Friend owes me money
I was hoping someone could give me some insight...
I have a friend/ex-friend that owes me money but has cut off all contact for the past 2 months; blocked my phone calls and text messages and refuses to answer any emails or voice messages. I really hate to do this, but I'm thinking of taking him to small claims court. I was just wondering if he has any intention of making amends, or if I should go ahead with the lawsuit.
We had a falling out and I don't know if he's just angry and needs time to cool off or if he has no intention of ever making good.
This ex-friend is doing all he can to get out of the debt - you must hold him accountable through the law. He does this with other people too so it's time he accepted and dealt with his responsibilities as an adult instead of using his friends and family to do it.
I'm getting two seperate issues going on. They work against each other. This is not all about money.This person really does have a sense of needing to be honorable but is conflicted. He was so happy for the help yet it wore off quik. This person hates owing you the money and feels very trapped as his situation never did get truely stable--he continues to tread water. He is now focused on the disapointment and is hiding. You really are wanting his "friendship" more than the money. You can handle both and know how to seperate the two but unfortunetly he can't---all he can see is the failure. You are opposites. This man is not as outspoken as you. He is attracted to all the things you are that he is not but it also comes between you as he feels out powered by you. There is a slow stubborness to him---were as you think outloud---move fast and are not afraid of mistakes. He is a bit of a mystery to you--in an attractive way. But it also annoys you---you hate not figuring him out. He clams up the more you pry. I see this as a repeating pattern that blows over. The money thing really comes between you because he is not able to really decide how he feels about you because he is too busy dreading owing you. On your worst days--you think he used you and he counters that with thinking you use the debt to own him. I get the feeling you already know the politics of lending money and I don't pick up desperation on that issue but what really bothers you is his ability to hide. You are not used to that in your life--you are in control and he tests that. His control is of a different nature. You want it all on the table--to deal with it now--negotiate---solve--talk it out. He feels powerless under that kind of process. He is not a debater. In fact he simmers slow--holds things back---doesn't let off steam in small bits. He grinds his teeth in his sleep. Holds in. When he does blow it's a doozy and then he hates that sense of being out of control and retreats until he can be safe again with controlling anger. He's a loner and you are gregariouse. I don't think you understand him much because you are more out there with who you are and he is not.. Owing money is a big deal for him. He associates it with his honor and manhood. He has a large ego. Stubborn to the max he doesn't take financial advice well and really is not a financial wiz. There are some things that drag him down about paying bills---he doesn't know how to fight those annoying pitfals when companys are making a fast buck. He is paranoid about online payments even though he would save on late fees and he just is not buisness savy. Many people aren't! But don't bother telling him that as he only hears insults and failures. I think in the heat of his anger for awhile he just tells himself f it---she's a control freak and I'll always be a failure so I can't take this anymore--then he rests his mind---hides but after awhile he gets back to reality and he is well aware he owes you and life goes on. This will probably go on like this for a long while. If you take him to court--assuming you have the proof---it will end it. Your relationship will end there and you can't squeeze water from a rock so even with a judgement it's not getting your money back. You need to decide between the money AND the retaliation versus the relationship. Do some soul searching. How do you really feel about him? Do you want his friendship--or something more? Was this just buisness? You already know, never lend money you can't afford to lose and specially to a relative or friend you do not want to lose. Give him a little more time and do not contact him as I feel his pattern of guilt always kicks in. When you two are feeling friendly again try exploring other options of transfering the money burden. He is not good at buisness so do some helping---even if he must get a high interest loan to pay you off. Taking him to court would make a point but I do not see it bringing back your money. I see a contact within two weeks and spirit says do not make a definate descision for a month.BLESSINGS1
Captain & Blmoon,
Thank you for the responses... you are both spot-on with him. I've learned he doesn't have a problem asking his family and friends for money, but most know better than to help him. I think that was my mistake trusting him, but I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt and really wanted to help him. I think he does try to do good, but gets frustrated fast and takes the easy way out by running and hiding. He avoids confrontation at all cost. He does have a big ego and is very narcissistic; I think he took the attitude that I'm here to help him. I've also learned he doesn't have a problem lying and manipulating to get what he wants. He does seem to run from his responsibilities and I think he'll always be struggling until he learns to handle things better.
Blmoon - he is exactly how you said. He's very stubborn and whenever we've had a disagreement, he refuses to talk to me for days until he gets over his anger. When we do start talking again, he never will talk about the issue that started it, so things never get resolved. I'm the opposite; I wish he would just talk to me and we could lay it all out on the table, resolve it and move on, but he just buries his hand in the sand and hopes it all goes away...very frustrating.
Also, he handles his finances just like you said - never pays his bills online, waits until the day they are due and then wire transfers the money for a fee, or gives his mother the money to write a check, since he doesn't have his own checking account. This is a 38-year old man.
In the last email I sent him about 6 weeks ago, I asked him to just contact me so we can talk about things and hopefully come up with some resolution. I was very understanding and told him that I hope we can still be friends and work this out. I never received any response and gave him this time to cool off, but I haven't heard anything so I sent him an email yesterday morning. I offered to settle everything with him just for what he owes on a joint account we have that is still outstanding. I told him I'll forgive all the past debt on what I've lent him if he just pays that account - I very fair offer, since he owes me a lot more than what's on the account. I told him if I don't hear from him by the end of the month I'll proceed with filing paperwork to sue him in small claims court for the entire amount he owes me, then once I receive a judgment I'll file it with his employer to garnish his wages.
I do feel conflicted about doing that, even though I know he more than deserves it. I miss the friendship and closeness we had and feel deep down inside he's not a bad person, nobody is perfect, and feel he did care about me as well, but he's done a lot of damage. I'm not making excuses for him, but I think he had a difficult life and it was always a struggle.
Part of me just thinks to let it all go and forget about the money, but another part is still really hurt and offended that he could do that to me - someone who went out of their way to help him. And he knows that I'm a single parent and my finances aren't that great, not as bad as his though, and I could really use the money. Also, I hate the fact that I know he feels like I'm the one to blame here and I screwed him over and he did nothing wrong. I think he deserves whatever he gets, but I don't know if I want to be the one to do it What goes around comes around....
I know if I were to take him to court, it would end everything and there would be no chance of us ever becoming friends again; if I'm even sure I want to be friends with someone like this. But, like you said, I'm able to seperate the money issue from the friendship and I really do think he tries to be a good person. He's always willing to help someone in need, if he can, and he is a genuinely sweet, sensitive and caring person, but he's got a lot of growing up to do. Then again, the fact that he has cut off all contact and may never contact me again, might already be that end so I would have nothing to lose by suing him.
Thank you both again - I will give him until the end of the month and if he doesn't at least try by then, I'll decide what to do at that time. It's not in me to hurt someone I care about, but any little bit of money I can get back helps.
You get it exactly and despite your big heart you do have a good head. It's normal to be a bit hesitent because you do get that it will end things and he wil still owe you money. His stubborness to know himself is always going to be a problem---many folks ae not good with money but the wise ones admit it and let their ego go and let someone else help them. That pattern may never change. It's self destructive. If he was smart he would of long ago handed over his finances to a trusted love one. His talent is also his nemesis--his ability to be magnetic and charming and talk a good talk--he should use this talent for productive things like fundraising--marketing--pr work. Instead he is trapped in a bad habit of using his pursasion star power to get his own way when he should not. He's is own enemy and at his age should be getting sick of himself already and see the pattern. I agree on the month thing as being desicion time--something will change and you will hear from him within two weeks. You are very smart---and have an advantage of head over heart when need be---do some problem solving next few weeks for ways of getting the debt or at least part of it resolved on his end. There are a lot of high interest loans out there right now--he should carry the burdon. It's his consequince not yours. You will do alright--I feel you will not suffer over this too much longer and the end is near. BLESSINGS!
You say you miss the friendship but was he really that good a friend to you? Or are you having trouble admitting he used you like he uses everyone else? A friend is more than someone who you have fun with, it is someone you can rely on to be there for you thorugh the good and bad times. And this guy is only there for himself. At 38, it's time he stopped leaning on other people and grew up. You will be helping him by not letting him avoid his responsibilites. Otherwise he will be prompted to keep on doing what he does to people. Don't find excuses for him. If he is not good with money, he must find a way to do better - he can't use other people to do the work for him, like a child.
Thank you again Blmoon and Captain,
I know he did use me and wasn't much of a friend, I've told him several times I've felt this way. The friendship has definitely been a one-way street for a long time, not always though. Of course he doesn't see this at all, or doesn't want to admit it to himself. He says friends help each other out and he'd do the same for me if he was in a position to do so and that he has helped other friends in the past when he wasn't in such a difficult financial situation. He just recently found a steady job a few months ago after being on unemployment for almost 2 years. But I think he's never been good with money and did file bankruptcy a few years ago.
I'll give it until the end of the month and decide what to do then. Thank you again
Blmoon, I just wanted to let you know you were right - my friend did finally contact me yesterday after more than 2 months. He sent me an email saying he is starting a new job Monday and will start paying me back. I'll give him some more time to see if he follows through.