How to Get Someone to Return Something

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During your relationships with others, sometimes, personal items, including money, clothes, jewelry, furniture, a vehicle or even the deed to a property, change hands. Getting someone to return something starts with asking for whatever it is that is owed. The longer it takes for your friend or coworker to return something he has borrowed, the more uncomfortable you may begin to feel, especially if the item is of great value to you. If you encounter difficulties in getting back your property, you may have to get legal assistance.

Step 1

Put your request in writing. Write a letter, send a text message or an email, suggests finance journalist, Catherine New, in her article, "5 Reasons Your Friends Won't Pay Back That Money You Lent Them." Include details of what is owed, all the attempts you've made to get it back, when and how you would like it returned and what action you will take if this person does not comply with your requests. This will be especially necessary if you cannot make more direct contact with the person who owes you. Writing out the details also means that you will have physical proof of what is owed and to show that you've made attempts to get back what belongs to you.

Step 2

Get the help of a mediator. Power comes from getting someone else to be with you when you communicate with the one who owes you. A mediator can also speak with the other person concerned with or without your being present. This person could be your close and trusted friend, family member or a lawyer. For example, your attorney can send a formal dated letter asking the person who owes you to return your property, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration in "Getting Stiffed: What Can You Do?"

Step 3

File an official complaint. This is best done through the district court in the area in which you live or where the owed property is to be found. You can either make a small claims suit or file a "Complaint for Summary Proceeding to Recover Personal Property." These are the two easiest ways to get any results using the legal system to regain something owed, according to Pine Tree Legal Assistance in "How to Get Your Property Back From Your Landlord."