Many people think a contract is necessary to recover money you’re owed. Litigation attorney Robert Harper will discuss how it’s possible to recoup money you’re owed, yes, even if you don’t have anything in writing.
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Good morning everyone, my name is Robert Harper. I’m a litigation attorney here at Robinson and Henry.
I wanted to quickly go over the situation where you have given someone money, and potentially there’s no contract.
I’ve talked to a lot of people outside in the real world that think that if there’s no contract then there’s no way to get your money back.
So I wanted to go over a quick little story that I’ve had experience with.
Real World Story: Recover Money You’re Owed
A previous client of mine. He had a lease to option house and he was trying to get a loan for that house.
In the meantime, in assuming that he was gonna get that loan to buy the house, he did massive massive modifications and upgrades to the house.
Did a lot of the backyard work, he did all the foundational work, all the structural work. Really upgraded the house.
Unfortunately, as you probably predicted, that loan did not go through, and now the land owner is trying to sell the house.
So unfortunately there was no contract. So what do you do in that type of situation? Well you’re not out of luck.
Options to Collect Without a Contract
So, generally, the law affords a combination of both tort claim as well as a contract claim to bring what’s known as the equitable doctrine of unjust enrichment.
Basically what that means is, is that the court will do an extensive dive into the facts. Basically, the elements are the defendant retained a benefit at your expense and it would be just simply unjust that the defendant would retain that benefit without compensation to you. So if you’re in this type of situation all is not lost.