47 answers

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

I made the horrible mistake of loaning a friend of many, many year money. The friends were in terrible need or so they said at the time (in 2004). We had been friends since 1990 and we were very close. They had spent many vacations at our home when we moved away from them (from the midwest to NY to AZ). They split up over the years and I remained friends with both and was still very close friends with Kim who borrowed the money. She had told me countless times over the years that she would repay me and that one thing or another had come up that was stopping her from starting to repay me (I don't say us because she asked me specifically for the money and then I asked my husband). Well fast forward to October 2011 when due to financial circumstances I had to ask her to start paying me something every month. I asked for $50 per month if possible until the debit was paid off. She immediately became very upset and then the next week turned into a horrible event of her sending nasty texts to me. She said the most terrible things. I have tried to understand and still tried to hold out the olive branch. She sent one check of $50 in December 2011 and then has sent nothing since. She refuses to answer my calls or texts. I have no idea what to do. A friend suggested sending letters to her family telling them about the situation and putting something out online. What would you ladies do????

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I wanted to thank everyone who has already responded to my question and to give some additional information to those of you who have asked. I do have full paperwork, i.e. the original Western Union transfer, the emails back and forth admitting the loan, texts admitting the same and a copy of the check send in December 2011. I also kept a log of the times she talked about the loan......little voice told me to. They borrow more than $1,000 and we do need the money back. Before I agreed to loan the money it was very clear that we needed the money back, although we understood it would take a while for them to get back on their feet and start to repay us. I should also add that this is not a friend of only a few years this is a friend of over 20 years. This is a friend that I would never have thouth could ever do this to us, both because of her beliefs and because of our close friendship. I have done all that I can do on my end and I know the friendship is over, easy to tell after the horrific things she has said to me. I did not feel that going to her family or making things public was the best thing to do, but my friends have made excellent arguments that it would be the best thing to do. I again appreciate all your help and suggestions!

Featured Answers

Never lend any money that you can't live without getting back. I would write off the money, and the friend, and just forget about it. Don't waste the time or energy worrying about the money, or about petty revenge. Consider it a lesson and go on from there.
All the best to you. Good for you for helping someone when they asked! But don't let this upset you - and don't let it change you.

6 moms found this helpful

I have heard it said, if you can't afford to NOT be repaid, you can't afford to lend.

It is best to "give" it to them and if it gets repaid fine, if not consider it good fortune that you had enough to offer help.

I think you learned a valuable lesson, do not "lend" family or friends money it ruins a relationship.

6 moms found this helpful

I would consider it a loss....BUT...first I would send her a heartfelt letter about how when she needed me I was there for her and now years later, I am the one that needs someone and how she didn't step up repay the favor. So much for being genuine 'friends'.

6 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Letters to the family and putting something out online? WHAT THE HECK? Your friend sounds like a psycho for even suggesting that.

What should a sane, mentally stable, normal adult human being do? Realize that it's been years, you are not going to get another dollar back, and chalk it up to a lesson learned.
Just yesterday I had a post about an old friend getting "miffed" because I didn't call her when I was in town....she was acting like a fruitcake and picking a fight. I asked how to respond to it (when my natural instinct would be to sever the relationship with any "new" friend), because sometimes being friends with someone for a long time makes things a little harder to decide where the line is...things get blurred because of misplaced feelings of loyalty or whatever. But if you would even for a moment entertain thoughts of hurting someone publicly (online stuff) then you are no longer a friend. It'd be pretty grotesque for an adult to act like a 7th grade "mean girl". I would personally not want to be friends with the person that suggested it to you, because now you have to worry about what would happen if you ever make her angry!
This debt is old. Like, too old. Many bad debts get written off (after a ruined credit report) after years even from stores or financial institutions, so you should realize you're not going to be able to call this one back. Our family has a standing rule of practice that we never loan what we want back. If we're willing to give someone something forever, we will give it to them. If we get it back, cool. But a loan can be a relationship ruiner.
I had an experience similar to this 15 years ago and I learned that I wouldn't ask someone for a loan because I wouldn't want to feel stressed out OR guilty, or have a friend feeling weird. She really was a friend for many years, but after I loaned her money she stopped calling or going out...I wasn't bugging her about money but she was worried it was going to come up. It ended the relationship over time. What we do now? We GIVE money when we see a need and feel that something is warranted, and it's the direction we want to go. We also come up with ways to give money where it doesn't feel like charity when possible.
For example, we really like one of my son's coaches. We've known her for a little over a year, she's great with my son and is a hard worker, but got injured and found herself in a bind. We donated money to a place that could help her and asked if they'd direct it to the area she needed assistance in. We also asked her son to come help us with yard work and things like that, which brought some money to their home without it being blatant charity or a loan that makes things weird.
What should you do with this situation? Never talk to her again after the ugly texts she sent. It's over. And the money is gone. Now if you're experiencing financial needs, buckle down and figure out where to save, start thinking creatively on how to bring in some income (a part time job while husband is home to watch kids? start babysitting? is there a craft you can do, or some stuff you can sell, a service you can provide, can you refinance your home for lower payments since the interest rate has gone down again, are you able to take a loan from a real bank if that's the direction you want to go, etc). But don't try to chase up what someone "owes" you. You're not going to get it, and your energy could be better spent somewhere else.

10 moms found this helpful

What would I do?

I'd forget about ever seeing that money again.
I'd forget about a 21 year old loan.
The friendship is most likely over.

From what you've written, it seems you're more interested in the loan than the friendship, anyway.

I'd chalk it up to (as Dave Ramsay calls it) "stupid tax" and I wouldn't ever "lend" money to a friend again.

Give? Yes.
Lend? No.

Borrowing/lending money between friends or family changes things.
It's generally never a good idea.
It results in this type of situation.

8 moms found this helpful

Never loan money you can't afford to lose.

DO NOT put ANYTHING on line about it or writing letters to her family. That would be wrong on soooo many levels.

She's not returning texts or phone calls because you have become like a collection agency. You don't want to talk - you just want to know where the money is. It's been 8 years. Let it go.

The lesson learned from this? Never loan money you can't afford to lose.

8 moms found this helpful

I would consider it a loss....BUT...first I would send her a heartfelt letter about how when she needed me I was there for her and now years later, I am the one that needs someone and how she didn't step up repay the favor. So much for being genuine 'friends'.

6 moms found this helpful

If you absolutely need the money (and it's a lot), send her a note saying you will have to take her to small claims court if she doesn't make an effort to pay you back. Sending letters to her family or putting something online will only shame her. And it doesn't sound like you want to hurt her, you just want to get your money back.

6 moms found this helpful

Never lend any money that you can't live without getting back. I would write off the money, and the friend, and just forget about it. Don't waste the time or energy worrying about the money, or about petty revenge. Consider it a lesson and go on from there.
All the best to you. Good for you for helping someone when they asked! But don't let this upset you - and don't let it change you.

6 moms found this helpful

This is one of those "life" lessons.
Loaning money to anyone is always a huge risk.
You have to always consider the fact that you may not get paid back.
This incident took place 8 years ago?
I think the statute of limitations may already be in effect, so you may not be able to sue. Do you have proof of the loan? Do you have a copy of the check she gave you in attempt to pay back the loan?
I think slandering them (on FB or by telling their family) would be a little ridiculous, even though you would be telling the truth. I doubt it would get your money back and it would only cause more strife for your friend who has already decided she can't or won't pay you.
What would I do if it were me? I'd drop the friend altogether at this juncture and be pretty pissed off at myself for giving the loan.

6 moms found this helpful

Whenever I "loan" money, I don't tell them, but I never expect to get it back. If they actually repay, then great, but if not, I already figured that into the equation. Also, having them sign something about how much they received AND when repayment starts and how much repayment will be leaves no confusion.

Think of this as a good trade the money for her friendship. Obviously, this was a good trade. She sounds like someone you don't want as a friend.

I joke with a few of my friends, "If I pay you, will you go away?" LOL Keep a sense of humor about it and call it good. Delete her number. Don't get her family involved....poor taste...and makes YOU look bad.

Lesson learned.

6 moms found this helpful

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