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Ex-Girlfriend in Poland and Personal Debt

4 Oct 2016 #1
Hey guys,

I had a long-term relationship with a girl in Poland. We agreed to pay 50% each for the cost of living together and also 50% of the costs of me relocating there for months at a time from New Zealand.

She was having a rough time financially, so I put in more money initially and the agreement was that she would pay me back sums of money so the figures would eventually reflect 50/50.

I have records of everything we spent and even emailed those details to her each and every time.

We broke up and she has written to me, admitting she owes me money. But her sister has told me that my now ex-girlfriend says she owes me nothing. A friend of hers also said that my ex said she owes nothing to me.

What sort of process can I go through to recoup this money? It's a very large sum (between $5,000 and $10,000/15,000zl and 30,000zl) and I have ample evidence about what was spent and multiple admissions from her about the fact that she owes me money.
Atch 22 | 4,120
4 Oct 2016 #2
I have records of everything we spent

Everything? Do you mean major items like rent and any other purchases like tv or computer? Or do you mean food etc. That sounds a bit much. I mean you wouldn't really expect somebody to pay you back half the grocery bills or money you'd given her to buy clothes, would you??

There are Polish lawyers who specialise in debt recovery but to be honest your chances of getting the money back are slim and of course you'd have to pay the lawyer for their services. She may agree she owes you money but she never signed any agreement with you or had an official loan from you. 15-30,000 zł is a huge amount of money for the average Polish person and if your girlfriend was having trouble just meeting basic living costs when you were living together.......well, need I say more. The best that you'll be able to do, even if it goes to court, is get her to agree a certain amount per month. It could conceivably take her years to pay you back.

Officially she doesn't really owe you anything Simon. She was your girlfriend, you had money, she didn't, you supported her financially. That's kind of a normal thing to do when you're a couple. It's also normal even just with ordinary friendships or with family, for people to say 'I"ll pay you back when I get on my feet' and they don't. That's just life. If you had remained together and maybe got married, would you still expect her to pay you back? I think you should just let it go and get on with your life. My own view on lending people money, is, don't. If someone needs help and you want to help them, give it as a gift and don't expect to be repaid.
terri 1 | 1,663
4 Oct 2016 #3
Do you have a signed and sealed (i.e. by a solicitor/notariusz) document saying that from such a date everything will be split 50/50? If you do not have this then your chances of getting any money are ZERO. You should not have given her a penny/zloty....Learn from your experience.
DominicB - | 2,707
4 Oct 2016 #4
Agree. "A verbal agreement isn't worth the paper it's printed on", so the saying goes. Without a written agreement, you will not be able to recover anything, regardless of what other records you may have. Even her admission doesn't mean very much without a loan agreement in writing. Your case will be dismissed even before it is heard, and you'll just be chasing good money after bad by hiring a lawyer.

Just consider it tuition in the school of hard knocks. Next time, you'll know better. This time, though, you're out a good amount of cash. Live and learn.
7 Oct 2016 #5
Agreed. There is literally nothing here you can do by any local or international law. Live and learn. Here's the lesson: anyone who lacks the integrity to ask for/take money cannot be trusted to show the integrity to pay it back. No way round it. But hindsight, I admit, is 20-20.
mafketis 37 | 10,860
7 Oct 2016 #6
But her sister has told me that my now ex-girlfriend says she owes me nothing

That is by far the most common attitude of Polish women after a breakup. Even if there are signed agreements they will simple ignore them, assuming you cannot collect on them, especially if they are in Poland and the man isn't (or is a foreigner who doesn't know how the legal system works).

Between romantic partners "I'll pay you back" usually means "thanks for spending this on me! don't expect any of it back.... ever!"

(nb, no, this is not knowledge from personal experience but I've seen the scenario play out a few times)
terri 1 | 1,663
7 Oct 2016 #7
Next time do not spend any money on your girlfriend and see how long she stays with you. It was suppose to be 'for love', but what she meant was ' when you run out of money, I walk.' Your own fault for being sucked in by a pretty face and a promise.....

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