Getting money from an ex-roommate through a small claims court

Posted:
in AppleOutsider edited July 2014
My ex-roommate owes me $750 for rent/bills that occurred during a five-month span. I have talked to his parents about this and they promised they would pay me back and it has now been three months and I have not received anything and they hardly ever return my phone calls.



My question about going through the small claims court is whether it's worth doing even if that ex-roommate was never on the lease? I basically only have my landlord, my other roommate and friends close to this situation that could support my claim. Would this be enough evidence to win this suit? I have all of our bills saved and my roommate and I have split it up three ways and that is how we have concluded the sum of $750 to be paid back to me.



Is this worth filing a claim even if there is no record of him being on our lease? The school has records of him living at this address and we also still get some of his mail but would this be enough?



Thanks in advance
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    dmzdmz Posts: 5,775member
    It's a sunk cost -- just walk away.



    You'll never recover the value of what you have lost when you consider the time it will take to get it, with respect to simply working at whatever job you might have, and taking away gas/mile/hours from you would be doing ordinarily.



    Think on the margins -- can you make $x an hour getting back what's gone?
  • Reply 2 of 23
    don't do it, court can just make things worse. Just keep annoying the hell out of them
  • Reply 3 of 23
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TravisReynolds View Post


    don't do it, court can just make things worse. Just keep annoying the hell out of them



    I tried the annoying them routine by calling to their house/cell phone every night but I think it only made things worse.
  • Reply 4 of 23
    Perhaps you can sell the debt onto a debt collection agency?
  • Reply 5 of 23
    mydomydo Posts: 1,888member
    I say go for it. Small claims court it small time stuff. If he doesn't show the judge may find in your favor. If he does then he has to answer to the judge.



    You may not be able to get the money now but with a court order you could get a lean put on him. Then if we wanted to get a loan to buy a car or a house (some day) the lean would show up on the credit report. He'd have to pay you to get it removed.
  • Reply 6 of 23
    have you ever seen yes dear?



    You need to send them.. a VERRY angry letter haha
  • Reply 7 of 23
    Well I went ahead and submitted the claim. I will keep this updated for those of you who are interested or for those who may need some advice if they ever come across the same situation
  • Reply 8 of 23
    mydomydo Posts: 1,888member
    We have a member that owns property that he rents out. I'm sure he could give you the ins and outs. I can't remember who that is.
  • Reply 9 of 23
    can you take more money than what he owns you?
  • Reply 10 of 23
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TravisReynolds View Post


    can you take more money than what he owns you?



    In the paperwork for the claim, it asks for the amount that you're requesting and it gives you the option to include the fee for filing a small claim, which in my case is $87
  • Reply 11 of 23
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,461member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mydo View Post


    We have a member that owns property that he rents out. I'm sure he could give you the ins and outs. I can't remember who that is.



    I've gotten several judgments against tenants in court. They don't really yield any money because all the judgment really gives you is the legal right to pursue the money. I might look into some of those judgments again right after April though. There is one means of enforcing it where you can go to the bank and have hte money taken right out of their account. The problem is you have to know the checking account number which can change.



    Fun to watch them squirm in court though.
  • Reply 12 of 23
    dmzdmz Posts: 5,775member
    This just happened, thought I'd post it.



    I just went to Fred Meyers, bought some groceries, and got $20 over -- except checker forgot to give me the 20.



    Now I can blow the half hour it takes to go and get my $20, and lose time on a rush job whose hourly rate is more than $40 an hour (.5 * <$40 = <$20), or I can keep working, come out ahead, and learn to be more careful.





    fuggataboutit
  • Reply 13 of 23
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,061member
    I say filing the claim is definitely the right thing. Or I can talk to my friend for you. He's going at getting people to do things
  • Reply 14 of 23
    evanessevaness Posts: 24member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post


    I say filing the claim is definitely the right thing. Or I can talk to my friend for you. He's going at getting people to do things



    Instead of The Sopranos route you could try Judge Judy or one of the other small claims court shows. According to Wikipedia, they pay the judgment: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judge_Judy#Structure (I always wondered why people would subject themselves to such public abuse).



    I sued a landlord once, won and never collected a dime. You need to spend money to collect it; small claims courts probably work well for companies big enough to hire the collections help they need, or maintain in-house staff to do that work. For the rest of us I think they're pretty much an anachronism, dating back to the days when there was some sense of honor in daily business affairs.
  • Reply 15 of 23
    I'm pretty sure that if he's not on the lease, and you guys don't have a written agreement between you, he's not liable to pay rent. But who knows.
  • Reply 16 of 23
    detailsdetails Posts: 65member
    Judge Judy FTW!
  • Reply 17 of 23


    hey so its a small question but...can i take my roommate to small claim's court for 70 dollars if i have her info from the signed lease alone? She left and refuses to pay me the amount she owes for the electric bill can i go after her even if her name isn't on the electric bill??? Any info would help..i want to way all my options...and does anybody know how much it costs to file a claim??

  • Reply 18 of 23
    mysticmystic Posts: 514member


    Just go over to his new place and take his TV. Tell him he can have it back when he pays you.

  • Reply 19 of 23


    Originally Posted by Mystic View Post

    Just go over to his new place and take his TV. Tell him he can have it back when he pays you.




    This doesn't seem like a very good (read: legal) idea.

  • Reply 20 of 23
    mysticmystic Posts: 514member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post




    This doesn't seem like a very good (read: legal) idea.



    It will however work. I'm suggesting taking his things while he is there too. Tell him he's a baby and you are going to treat him like one. Then take his stuff, for collateral.

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