How to Get Money Owed to You

Updated on December 07, 2007
S.L. asks from Liberty, MO
9 answers

Suggestions on how to get someone you considered a CLOSE friend to repay you money they owe you. They have stopped all contact will not answer text - emails - phonecalls!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

She did finally answer the phone one time, I was very cheerful asked her if we could meet for lunch or a coke, that her friendship meant more to me then anything and that I really missed the close relationship we had. She still will not answer my text,email or phone calls. I took her a card asked if we could talk she said no nights are a bad time - she works during the day so that pretty much told me she no longer has or wants time for the friendship of 11 years. It has been very hard I have cried many tears, I think mainly cause I really miss the kids. If anything changes I will post it Thank you to everyone who responded.

More Answers



answers from Bloomington on

Most likely your friend is not responding to you because she is embarrassed and ashamed that she can not pay you back.
You maybe should send her a nice card letting her know you care about her situation and want to get together with her. A word of advice- don't lend money to friends. Most of the time you end up losing both.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

My best friend has owed me a little over $1,000.00 for @ least 3 years now. I have decided I'm never gonna get it back. That's why they say never to loan money to your friends or family because they are the hardest to collect it back from. I know how much that money could help, but after so long, I've chalked it up to a loss & will never put myself on that limb again!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

A wise friend once said to me: "Don't loan to your friends unless you are willing to risk losing the money - otherwise there is a big chance you will lose the friend."

I hope you aren't owed a lot of money, and that you don't need it desparately! S., I was single for a number of years, and had a lot of struggling single girlfriends. I've loaned friends money several times. One woman I actually loaned $3,500 and got every penny of it back. There are only two outstanding loans - a five year old debt for $450 from a woman who could easily pay me back now that she's remarried, and $650 from a woman who is chronically ill and will never be able to give me the money back. In both cases, I've written off the money. For whatever reason the first friend has conveniently forgotten the debt. The second friend is ashamed so I pretend I've forgotten the debt. If I raise it in either case, the friendship will suffer. I have decided the friendship is more important than the money.

You have to decide this for yourself. If you really feel you are being cheated and that sours the friendship for you anyway, then you have the option of small claims court. Call the Johnson County clerk and ask for directions to file a small claims court claim. They are usually require a very simple pleading - a half page explanation of who owes you what. I haven't done this in Kansas (recently moved from Arizona), but all states have a small claims court. You usually have to pay a very small filing fee ($15-20) and a process serving fee ($30-35), but you can get it back in addition to what is owed to you. Be sure to ask for these to be reimbursed to you in your pleading. I want to update this because Amelia said you can't get paid through small claims court unless someone is willing to pay you. She is right that someone who avoids paying might try to avoid paying a court award too. But if they won't pay you, there are collection options. You can take your court award and go the clerk of the court and "attach" their home or other possessions so that they cannot sell the possession without clearing your debt. Of course, they might have no possessions, or be years till they decide to pay up. You can turn your award over to a collection agency who will hound them, for a percentage of the debt. There are ways to threaten their credit record, etc. I'm not an expert, but there are other ways forcibly to collect. But none of this is pleasant.

Alternatively, there is a provision in your annual tax return that lets you write off bad debt, and you might want to write it off. While that's not wholey satisfying, you can at least use it to offset other taxes you owe, bringing down your tax debt. Yes, I'm a lawyer, but no, don't consider me an expert in tax law. Ask an accountant!

Unfortunately, if you do take her to small claims court, you will be putting the seal of death on your friendship. But perhaps she's already done that herself by failing to pay you back. Only you can decide.

Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

"If you loan a friend $20 and never hear from them again, it was probably worth it."

I had a $60 friend I had known for 25 years. First time I ever loaned her money when I actually needed it back - every other time I told her not to worry about it, pay me when you can. I haven't heard from her in 9 years now - all over $60! (I did try to contact her but she never came back to town that I know of.)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

It sucks when people you really think you can trust let you down. Grrr, I've adopted a policy (after being burnt) not to lend friends money. I'd try to send her another email, asking if money is tight, could she maybe make a payment plan. Do you have any type of written agreement? Or maybe someone who witnessed the loan? If the amount is substantial you could consider taking her to small claims court. I hate to think that friendship should have to come to that but if it was a lot of money, you have to do what you have to do.
Hope everything works out for you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

You can't make someone pay you back. Even taking them to small claims court doesn't matter if they decide not to abide by the judgment. That's why you aren't supposed to loan money to friends. It sounds like you've learned a valuable lesson. Every time you loan money, you have to think, "What will it be like if I never see this money again?" You have to be willing to kiss it goodbye or you should not loan it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbia on


It seems to me that if they are keeping away or don't want contact with you is because they may not have the money to pay you and feel embarrassed to tell you. This happened to me before. I finally had to ask myself. Is the money worth more than our friendship? If the friendship is more important than by all means forgive the debt and let them know, specially if you know that they may be in need.

God Bless!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

If you're ready to lose the friendship (not sure it could be mended anyway) and you really need the money back, you could take her to small claims court. You don't need a lawyer for that, you can represent yourself and I believe the court costs are minimal and could also be assigned to her if you win.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Most likely your friend cannot afford to pay you back and is embarrassed as to how to tell you...especially with the holidays when money gets super tight. Maybe leave a sincere message and ask if she can make payment arrangements that would work for her and have her sign a promissory note. If you need the money now, I would let her know that as well...that you've been put in a bind and don't know how else to get a hold of her. Above all be sincere and understanding whatever the case. Maybe this will be a lesson learned. Lending money or letting friends live with you is a bad idea. Lots of friendships get ruined because of it. Dependant on the amount, I usually give money as a gift and don't expect it back...I've never lent a large amount.
I feel for ya, good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Next question: What to Do About "Friend" That Will Not Pay Back a Loan