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What is money lent?

Money lent refers to a legal claim for repayment of a loan, either express or implied, that arises when one party provides money to another with the expectation of repayment. In Florida business litigation, money lent can be relevant in disputes involving contracts, loans, and other financial transactions.

Money lent claims are governed by common law principles or statutory provisions such as the Uniform Commercial Code. To establish a claim for money lent under Florida law, the claimant must prove that they lent money to the defendant, the defendant agreed to repay the loan, and the defendant failed to repay the loan as agreed.

Examples of claims for money lent under Florida law include loaning money to another person for a specific purpose or paying a vendor in advance to provide services and the recipient failing to repay as agreed.

Need help with a potential money paid situation? Schedule your consultation today with a top business litigation attorney.

What measures must a borrower take to avoid claims for money lent?

A borrower must take several measures to avoid a lawsuit for money lent. These measures include creating a written agreement that outlines the loan terms, including the loan amount, the interest rate, and the repayment period. The borrower should also ensure they have the funds to repay the loan and make payments on time. If the borrower cannot make payments on time, they should contact the lender to make alternative arrangements.

As a borrower, it is crucial to understand the terms of the loan and take measures to avoid disputes with the lender. By creating a written agreement, having the funds to repay the loan, and making timely payments, borrowers can avoid lawsuits for money lent.

What are common disputes regarding money lent that lead to litigation?

The following disputes are among the most common to the money lent cause of action:

  • The existence of a loan: The plaintiff and defendant will likely disagree about whether the parties intended the money to be a loan. The defendant could argue the plaintiff intended to give the money as a gift.
  • Validity of the Contract: A valid contract is an essential element of a money lent cause of action. If there is no written agreement or if the terms of the loan are unclear, the defendant may challenge the contract’s validity.
  • Terms of Repayment: The terms of repayment, including the interest rate and the payment schedule, should be clearly stated in the contract. Any deviations from these terms may give rise to a dispute.

Which Florida laws relate to money lent?

In Florida, the laws related to the money lent cause of action are primarily established by case law, as no specific statute governs money lent. However, one statute important to the cause of action is Fla. Stat. § 95.11, which specifies that the statute of limitations for money lent is four years.

There are not many court cases addressing money lent in Florida. However, Florida judges have granted the cause of action in a couple of situations:

  • A bank loan (Edmonson v. Masters, 2021 Fla. Cir. LEXIS 3118)
  • A personal loan between family members (Sun Bank/Miami, N.A. v. Saewitz, 579 So.2d 255 (Fla. 3d. DCA 1991))

What is required to prove a case of money lent in Florida?

To prove a cause of action for money lent, the plaintiff must show the following:

  • The plaintiff delivered money to the defendant;
  • The money was intended as a loan; and
  • The defendant has not repaid the money.

When a set of facts is appropriate to meet the requirements of money lent, there are many paths a claimant may take. We are value-based attorneys at Jimerson Birr, which means we look at each action with our clients from the point of view of costs and benefits while reducing liability. Then, based on our client’s objectives, we chart a path forward to seek appropriate remedies, such as:

  • Money Damages: The most common remedy in a money lent cause of action is a monetary award to the lender for the amount of the loan, plus any interest owed and other costs associated with attempting to collect the debt.
  • Specific Performance: In some cases, the lender may seek a court order requiring the borrower to repay the loan according to the terms of the contract. This remedy is known as specific performance.
  • Equitable Remedies: In addition to monetary damages and specific performance, a court may order other equitable remedies, such as an injunction preventing the borrower from transferring assets or using funds in a particular way.
  • Attorney’s Fees and Costs: In some cases, a prevailing lender in a money lent cause of action may be entitled to recover their attorney’s fees and costs associated with the litigation.

To see what actions may be available for your unique situation, please contact our office to set up your initial consultation.

What are common defenses to money lent in Florida?

The primary defenses to money lent in Florida include:

  • Gift or another gratuity: The defendant could argue that the money was a gift or gratuity, not a loan. Because a loan is one of the elements to prove this cause of action, this would defeat the claim if true. While this may be difficult in official contracts with financial institutions, the defendant could present evidence like conversations or documents indicating that the plaintiff did not expect repayment.
  • Payment: If the defendant can show that the defendant repaid the loan, the plaintiff no longer has a valid claim.
  • Statute of Frauds: Certain contracts must be in writing to be legally valid. If the contract that the plaintiff is basing the claim on does not correctly follow the statute of frauds, the defendant might be able to claim the lawsuit cannot go forward.
  • Statute of Limitations: The statute of limitations for the money lent cause of action is four years. The defendant might be able to claim the plaintiff waited too long to file the lawsuit if more than four years have passed since the alleged conduct.

To see what defenses may be available for your unique situation, please contact our office to set up your initial consultation.

Have more questions about a money lent-related situation?

Crucially, this overview of money lent does not begin to cover all the laws implicated by this issue or the factors that may compel the application of such laws. Every case is unique, and the laws can produce different outcomes depending on the individual circumstances.

Jimerson Birr attorneys guide our clients to help make informed decisions while ensuring their rights are respected and protected. Our lawyers are highly trained and experienced in the nuances of the law, so they can accurately interpret statutes and case law and holistically prepare individuals or companies for their legal endeavors. Through this intense personal investment and advocacy, our lawyers will help resolve the issue’s complicated legal problems efficiently and effectively.

Having a Jimerson Birr attorney on your side means securing a team of seasoned, multi-dimensional, cross-functional legal professionals. Whether it is a transaction, an operational issue, a regulatory challenge, or a contested legal predicament that may require court intervention, we remain a tireless advocate every step of the way. Being a value-added law firm means putting the client at the forefront of everything we do. We use our experience to help our clients navigate even the most complex problems and come out the other side triumphant.

If you want to understand your case, the merits of your claim or defense, potential monetary awards, or the amount of exposure you face, you should speak with a qualified Jimerson Birr lawyer. Our experienced team of attorneys is here to help. Call Jimerson Birr at (904) 389-0050 or use the contact form to set up a consultation.

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