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    Former MSE Penelope
    Real life MMD: Should I ask for my money?
    • #1
    • 4th May 10, 4:07 PM
    Real life MMD: Should I ask for my money? 4th May 10 at 4:07 PM
    This is a real life MMD so please bear in mind the MoneySaver in question will read your responses:

    Please give this MoneySaver the benefit of your advice...

    Should I ask for my money?

    I've just moved into a flat with my friend Bob. I paid his 650 deposit & first month's rent, then found out he had money issues, so made him sign an agreement confirming I'd paid it. He started paying me 35 a week to cover bills but soon stopped. He still buys beer and takeaway food. His father died recently and he's now in serious debt. I need the money as I'm traveling to Australia soon. Should I demand my money back, or just write it off and move somewhere cheaper alone?

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Page 1
    • Pound
    • By Pound 4th May 10, 11:23 PM
    • 2,662 Posts
    • 1,323 Thanks
    • #2
    • 4th May 10, 11:23 PM
    • #2
    • 4th May 10, 11:23 PM
    I don't see any reason not to ask for your money. But don't be surprised if you don't get any.
    • RuthnJasper
    • By RuthnJasper 5th May 10, 12:02 AM
    • 3,615 Posts
    • 8,638 Thanks
    • #3
    • 5th May 10, 12:02 AM
    • #3
    • 5th May 10, 12:02 AM
    Oh. Difficult one. If it were me, I'd defer my travel departure date (if possible) to help my friend. Grief is grief.

    If it were not possible to change my leaving date, I'd have to go - but I'd leave him in the flat to deal with the deposit and rent arrears.

    My friend may be getting beer and take-aways because that is his comfort in times of difficulty or is currently unable to cope with properly cooking and feeding himself - and trying to come to terms with his loss deprives him of his ability to see the "bigger picture".

    But there ARE circumstances when you simply have to think for yourself. You cannot cripple yourself financially, on a long-term basis (think of your credit rating here) for someone else. Supposing you are NOT able to defer your leaving date - then yes. Go. But be sure you have let the rest of your friend's family know that he is suffering and in trouble. And put him in touch with CRUSE - the bereavement charity

    Good luck. The original question-poster sounds like a caring person. x
    Last edited by RuthnJasper; 05-05-2010 at 12:08 AM.
    • dronid
    • By dronid 5th May 10, 12:09 AM
    • 581 Posts
    • 1,258 Thanks
    • #4
    • 5th May 10, 12:09 AM
    • #4
    • 5th May 10, 12:09 AM
    Firstly I wouldn't've let the 35 slide and would've made sure that they were budgeting - where possible.

    If it'd been a friend of mine, or not even a friend, I would write off the money - ignoring the fact that it's not likely to be forthcoming frankly the person is on a downward spiral. I would go through their finances and give them a hand rebalancing them - however I would not look into living with them again or lending them any money. It plainly doesn't help them manage their life - being bailed out more than once would be unhelpful.

    I could make it better myself at home. All I need is a small aubergine...

    Current debt 7000 - loan. And a 4000 pound overdraft. That didn't work, did it?
    • minicooper272
    • By minicooper272 5th May 10, 12:23 AM
    • 2,127 Posts
    • 16,678 Thanks
    • #5
    • 5th May 10, 12:23 AM
    • #5
    • 5th May 10, 12:23 AM
    The best bet is to explain your situation to him and perhaps suggest that he resumes transferring a sum that he can afford over to your bank account each week/month. If you are in Australia for several months it might be helpful for you to have someone transferring over 100 a month to your bank account, in case you run low on spends (you will be guaranteed to have at least a small sum coming in each month).

    Don't let the money slide because you will just come to hold it against Bob and it will ruin the friendship - I have had similar where a friend owed me several hundreds that they borrowed while out of work. When they finally got paid and had some cash going spare, they dragged me shopping with them while they picked out an XBox. It just made me come to resent them and when I finally got my money back (a year following), the friendship was in tatters due to it.
  • Rider99
    • #6
    • 5th May 10, 12:42 AM
    • #6
    • 5th May 10, 12:42 AM
    It's a tricky one. You need to look after your own interests initially - depending on how tight you are for funds. However, how close are you to each other? If quite close then you may want to see your friend stop digging himself into a bigger hole, or do you want to wash your hands of the friendship?

    If the former - suggest a joint trip to a supermarket - get some nice ingredients in - cook meals for 8 people and freeze all but 2 portions. Helps with your friend's budgeting and knowing there's cheap but gorgeous food at home just a micro/oven away. This then opens the path for discussion about money, future etc.

    If the latter - you have to be open and explicit - say why you're not happy and work things out from there.

    Always hard when a family member has gone but sometimes, some people can use it as an excuse to bury their head in the sand or use it as a shield.

    Ultimately it comes to how good your relationship is with your friend. You have some questions to ask yourself. How close are you to your friend? Is your friend taking you for a ride? Are you able to write off the debt? Can you just up sticks and move out? Will talking about it be uncomfortable therefore avoid the situation etc.

    Hope it's food for thought.
  • BKAT_9
    • #7
    • 5th May 10, 2:09 AM
    • #7
    • 5th May 10, 2:09 AM
    This is a really difficult situation to deal with, and it is very easy for people to have a purely practical head on but at the end of the day money is just that.

    Perhaps an outline of my previous situation could assist in someway; some years ago I had reignited a relationship with an ex partner, shortly afterwards they were made redundant and then their father was diagnosed with a terminal disease. I chose to stick by my partner even though we were only a few months in. Since my partner was not working but living in London I found myself supporting his lifestyle (eating out, socialising) but didnt say a word at the time as I knew his family struggles.

    This continued for a few months and was particularly difficult because aside from this I knew this was not the person for me. I admittedly felt a little trapped.

    It was a horrible decision but I did leave my partner, on what I thought were good terms. And given the situation I was happy for the money I had lent to be an 'extended loan'. However a few months later my car needed to be replaced, I budgeted out and realised I could do it (without my partner paying me the money back) but things would be extremely tight. This was my plan and I informed my now ex-partner (we were still talking regularly) but thought I would be open. We had not really discussed any repayment - in fact my ex never even acknowledged that I had supported him for many months so when I very delicately broached the subject as in 'I may need that money back at some time in the future although I appreciate that things are tough for you' I was surprised when my partner took this as me being insensitive and money grabbing................

    Quite how I could be money grabbing with my own money I am not sure but anyho. I thought I was being the ideal ex! since my partner had now owed me money for some months since the end of our realtionship...obviously not.

    Anyway, I know I have gone on a bit, but the moral of the story is; talk about it! And also dont beat your self up about whether you are being a good person by them or not - the very fact that you are questioning it shows that you are being sympathetic.

    I also agree with the above post - if you let it go then your friendship might/probably will suffer.
  • waddelldj
    • #8
    • 5th May 10, 6:48 AM
    • #8
    • 5th May 10, 6:48 AM
    I was in precisely this situation once. Eventually I was having to pay a larger share of the rent than him. I put some pressure on him, but there was only so much I could do. He could not afford to pay more. In the end I asked him to move out. A few months later I cancelled his debt. It was in the region of 800, so it was quite a big deal. But I knew it would be years before he could ever pay me back and I wanted to set him free.
    Last edited by waddelldj; 05-05-2010 at 6:57 AM. Reason: typo
  • Judith Proctor
    • #9
    • 5th May 10, 7:47 AM
    • #9
    • 5th May 10, 7:47 AM
    This may sound a bit counter-intuitive, but if he's a so-so friend, then write it off, because the stress of trying to reclaim it will be non-trivial, and you may never get it in any case. Write off the friendship as well.

    If he's a really good friend, then I'd see if you can arrange some form of gradual repayment. Point out to him that he won't be able to afford the flat if you move out. It's either organise his finances (does he read this site?) or he'll have to find somewhere else to live. If you go for this option, be prepared to lend him a fair bit of help.
  • welshspender
    never a borrower or lender be !!!
    My parents and grandparents always said "never a borrower or lender be " and its stuck by me , You could try asking for your money but 2bh i can't see u getting anywhere , i would just write it off and chalk it up to bad judgment. Explain to your friend that you are not happy with the situation and that he needs to understand that he needs to stand on his own 2 feet, support him yes , give him everything on a plate no . And remember another immortal phrase that I was taught "never lend what you can't afford to lose". Sound harsh yes but you work hard so why should he get a free ride !
    • gaily
    • By gaily 5th May 10, 9:13 AM
    • 188 Posts
    • 157 Thanks
    I'm going to take a hard route here.

    No way am I leaving my friend in a flat that I have some sort of responsibility on, and go 1/2 way round the world, when they can't afford the bills.

    I would get the friend out of the flat - yes, he's lost his dad, no he doesn't have much cash, but he is not my responsibilty and if he can't be trusted to pay me 35 a week, then how could I trust him with the whole lot. Being a few thousand miles away is going to make it easier for him to miss payments to me - or to the landlord.

    I'd use the time before my trip to help him find somewhere else, and if necessary, write off the money he owes me. To be honest - the deposit money is going to come back to me when I leave the flat, not to him, so it is only the months rent, plus the bills money. Possibly the loss of a friend, but friends talk to each other, they don't just leave you in the doo-doo.

    My husband and I had a friend to stay when he got kicked out of his flat for not paying the bills. He was due to stay a week, and we eventually had to kick him out the week before we went on holiday - 2 months later! He had house sat for another friend in a similar situation, and it was where all our friends met whilst the homeowner was out of the country - not in my house!!! - Turns out he was just using us for free board as long as possible, as he went straight back to his mums when we told him to go.
    Always on the hunt for a bargain. :rolleyes:

    Always grateful for any hints, tips or guidance as to where the best deals are
    • Ebenezer_Screwj
    • By Ebenezer_Screwj 5th May 10, 9:28 AM
    • 420 Posts
    • 229 Thanks
    A very big mistake to fund this "friend" in the first place. You should insist on your money back, but don't hold your breath and - look for someone more reliable to share with.
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 5th May 10, 9:48 AM
    • 8,404 Posts
    • 29,530 Thanks
    Of course you should ask for your money back. Presumably you went into the flatshare on a 50-50 cost sharing basis. You should try to make allowances for the fact that his father's death has left him in a vulnerable emotional position, but you should also try to support him in his efforts to deal with his debt.
    If you can't delay your travels though, I suspect that you will be obliged to write the money off. It doesn't sound as if he's the kind of person who will eventually pay up if and when he can afford to, otherwise he probably wouldn't have been in the position in the first place where his initial rent and deposit needed funding by somebody else.
    Probably best not to court further issues and end up where you're funding more and more of your accommodation expenditure if he's not making reasonable sacrifices to deal with his debt problem. I'd be honest with him and simply say you can't afford to fund him any further without endangering your own financial planning, so you'll have to move out to somewhere cheaper. However, if you've signed up for a joint tenancy on your flat, you'll still be equally liable for contracted expenditures so you could end up having to pay for separate accommodation, as well as your contracted expenditure on rent, utilities, etc.
    Check out your legal position before making any decision..
    • Philycheesesteak
    • By Philycheesesteak 5th May 10, 9:51 AM
    • 834 Posts
    • 1,520 Thanks
    With friends like this who needs enemies...
    Anyone who buys regular takeways and 'claims' they're short of cash is living in cloud cookoo land.

    Personally I would ask for the money, if he gives you any excuses tell him then you'll have to move out and find somewhere on your own. If he's any friend or has any sense (cos he knows he'll be stuck without a deposit to find anywhere) he'll cut back and cough up.
    • jamespir
    • By jamespir 5th May 10, 10:01 AM
    • 18,725 Posts
    • 19,767 Thanks
    id ask for it back too but wouldnt expect to reciev it
    Replies to posts are always welcome, If I have made a mistake in the post, I am human, tell me nicely and it will be corrected. If your reply cannot be nice, has an underlying issue, or you believe that you are God, please post in another forum. Thank you
  • Stampede
    To give a fuller / maybe even different A there are a few details to be clarified, however:
    You talk about paying 'his deposit'. Really important was that a loan or advance to a tenancy in his name only or did you actually pay his and yours ? If you have a tenancy or any other agrement in both names you are normally what is termed ' jointly and severally liable'. A legal term meaning the landlord / creditor can go for either of you if you do not observe the full terms of the tenancy agreement, if your friend has no money and you have, you can be sued for the lot !!! You can in turn sue him but remember only rich idiots sue for principles and you can not get blood out of a stone.
    Time to read the small print very carefully, maybe even take it to a Citizen Advice or Neighbourhood Law Centre if you are not sure. This will probably clarify your views and next move and is more important than getting back what you have lent your friend. Make sure you give notice correctly if you decide to split.
    After that the signs are not good for a lasting friendship where trust and finances are being linked and for your own financial security I think you should try and find another place without the mill stone of him and his debts around your neck.
    Realistically you are unlikley to get your money back and remain friends, which matters most, if you were not acting as his banker would you be friends ?

    totally debt free, but gettig a little bit fed up having to keep moving my remaining money round for these limited offers, small print, limited bonus rates etc. Being a rate tart is a pain but seems the only way to survive nowadays.
    Last edited by Stampede; 05-05-2010 at 10:15 AM. Reason: spelling mistakes
    • juliamarsh
    • By juliamarsh 5th May 10, 10:43 AM
    • 341 Posts
    • 393 Thanks
    Having read everyone else's responses I have concluded that I must be extremely hard hearted, but my immediate reaction to this was- of course you should expect him to pay the money back,and I haven't revised my opinion. Whether you will actually get it is another matter. The fact that he is still buying beer and takeaways says it all, he is just like many others who get into serious debt because they keep on buying unnecessary items that they cannot afford and are not prepared to take responsibility for their finances and try to live within their means. If he was making any effort to pay you back I would be more sympathetic, but clearly that is not his no.1 priority, he is blatantly sponging off you and that doesn't make him a very good friend in my opinion. I take it he hasn't actually paid anything towards the rent? His father's death is really sad but I think it is completely irrelevant to his inability to manage his finances. I wouldn't carry on subsidising him if I were you - at least as someone else pointed out you will get the deposit back that you paid on his behalf but I wouldn't hold my breath about getting the rest of it sadly!
    • DdraigGoch
    • By DdraigGoch 5th May 10, 10:53 AM
    • 715 Posts
    • 3,996 Thanks
    Having been in similar circumstances I can say with certainty that I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for your money, also your friendship to this person is obviously sincere but it doesn't seem to be reciprocated. A real friend doesn't do this.

    I have lent people money and lost both the money and the friends, every time. So now, I don't lend to anyone other than immediate family.

    It's a shame, but it could be a very cheap lesson for you. It took me over 8K to learn it... don't do as I did, do as I say!
    If you see me on here - shout at me to get off and go and get something useful done!!
    • wurley
    • By wurley 5th May 10, 10:55 AM
    • 83 Posts
    • 80 Thanks
    Yes but No
    Sounds like Bob hasn't grown up yet. Life isn't free. No-one owes you anything. Enough cliches ..... Its sad that he has lost his dad. You knew he had money troubles.

    All the above didn't give you enough warning to NOT lend money? And yet you still planned a holiday to Australia relying on Bob to pay you back so you can have spending money. This should be a heads up for you. Take a business view when it comes to handling your own finances not a charity one.

    One more thing why did you pay the deposit and advance rent and not put the flat in your name? LOSER. Kiss that money goodbye and slap yourself around the back of the head for being so daft!

    On the social side - Keep Bob as a friend but never discuss money again.

    On the legal side you can take him to the small claims court but theres no guarantee he'll pay them either.
  • Pellyman
    Firstly you must re-designate Bob to 'EX-friend'. Friendship is a two way thing and he obviously doesn't treat you as a friend, more like a sucker! Now, with a different mind set, you can discuss repayment with Bob but don't expect any offer you can rely on in the future.

    Secondly, with that out of the way you can seek the best way out of any legal obligations your current arrangements have involved you in. There are so many possibilities it is impossible to make comment here but 'Citizens Advice' may be your simple first option.

    Finally, recognise that you have a (serious, if you can't just walk away?) problem and are almost certain to lose most of your current outlay. Deal with it - Don't let it fester - Get it sorted before you leave for Oz or don't go until it IS sorted, because if you don't, it will be a much bigger problem when you return..
    Last edited by Pellyman; 05-05-2010 at 5:26 PM.
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