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    • MSE Sarah
    • By MSE Sarah 18th Dec 18, 12:34 PM
    • 205Posts
    • 86Thanks
    MSE Sarah
    Money Moral Dilemma: How can I get my friend to pay me back?
    • #1
    • 18th Dec 18, 12:34 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: How can I get my friend to pay me back? 18th Dec 18 at 12:34 PM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    A very close friend borrowed £100 (a large amount to me), promising to pay it back shortly. Itís now been six months and they havenít, despite several reminders. I donít want to lose the friendship but need the money.

    Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be enjoyed as a point of debate and discussed at face value.

    If you havenít already, join the forum to reply.

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Page 1
    • Marvel1
    • By Marvel1 18th Dec 18, 12:42 PM
    • 4,358 Posts
    • 4,913 Thanks
    Marvel1
    • #2
    • 18th Dec 18, 12:42 PM
    • #2
    • 18th Dec 18, 12:42 PM
    Make a money claim online
    https://www.gov.uk/make-money-claim

    Read it all though.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 18th Dec 18, 2:40 PM
    • 17,558 Posts
    • 49,243 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #3
    • 18th Dec 18, 2:40 PM
    • #3
    • 18th Dec 18, 2:40 PM
    In those circumstances I think I'd work out what I was planning to spend the £100 on (the more obviously "necessary" the better!) and tell her, for instance:

    "I've got to visit an osteopath/chiropodist/etc for so-and-so health problem - and I've booked an appointment for Tuesday next week and it will cost £x I haven't got at the moment and I'll probably have to have, say, 2 follow-up appointments. In total it will cost me about £100 and I HAVE to have that money by Tuesday - or I'm going to have to cancel - but I NEED to have those appointments/am feeling really ill without them"

    Or maybe:

    "You know those shoes I wear so much - they've just got a hole in them and I'm going to be going shopping for their replacement next week/can't manage without them any longer. They will cost about £100 and I haven't got the money at the moment. I NEED it back in time for next week's shopping trip - as I can't manage much longer without replacing them".

    Whatever you say - put it as something VERY necessary and that you ARE going to spend on any minute now - whether you've got the money or no, because it's so necessary. Give a deadline by which you MUST have that money to make that very necessary expenditure by.

    Hopefully that will do the trick and they will hand the money back in time for the deadline of the day before you will be spending it on that necessity.

    If it doesn't do the trick - then I'm afraid they aren't a friend after all (never mind a very close one) and time to "forget them and move on". A friend wouldn't do that to someone they were "very close friends with".
    • kazt2006
    • By kazt2006 18th Dec 18, 9:38 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    kazt2006
    • #4
    • 18th Dec 18, 9:38 PM
    Thereís a saying about this....
    • #4
    • 18th Dec 18, 9:38 PM
    The old saying ďNever a borrower or lender beĒ came to mind when I read this... the full quote from Hamlet (I believe) does indeed talk about losing a friend as well as the money if you lend to someone!

    I guess the moral is - never lend what you cannot afford to get back..... similar to never bet what you canít afford to lose etc...
    • Janey3
    • By Janey3 18th Dec 18, 9:46 PM
    • 406 Posts
    • 926 Thanks
    Janey3
    • #5
    • 18th Dec 18, 9:46 PM
    • #5
    • 18th Dec 18, 9:46 PM
    Being a close friend, I would ask her to pay me back weekly an agreed sum and if she didn't keep the arrangement that would be the end of the friendship
    • REJP
    • By REJP 18th Dec 18, 9:50 PM
    • 112 Posts
    • 136 Thanks
    REJP
    • #6
    • 18th Dec 18, 9:50 PM
    • #6
    • 18th Dec 18, 9:50 PM
    Did you put in writing, signed by both of you, that it was a loan to be repaid by a set date? If so, take your "friend" to the small claims Court.
    If no contract, you cannot prove your friend owes the money. Ask your friend straight out when you are going to get the debt repaid. If no reasonable reply, this is a one way friendship and you have learned a sharp lesson.
    As recommended by a previous poster, if you can't afford to lend money, then don't. This friendship is going nowhere, so move on and learn the lesson that lending money is a bad idea. In fact lending anything you cannot afford to lose be it a book, garden tool, money is a bad idea.
    • Pmatt
    • By Pmatt 18th Dec 18, 9:53 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Pmatt
    • #7
    • 18th Dec 18, 9:53 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Dec 18, 9:53 PM
    Yes you can use formal claims procedures but these will not enhance your friendship. Two questions you need to ask yourself, if you have managed without the money for 6 months are you really desperate for it? Is your friendship really worth it, does he/she really need the money or are they simply taking advantage of you? You need to ask if you are being honest with yourself and is your friend trustworthy? Probably worth remembering that banks exist to provide loans and you don't have their resources.
    • John Gray
    • By John Gray 19th Dec 18, 5:41 AM
    • 5,443 Posts
    • 3,235 Thanks
    John Gray
    • #8
    • 19th Dec 18, 5:41 AM
    • #8
    • 19th Dec 18, 5:41 AM
    "When will they ever learn?"
    The "Where have all the flowers gone?" song verse springs to mind, to remind the lender that, almost always, cash flows only in one direction - away from you.
    "It's over, let it go..."
    • w3cadet
    • By w3cadet 19th Dec 18, 5:48 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    w3cadet
    • #9
    • 19th Dec 18, 5:48 AM
    A bit like gambling ...
    • #9
    • 19th Dec 18, 5:48 AM
    Only play/lend that which you are prepared to lose, my advise would be when making a 'loan' to a friend or family is do not expect it back, instead at least from your end gift it to them instead
    • nczm
    • By nczm 19th Dec 18, 6:39 AM
    • 52 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    nczm
    Lend it back
    Iíd probably ask if they could lend me however much money it is that I need (explaining the purpose it was needed for) and see what response that gets.
    If they arenít interested they probably arenít a good friend, but you might get insight into why theyíve not paid you back (maybe they have money issues).
    As others have said, it sounds like you may have to chalk this up to a lesson learned when it comes to loaning money to friends... or if you no longer fancy having them as a friend then other options can be pursued
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 19th Dec 18, 6:45 AM
    • 4,073 Posts
    • 11,006 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    Iíd have a bit of a heart to heart. Tell them that the fact they are avoiding paying you back is not only causing you a financial problem but is making you doubt the friendship.

    Tell them that if itís down to genuine financial hardship you would rather they be honest and upfront so you can help and come up with a repayment plan rather than leave you thinking they are just dodging it and deliberately depriving you of your money.

    The response will tell you if this is a real friend or someone who has stolen £100 from you.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 19th Dec 18, 7:10 AM
    • 23,352 Posts
    • 63,027 Thanks
    Pollycat
    Contact Judge Rinder.
    • stmartinsdiver
    • By stmartinsdiver 19th Dec 18, 7:46 AM
    • 123 Posts
    • 130 Thanks
    stmartinsdiver
    Red-Squirrels reply is spot-on. It is honest, non-aggressive and given that the lender is still a friend should clear the way to either getting payment or an understanding why your requests have been ignored. It also places the decision on what to do firmly in the 'friends' camp. If you are still ignored, you'll have to write both the debt and the friendship off and will have learned a salutory lesson.
    • tindella
    • By tindella 19th Dec 18, 8:10 AM
    • 90 Posts
    • 91 Thanks
    tindella
    Lose the friendship - it's cheaper! Not much of a friend if they treat you with contempt!
    • Rollerman
    • By Rollerman 19th Dec 18, 9:42 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Rollerman
    Be blunt
    I don't think your friend is really a friend if they have made no effort to pay you back. You have to be blunt and ask if they are going to pay you back or not and if so when. They will probably either wax indignant or be tearful in an attempt to get you to forget the loan. Quite frankly you will be lucky to get any of it back. If you do, make absolutely sure you never ever lend them money or anything else again. Just say you haven't got it. Good luck and I will say that not all friends are like this, some will pay back, but you have to be very careful.
    • Anytop
    • By Anytop 19th Dec 18, 10:44 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Anytop
    Before you start ...
    Before starting legal action, consider what you will do if and when you get a judgment. Will you apply to the court to issue a warrant to send the bailiffs round to your friend's house to seize any assets that might be there? Or will you just file the judgment and be no better off. If the latter, better not to start down the legal route at all.
    • charlotte1994
    • By charlotte1994 19th Dec 18, 10:50 AM
    • 818 Posts
    • 1,676 Thanks
    charlotte1994
    Iíd have a bit of a heart to heart. Tell them that the fact they are avoiding paying you back is not only causing you a financial problem but is making you doubt the friendship.

    Tell them that if itís down to genuine financial hardship you would rather they be honest and upfront so you can help and come up with a repayment plan rather than leave you thinking they are just dodging it and deliberately depriving you of your money.

    The response will tell you if this is a real friend or someone who has stolen £100 from you.
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    100% this. Many comments saying take them to small claims etc but honestly is it worth the hassle and a friendship break down when you can just have a good old fashioned heart to heart?
    • brassmonkey001
    • By brassmonkey001 19th Dec 18, 11:53 AM
    • 128 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    brassmonkey001
    "If you lend someone £20 and never see them again, it was probably worth it."
    • brassmonkey001
    • By brassmonkey001 19th Dec 18, 11:56 AM
    • 128 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    brassmonkey001
    I've over £600 owed to me by various people over the years. I know I'll never see it again and I've accepted that fact. I hope they enjoyed my help but they'll never get anything more from me. The saddest part of getting burnt in this way is that it makes you less inclined to help others.
    • hannerrbabes
    • By hannerrbabes 19th Dec 18, 11:59 AM
    • 157 Posts
    • 935 Thanks
    hannerrbabes
    I was in a similar situation to this. I lent a friend £20 and she promised she'd give it back once she'd been paid from her next wages. After saying that, she asked for another £20 and it put me in an awkward situation, so I felt I had to say yes.
    I'd lent her money in the past and she always returned it on time. However, this time she didn't and I'd had enough after 2 months of waiting and hearing about the frivolous things she'd purchased before paying me back. £40 wasn't a massive amount to me, but I felt that she didn't care about jeopardising our friendship over it.
    After yet another of her paydays passed, she told me she hadn't been paid in full and I suggested that we could set up a payment plan instead. The money appeared instantly after that suggestion and we've barely spoken since because of that and other issues.
    My advice is to never lend friends money. There's no guarantee they'll give it back and it does inevitably put pressure on your friendship. And honestly, if someone doesn't have £100 spare when they need it, they're clearly struggling financially and if a financial institution wouldn't lend to them, why should you?
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