A few years back I borrowed money from a friend of mine, payable with interest six months down the line. When the payment date came, I went to him but he refused to take the money for unclear reasons. At first, it seemed like a friendly gesture, but then it did not seem to be so. I continued to pursue him to take his money as it was payable under the agreement, but he did not accept the funds. He then travelled, and has recently returned. He has now filed a suit against me in Court claiming the principal sum, interest, penal interest and mesne profit for loss of gainful use of the money due to the delay and/or failure to pay him, which is untrue. The interest claimed under the suit is three times the principal. Upon investigation, I have found out that it was his strategy not to accept the payment from me, so that he can claim additional interest. How do I go about this matter? The money was always there for him to receive, but he refused. Is there a need for me to pay now?
5 March 2012
This is the first time we are hearing that a creditor refuses to receive sums under a loan agreement especially if the sums being paid back include the interest. We answer this question on the basis that you are not hiding any material facts from us.
Generally, refusal by the creditor to receive money does not discharge the debtor from the obligation to pay the debt. This is because the debt is not extinguished by the mere refusal. It is the debtor’s duty to look for the creditor and pay back the debt, which seems to be what you did. If the creditor will not take payment when tendered, the debtor must nevertheless continue to be ready and willing to pay the debt.
Your defence should encompass all that you have said above, including the fact that you have always been ready to pay the debt save for the creditor not accepting it. During the trial, you will have to adduce evidence to that effect.
As for the need of paying now, it is unlikely that he will receive the funds now. If you are hinting to us that with the suit the debt is extinguished, please be informed that, that is not the case. You must still be prepared to pay the original sum, including the interest that was due at the original time. Should you be successful, you will be required to make the payments as per the original plan. You may also be entitled to costs of suit.
We also suggest that you once again recheck your facts. We find some of them very hard to believe.