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October 28, 2017


UAE legal Q&As: Friend refused my goodwill gesture over loan but now says he won’t pay

Question: A friend owes me money and I took pity on him and emailed him to say that I didn’t want it back. However, he felt offended and replied insisting that he would give me it back and that he is not ready to accept any waiver of my rights. Later on, when I requested the money from him he changed his mind and said that before you waived your right to the money and I will not pay you. I felt really upset and disappointed at his behaviour and I feel like I want to sue him. Would I still be able to do that?

Answer: Yes, you certainly can. You have the right to file a claim based on article 469 of UAE civil law 5 of 1985 and its amendments, which details that, although the waiver does not need to be accepted by the receiver to be valid, if the receiver rejects it, then it is considered cancelled. If you do decide to sue, you should show the court the email where he rejected you waiving your rights to the money.

Question: A company owes my business money due to commercial transactions and they keep responding to emails promising to pay, the last of which was a few months back. I haven’t sued them because of their promises but, now, after such a long time, I sent them another email, which was ignored, so I called them and they said that the debt is now more than two years old, so I cannot file a case over it in court. Is this true? What can I do?

Answer: As general rule, with commercial debts like this, they are right, it can’t be claimed if the case was not registered within two years. However, the law offers some flexibility in cases like yours, where the debtor is always promising to pay as a tactic to merely waste time. In such cases the law gives you the right to file your case within two years from the last admission of debt or promise to pay from them. This is stipulated in article 483 of law 5 of 1985.

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