Unjust enrichment (if you lent money to someone)

Unjust enrichment can be applicable if you lent money to someone and he doesn’t want to return it. This is a very common case in Spain and we receive many queries regarding this:

“I assisted my father in the purchase of a Spanish Property.  I initially loaned him the sum of 30,000 euros to assist him on the basis that if he sold the property, he would reimburse me.  There was a falling out and it now transpires that he sold this property and purchased another apartment. Now, my father says that: “as soon as the market allows, no one will be more pleased than me, to sell the property and conclude this matter.”  I want my loan back. I hold receipts from the Spanish bank amounting to 30,000 euros”.

The type of case we should deal with is a  “claim for unjust enrichment” (in Spain it is called enriquecimiento sin causa o injusto). We have had many cases like this; it is very common between families. Someone makes a loan with good will and then he/she never receives the money back.

For claiming the loan back, we will only have to prove that the money reached your father’s bank account. In Spain, a loan can be never considered a donation, if someone receives a donation, it has to be declared as such.

So normally, if someone receives money from another one, it is considered a loan and it has to be returned.

If you lent money to someone without a signed loan agreement, you will be able to claim the loan back if you have evidence of the funds transferred to the borrower’s bank account.

If you need more information about unjust enrichment in Spain, you can  go to enriquecimiento injusto