Debt enforcement law: I lent money to my best friend without signing a contract. How do I get my money back?

Loans in a close relationship, whether between friends or family, can cause difficulties if they are not repaid.

Your best friend doesn’t pay you back? We explain what to do. 

The importance of dialogue:

Your best friend owes you money and hasn’t paid you back yet. Before taking legal action, Lawrence advises you to talk to him. After all, this is your best friend we’re talking about! It’s true that this is a sensitive issue for all friends, but honesty and clarity are the best way to reach an agreement. Dialogue will allow you to set a time limit and come to an agreement without going through the “prosecution phase”. 

No one wants to oppose their best friend in a legal proceeding!


The contract:

The absence of a contract does not remove the legal obligation to repay a loan! Indeed, without a contract, or a clearly stated repayment deadline, the creditor can denunciate the loan. All you have to do is send a registered letter declaring the denunciation of the loan and a clear request for repayment. 

The debtor will have 6 weeks to make a repayment. This period can be agreed otherwise by the parties. 

If your friend does not pay you back within this period, you can send him/her a formal notice. This act will officially oblige him to repay the debt to you. 

The formal notice is the last step before legal action is taken.

Please note that the creditor can claim damages from the debtor for “late performance”. 

If the debtor ignores the formal notice, the creditor can send him an order to pay via the Cantonal Debt Enforcement Office, initiating the legal proceedings.


We therefore advise you to give priority to negotiation in your relationship by clarifying loan situations as early as possible. It is very important to establish a payment deadline. 

Of course, small repairs between friends must continue to exist, without you being automatically suspicious!

Lawrence answers all your questions and helps you get your money back!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.