“Aired Dfkm”: How To Collect Your Debt Legally In Nigeria

September 7, 2021

Nigeria is tough and the people who refuse to pay up their debt don’t make living here any easier. If you’ve been aired or blocked by someone you lent money to, here’s a guide on how you can legally get your money back.

The first thing you need to know is that if anyone in Nigeria owes you a debt, you have to act fast. If you try to get the money through a law court after six years, the court won’t answer you — and that’s according to Section 21(1) (a) of the Statute of Limitation Law.

Also, when trying to get back your debt, avoid sending any threatening or intimidating messages to your debtor. While we know that being owed can get you very angry, you also don’t want those threats of violence to backfire into a criminal case against you. So please, no violence.

And most importantly, do not involve the police in a debt recovery case in Nigeria as the police are meant to fight criminal issues, not issues between normal people. Involving a lawyer from the start is a better option.

Now, Time To Get Your Money Back

Do you have an agreement in writing with the person you lent money to about the steps you can take to recover your debt if they don’t pay up, like selling a property? If yes, then good for you. You can simply follow the steps in that agreement to recover your debt.

If you don’t, that is still alright. There’s no need to escalate things. You can try sending them a message reminding them of their debt. Sometimes that’s all you need to do.

But if all else fails, here’s how you can “gently” get your money back:

Send The Person A Letter of Reminder:

You can send your debtor a “letter of reminder”. This letter should be written by your lawyer, and it should remind the person owing you that you will take the case to court if they fail to pay up your money.

Try Mediation and Arbitration:

To get back your money, you can involve third parties — if the other party is willing to discuss it with you, of course. In mediation, a third party can help you and your debtor reach an amicable settlement. 

In arbitration, you and the other person must follow the final agreement reached by the arbitrator, and the decision can be enforced in court because it is legal. But there must have been an agreement that you and your debtor will use arbitration to settle matters in the original loan agreement.

Write The Person A “Letter of Demand”:

If you are getting uneasy and your debtor is still unwilling to pay up, then you can employ the services of a lawyer to draw up a “letter of demand”, warning the person of the things that will happen if they do not pay back your debt within a period.

The letter of demand usually confirms the exact money you are owed, a clear time when the debt should be paid back and the legal consequences of failure to pay back the debt.

A letter of demand usually serves as a good notice to the debtor before you take matters to court.

Try Taking Legal Action –

Finally, in the case where the debtor has failed to pay up even if you have sent them letters and tried to be reasonable with them, then you should take the matter to court. 

The court will enforce a decision for your debtor to pay you back your money, after hearing the facts of the case.

The appropriate court to take a case of debt recovery depends on the amount you are owed. But you can recover your debt in a Magistrate Court, State High Court or Federal High Court.

By involving a lawyer early on, following the relevant procedures and eventually taking the matter to court, you can recover all the debt that is owed to you without breaking a sweat, literally.

Doyin Olagunju

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

Bayelsa David Lyon
February 13, 2020

In perhaps the worst case we’ve ever seen of somebody using their sand-sand to spoil another’s garri, the Bayelsa State Governor-Elect – APC’s David Lyon, just had his victory nullified. It’s all thanks to the efforts of deputy-governor elect, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo. FYI, this nullification happened just one day to the Bayelsa State inauguration. We promise […]

Nigerian Army testifies SARS panel
November 29, 2020

The Nigerian Army has shared their testimony twice at the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution For Victims of SARS Related Abuses. At Zikoko Citizen, we have been following the “Lagos SARS panel” ever since the panel was inaugurated, and we have also been present at the panel hearing on the two occasions […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

December 5, 2019

We already tried to guess how much you have in your account and your current net worth, and we think we did a pretty great job (keep any complaints to yourself). Now, we’re going to try and guess your monthly salary based on your relationship with money. Oya, take the quiz: 11 Timed Quizzes For […]

What are you like in a relationship?
February 7, 2020

Your taste in music can say a lot about you, and this time, it’s going to reveal what you are like in a relationship. So, pick a few of your favourite Nigerian love songs, and we’ll let you know if you’re typically a distant, passionate or unbothered partner. Here you go:

November 12, 2019

Are you a single pringle, stuck in a complicated situationship or happily married to the love of your life? This quiz is here to guess your current relationship status, and as you know, Zikoko quizzes are incredibly accurate (don’t quote us). So, give a shot:

November 14, 2019

The fourth season of Big Brother Naija came to an end over a month ago, but the conversation surrounding the housemates is far from over. So, in a bid to keep the fire burning, we decided to create a quiz that tells you which famous member of the ‘Pepper Dem’ gang is your soulmate. Take […]

More from Citizen

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X