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susanc's avatar

Bad debt karma: let it go or pursue? Pursue how?

Asked by susanc (16122points) July 7th, 2008

Friend who makes a lot of money & spends freely asked me for a loan. I put it together. Substantial. Called him a bit less than a year later when it was about to be due. He was all smarmy about how hard he was trying but had obviously forgotten about it. He is earning lots. I can’t stand to approach him. I don’t call him. Icy silence is the best I can do till I get better advice (or the money). Stuck.
Need perspective.

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11 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Ask him when he plans to return the money. Hold him to it. Friendship will never be the same.

PupnTaco's avatar

If you didn’t have an agreement in writing, or e-mails documenting the arrangement, you can put it in writing now and be very clear about your expectations.

babygalll's avatar

It’s hard to say no when a friend asks for a loan. It’s even harder getting it back. We all learn the hard way. I loaned money to a friend once and never got a penny back. I am no longer friends with that person. They kiss your hand when they want to barrow the money, but then you have to kiss their ass to get it back. Tell him that you are in need of the money and he needs to start paying you back. If he’s making money and spending freely then he has the money to pay you back. Someone once told me. “It’s not how much you make, but how much you save.”

susanc's avatar

I do have it in writing.
I can go to court. It’s too much money for small-claims, so the guy’s professional
colleagues would have access to the action. He’s a trial lawyer working in the courthouse where the complaint would be heard. Might not care, but I’d think he would.

Very pleased with these adult responses. I was lost in some kind of juvenile
betrayal sinkhole.

And Marina’s right. The friendship is over.

kevbo's avatar

Susan, it is time to get in touch with your inner dick (as in personality). Realize that you’re not a dick, but that his behavior is forcing your hand. He could be doing a number of things to placate you, even something as simple as giving you $5 a day. He’s not, though. Instead he’s putting you off. Whether it’s from a position of strength or weakness, he’s not respecting you and is essentially laying his problem at your doorstep.

My advice to you is to figure out what his jugular is and go for it. When a friend of mine absconded owing me $1,200, I tracked down her parents’ address and (knowing the effect her mother had on her) wrote them a six page letter detailing all the things I had done for their daughter and providing an itemized list of what money was owed. Two weeks later, I had most of my money with the rest following in a couple of weeks. All this after having not heard a peep for four or five months. So, in my case, shame was a powerful tool.

ebenezer's avatar

if you don’t get this money back it will drive you crazy. Give it your best shot.

p.s. I am actually upset by this situation you have.

tekn0lust's avatar

Yep. Kev is right. You are not a bad person for pursuing the repayment. Do your very best to get your money back or it will eat at you for a long time. I have been there having bailed a friend out of jail in college on the order of $5K. I only got $1K back but I did my best and so did she. Good thing is we are still friends.

Sounds like you have a very good peer pressure angle too. I would use that to your advantage. People will do crazy things to save face.

skfinkel's avatar

Did you have some kind of plan to get back the money? Some kind of pay schedule? If not, I would write him a letter. Tell him you are not happy that he has not paid you back, and that he will have to begin paying you back at a certain rate (pick a % you are comfortable with), and tell him he has to start in increments as outlined by you over the next x months. Hold him to it. And if he doesn’t follow through, go to small claims court (without a lawyer) several times to get it all back.

skfinkel's avatar

Or, you could let it go. And only loan money to people who need it in the future. So if/when they don’t pay you back, at least you can feel like you are spreading the wealth.

flameboi's avatar

:) just remind him… in a nice way, send a letter, you don;t need to be rude susan, just ask the person and I’m sure you’ll get your money back soon.

skfinkel's avatar

I didn’t mean my answer to be rude, although we are two susans. and @flameboi was probably talking about the author of the question. . But when I read my answer over, I thought maybe it was a tad rude. The letter could be sweet, not rude. And it could be done with charm and humor, as susanc can do so well.

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