Thank you

Thank you.

Legal advice is worth what you pay for it, but I’m an attorney and you asked for free advice so here goes.

First, you said you didn’t want moral advice but I can’t help it. What you’re talking about doing is really crappy. Your friend loans you money and sets you up with an apartment and you want to abandon it without giving notice, paying the utilities (and rent?) or repaying the loan. That’s a really shitty thing to do, and your perception that he doesn’t need the money is bullshit. Who are you to judge whether he needs money that is legally owed to him? You lied and stole his money.

But as for the legal questions, you can be sued in Canada, the US, Iraq, Iran or Afghanistan. Anyone can sue anyone where there is a court. The question is whether he can win the lawsuit. Does he have legal grounds and standing? In Canada probably not. In Taiwan definitely. Can he collect a Taiwan judgement in Canada? Probably but it will probably not be worthwhile for such a small sum.

So if you really want to screw him over you can probably get away with it without legal repercussions. But why don’t you think about doing the right thing and paying him the money that is owed? Eventually it’s good to grow up and learn to act responsibly. Why not start now?

Sorry to chime with moral advice, but that is clearly the answer here. You should pay what you owe, even if it pains you to do it now that you’ve had a falling out. He lent the money out of the good generosity of the friendship that once existed, and how are you repaying that generosity?

I’m not a lawyer but…Regarding jurisdiction, I don’t see why he couldn’t sue and win in Canada. If you lent money to a friend while traveling on vacation in a foreign country, couldn’t you still sue to get the money back? Or else the country in which you were temporarily traveling would have jurisdiction? Seems unreasonable to me. Since you’re both Canadians and both back in Canada, I don’t see why a court couldn’t interpret things this way. The real estate contract with the landlord, well that’s a whole other issue that is in Taiwan jurisdiction most likely. But it seems to me you could get successfully sued for the loan part.

And of course, if the court decides that you do owe him the money you may be liable for his collection costs. So as well as what you owe him you could also have to pay a debt collector to fly from TW to Canada to get the money from you.

Serve you right too.

I can’t help it… Beware of lawyers giving out moral advice !

He will win his suit here. He probably will not bother to sue in Canada. Very few collection agencies will bother to try and enforce a Taiwanese judgement in Canada. If they do, you could make it a very long and expensive process for him.

Guys, perhaps the poster has good reason to bail out on this other guy. He did specifically ask for no moral advice.

Billy, do you have a job in Canada? If not, I’d like to offer you a position in my company as manager of office supplies. We’re doing quite well right now and you seem like just the kind of key to trust the keys with.

As a matter of interest, can you sue in Taiwan over a loan made orally (no paper)?


I’m glad you referred to a spoken contract as an oral one. So many people refer to them as verbal contracts. While verbal would be technically correct, oral is a much better description as verbal simply means in words, either spoken or written. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense when people commonly say, “there was no written contract, it was just a verbal agreement.” On the other hand, oral contract refers specifically to spoken agreements.

To belabor that point slightly further, in some cases it might make sense to ask, “was there a verbal agreement,” because a contract need not be written or spoken to be enforceable (in most jurisdictions). An “implied contract” can be created based on the parties actions, and it could be enforceable even though there is no verbal agreement.

But, to answer your question, unless a law or the parties to an agreement require to the contrary, oral contracts are enforceable in Taiwan. Civil Code section 153 says simply (as translated), “A contract is concluded when the parties have reciprocally declared expressly or tacitly their respective intentions.” Of course, it is always good practice to put important agreements in writing in the event one party may later choose to deny the existence or the terms of the agreement.

“An oral contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”
– Former Supreme Justice of the New York Yankees, the Honorable Yogi Berra