In 2009 my father gave me $65,000 to purchase a home in Pittsburgh PA. I am now in the middle of selling my home and when my father found out he said the money had been a loan, and that he wants it all back as soon as I close on the house. I never signed anything saying this was a loan nor did we ever discuss it being a loan or talk about making payment arrangements to pay it back. My father was also not on the deed to the house. He had told me that when he wired the money to our bank account he put a note on the transfer saying this money was a loan. I called my bank however and had them look up the transaction, and was told there was no such note attached to it. My question is, is he entitled to this money or is it legally mine?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Not to be snarky, but you will not be invited to Thanksgiving dinner if you don't pay it back.
There is way more going on here than you describe. This sounds like a gift, but .... What, if anything was said at the time the money changed hands? Why does your father want repaid now? Does he need the money? Did you have a falling out with him?
Something is going on here. Personally, this is your dad. If he needs the help, then help him. If he is being a jerk, then I think on principle I would repay him and then tell him that given his actions, you want nothing further to do with him and I would make that happen. I would not let him see your kids if you have any now or in the future. I would treat him as if he was dead and let him realize his mistakes if he has any decency.
If you can't afford it, then sell the house, keep the money and tell him to go take a jump in the lake. A gift is a gift. If there is nothing in writing to establish this was a loan, then he can try to sue but he will not get very far. Nobody loans that kind of money without getting a promissory note. I would get a copy of that check he gave you and hang on to that as evidence. I would also get a notarized statement from the bank indicating there was no note attached (it would not have been attached anyway as the bank would not have know what to do with it).