Should I have to pay for something I never asked for? 8 Answers as of September 03, 2015

We live on a private road that has several home owners. During a flood we lost our bridge. It was determined that the land owners that used the bridge would share the costs for a new one. From the very beginning I made it clear my wife nor I had the resources to pay our part of the bridge. Another land owner had asked us if we could borrow on our home or sell it to pay our part for the bridge. He also suggested that he loan us the money and we pay it back by the afore mentioned methods. I made it very clear that was not possible. A couple months after the bridge was completed we received a note stating that said land owner had paid our portion (16K+) of the bridge. Recently this same land owner approached us asking “how we were going to pay back the money he used to pay our portion of the bridge costs?” I told him that “at no time did I ask him to pay this.” We never signed any sort of document or made any statement that could even slightly be construed as an agreement for him to pay this money. He stated he would refer the “matter to his attorney” and left. Legally, where do we stand?

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Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
Relying solely on the facts you stated, it seems that your neighbour made you a gift of the $16,000. A gift is not a loan, and need not be paid back. On the other hand, it sounds like this man was trying to help you out, and you might feel a moral obligation to pay him back but according to terms you can afford.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 9/3/2015
Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
Are you using the bridge? How would you get back and forth IF the bridge were not repaired. I suggest that you treat the bridge as out and carry your groceries and leave your vehicle on the other side of the bridge. You cannot be charged IF you do not use the bridge. However, IF you are using the bridge, you benefit from the bridge and equity states that you are obliged to pay your part. No one wants a socialist America. You have to pay to play.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 9/3/2015
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
That really depends on whether there are any subdivision or deed restrictions to which your property is subject to. It also depends on whether there is another way to access your property and who owns the property on either side of the bridge as well as who owns and controls the bridge. If they come after you, have the lawyer explain to you why legally you should be liable. Alternatively, consider consulting an experienced property lawyer. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 9/3/2015
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
You state "it was determined that the land owners that used the bridge would share the costs for a new one". Were you part of that determination? Did you object to it? I assume you are using the bridge, so you are benefiting from it, that would seem to me that you should pay your fair share. If you had the money, would you be willing to pay for it? There could be something in the title documents, (deed, covenants, etc) that could obligate you. Have any of you tried an insurance claim?
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 9/3/2015
Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
He should not have paid for you. ?Normally, it might be considered a gift, but the problem is that he did something that you needed done in order to get to your home, i assume. ?Wait to see what his attorney says, but you might have some liability. ?You need to find out whether there was an agreement among the homeowners as to the upkeep of the bridge.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/3/2015
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