of the booklet looks at what you can do to try to collect on a debt.
How do I write a demand letter?
You can write a “demand letter.” A demand letter is a letter that says how much the person owes you and tells them they must pay you.for example, a demand letter about a loan can say something like this:
I am writing about a loan I made you of (insert amount) on (insert date of loan) for (insert purpose of loan). Our agreement was that you would pay this loan in full by (insert date of repayment). To date, you have not made any payments. It has now been (insert number of days) since the loan was due.The full amount of (insert amount) is now due.If I do not receive payment in full by (give a date), I will take legal action to recover the amount of the loan, as well as interest, filing fees, and any other costs.If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (your phone number).
You can write a demand letter yourself. Or you can ask a lawyer to write a demand letter. A demand letter, sent on the lawyer’s letterhead, is often very effective.If a demand letter does not work, you may need to go to court.
When do I go to court?
You can go to Small Claims Court if the debt someone owes you is for $25,000 or less.If the debt or owes you more than the $25,000 limit, for example $28,000, you can make a claim for $25,000 plus some contribution for your expenses.
Small Claims Court is for people who do not have a lawyer. There are Small Claims courts located throughout the province.
To find out how to make a claim in Small Claims Court, go to Clicklaw, online at www.clicklawbc.ca. Type “Small Claims” in the search box. The site links you to a video about Small Claims court, available in Chinese, Punjabi, Vietnamese and English.
To collect more than $25,000, you have to go to BC’s Supreme Court. This is much more complicated and expensive than Small Claims Court.
To find out how to make a claim in Supreme Court, go to www.clicklawbc.ca, and type in “Supreme Court” in the search box.
If you are in the Lower Mainland, you may wish to visit the Vancouver Justice Access Centre. At the Centre, staff can give you information about BC’s Supreme Court.
The Justice Access Center is located at #290-800 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z2C5
Operating hours are: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.