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VISA Q and A on FM COCOLO 76.5 MHz
Getting back money you lent your friend
On Aired Data: November 20, 2001
Summary of
the Aired


He lent 200,000yen to a friend A, and 450,000yen to a friend B. He has a written consent that says, "The money will be paid back every month without any
deposit." Unfortunately, neither of them has paid me back yet.

What can I do to get my money back?
My friends tell me that this is not a criminal crime, but would the police help me?
A and B are both legally staying in Japan. I have proof because I have hired a professional translator to translate the consent into Japanese. Also, recently I have sent a letter to both of them, telling them they must pay me back, and I have a confirmation from the post office that they both have received my mail.
What should I do next?

Unfortunately the police cannot help our client because in this case the client handed the money to his friends. If this person had no intention of lending any money, but his friends took it from him, that would be robbery and a case for the police to handle. But our client's case, where it is not a robbery, the case will be considered a civil case.

A good way to handle the case is to take it to court. Our client has the written consent signed by his friends, which is evidence to prove that they have borrowed money from him. Also, our client has proof that he has sent a letter to them informing them to pay him back. This is also evidence that our client has asked them to pay him back, but his friends are just not responding.

Since this case concerns only a small amount of money, he should visit the summary court, which covers his friend's residence. There, he should go on to the procedure of pressing a person to pay his debts (Tokusoku Tetsuzuki).

In this procedure, the person who lent the money will hand in a "Shiharai Meirei Moushitate-sho". This document is a request for the court to order the person who borrowed the money to pay back to their lender. If the person who receives this order does not make any appeal, it is considered to have the same power as a judgment that was given in trial.

In an ordinary trial, a plaintiff and a defendant give their say about a case in front of the judge and a judgment is made. But in this case, all you need to do is hand in documents demanding that you want your money back. Again, as long as recipient has no appeal against the documents, it is considered to have the same power as a judgment that was given in a trial. Should the recipient choose to make an appeal, the case will be taken to court. But in this case, our client has enough evidence to prove that he is right, so he should have no fear in losing the case.

Normally, when one receives this order, they will pay their debts. But some people still go on ingnoring it. If this were the case, the next step would be the compulsory execution. This would mean that the bank account of the recipient would be distrained, as well as all other assets he/she owns. Still, if the recipient does not pay his debts, all his/her assets that has been distrained will be put up in an auction, and the money made at the auction will be used to pay the debts.

If the amount of the debt is under 300,000yen, there is another way to deal with this case. It is called the "Shougaku Soshou Seido". The plaintiff will have to report to the summary court, which covers the defendant's residence. After suing, one will have to wait about a month for the trial. But as soon as the trial is set, the trial itself should take no longer than 1 to 2 hours. The reason for why one has to wait a month for the trial is that first, you have to wait until the defendant has received the documents. Also, basically this type of trial is scheduled to end in one day. And for it to be done in one day, all the necessary evidence have to be handed in to the court before the trial.

Even after this trial, should the defendant choose to not pay the debts, the court has the right to distrain all the assets of his/hers.