Guy gypped me outta $350, need advice.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by DevilDog, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. DevilDog macrumors regular

    DevilDog

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    #1
    Hi, I met a guy at work and we kind of became friends. He's like 22 and I'm 17. He apparently was big on the whole paintball thing and I wanted to buy one. So he said he had a friend who owned a field and we were both going to buy guns and start a team. So I gave him 350 to get an A5, mask, tank, etc. I wasn't real specific with a bunch of extra stuff... just Gun/Mask/Tank. So he kind of beat around the bush for 2 or so months. Now apparently the guy he gave the money to was a co-owner of a field. And he left the field because of an argument or whatever and tried to start up his own. So my 'friend' was going to get the guns under sponsorship so everything would be pretty cheap for us. But the guy screwed up and was unable to open the new field and had to file for bankruptcy. So he should have sent checks for our money back. That was like 3-4 months ago. So I have been calling my 'friend' every few days checking on it. He hasn't gotten his money back either. But he says it's not right I didn't get my money back so he's going to give me the $350. Problem is, he doesn't have $350. So, he's trying to sell his guitar 'stuff' for $500 and will give me the $350 then.

    I know, all you people can call me as stupid as much as you like, I shouldn't have given him the money till he had the gun for me. But, now that I'm in this situation, how do I get out? Other than the fact that he may not be trying to gyp me... what options do I have to get my money back? Court? Mediation of some type? Judge Judy? I know where he lives and I do talk to him on the phone about it every once in awhile so it's not like he can really just disappear...

    Any advice/suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated! Thank you all.
     
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #2
    e-mail him or get him to give you something in writing, or record a phone call.

    If he is an ass.

    Immediately go and take him to small claims court.

    Once you get the win there, follow him around, garnish his bank accounts and wages, lien his assets, etc.

    Or write it off as a lesson learned.
     
  3. DevilDog thread starter macrumors regular

    DevilDog

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    #3
    You mean to have proof that he knows he owes me money and he knows it?
    Then what's the best way to record a phone call?

    So far we have been on good terms... It's just hard to tell if he's serious or not.
     
  4. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Randy's House
    #4
    Recording a phone call may be illegal.

    Walk away...lesson learned.
     
  5. DevilDog thread starter macrumors regular

    DevilDog

    Joined:
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    Ohio
    #5
    $350 is a LOT of money for a 17 year old...

    Could I perhaps get him to sign a paper saying he owes me the money? What would it tell me if he refused to sign it?
     
  6. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #6
    I concur....check state law. MD, for example, is a bit nutty and taping a call is illegal. Ohio appears to be a one party consent state (so if you want to record, you can). But, I'm not a lawyer and not pretending to be. Check with one.
     
  7. DevilDog thread starter macrumors regular

    DevilDog

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    #7
    My driver's ed instructor was a cop and he was talking about how you should have a tape recorder for an accident to record what the other person said... I asked if that was illegal and he said as long as 1 out of the 2 people know it is being recorded, it is fine. Shouldn't that apply to phone calls?
     
  8. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #8
    Depending on the costs in the state, it can cost quite a bit to file a small claims case.

    Call it a lesson learned.

    Get it in writing and get a receipt.

    Of course if he did this to quite a few other kids, file a case with the Attorney General (or whomever handles small business based cases) for fraud.
     
  9. DevilDog thread starter macrumors regular

    DevilDog

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    #9
    I don't know of anybody else he did this to...

    Now that I think about it he seems way too multi-faceted.

    It's definately a lesson learned, but I'd still like the $350.


    Okay, If I want to see if he's trying to gyp me or not, what should I say to him next time we talk? Should I threaten to take him to court or just ask him to sign a paper saying he owes me money?
     
  10. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #10
    $350 is a LOT of money for a 17 year old...

    Yep, I know. Heck it's a lot of money to ME. :eek:

    Just saying that not only will you wrap a lot of time up in this with your own time, but its an emotional drain as well. I'm just saying its not worth all the emotional and time hassle to get it back.
     
  11. DevilDog thread starter macrumors regular

    DevilDog

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    #11
    You're definately right about the emotional thing. Its just bugging me because I think about it all the time and I get mad and frustrated. But tell me... time? That money was made at McDonalds at like $5.XX something an hour! That's a lot of wasted time!
     
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #12
    If he was trying to "gyp"(?) you, I don't think he'd answer your calls anymore.

    Maybe he just doesn't have the money. I know it sucks, but until he gives you all the signs that he's not going to ever pay you back, then assume he's not lying to you. You're the one you said he's trying to sell his guitar stuff for $500 so that he can pay you back. See where that leads.
     
  13. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    #13
    Sorry to hear about so many people getting ripped off in here, lately. Other than just learning your lesson and chalking it up to experience, you could check out this internet vigilante's M.O., though I don't recommend it.
     
  14. DevilDog thread starter macrumors regular

    DevilDog

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    #14
    I saw that on Digg... that's nuts. It's not like just getting something stolen back though... Wish it was that easy.
     
  15. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #15
    The friend has undertaken to pay you back - if you can get a note signed from him that would be good.

    But in terms of going to court or enforcing restitution, here's the problem. You didn't contract with him to sell you the goods himself, it sounded like you understood that he was going to place the order with the guy on your behalf. If the friend said "I have this equipment I will sell you" that's one thing. If he said "I know where you can get a deal on this equipment" and you handed him the money to place the order with the third guy, that's entirely different - unless you can prove that the two were in conspiracy to defraud you, which I doubt.

    The supplier, however, went bankrupt. The bankruptcy erases their obligation to provide the goods OR return the money - to you, your friend or anyone else. You would have to join the long list of people that guy owes money to that the bankruptcy court will dole out a fractional payback to -- and as an unsecured creditor, it will be a cold day in #=!! before you (or your friend) get anything out of the bankruptcy.

    So your friend, if he pays you anything back, it's coming directly out of his pocket, it's not like he will ever see anything back for it.
     
  16. DevilDog thread starter macrumors regular

    DevilDog

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    #16
    That was definately helpful RAM. He made it sound like when the guy declared bankruptcy he would get money to pay off his debts???

    Thanks to all the input so far. Definitely helps.

    Guess all I can do is keep hoping that his guitar sells... But Definitely a lesson learned. I hope everybody here learns from my mistake and doesn't let anybody else do this to them. MAKE SURE YOU GET THE PRODUCT AT THE SAME TIME YOU HAND THEM THE MONEY.
     
  17. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #17
    got any lawyer friends?... it will be solved in a week.....
     
  18. floriflee macrumors 68030

    floriflee

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    #18
    I'm not clear. I thought it was the business that went bankrupt and not the individual. :confused: If it was the business then the supplier may still be obligated to repay if the deal was going to be done in the capacity of a private individual and not through the company.
     
  19. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #19
    Handed money Guy who knew a way to get cheap equipment.

    Likely it was coming out the back door from another fellow who co-owned a business. Partner probably got pissed and got rid of that fellow, who tried to start a competing business that flopped.

    In these daisy chains, all you can do is sue the first guy that you gave the money to.

    But alas, you pay another $150 for likely little chance of getting money back if you sue. Basically small claims court is useless for small amounts.
     
  20. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #20
    No and no.
    If one of two people know that the conversation is being recorded then that simply means that you know you hit the record button.

    It is inadmissable in a court of law and therefore it will do you no good. The guy can nail your ass on invasion of privacy.
     
  21. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #21
    A business can go bankrupt (Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 in the US) or a person can declare personal bankruptcy.

    No, you don't get money from a bankruptcy. What happens is that you have more debts than you can pay, you either ask the court to declare you bankrupt voluntarily, or one of your creditors petitions to have you declared bankrupt.

    Then, your assets -- everything you or the business owns depending which it is, is taken away and sold off, which raises a certain amount of money. If it is personal bankrptcy, according to the applicable laws (which vary) you get to keep (or exempt) specified personal posessions. Otherwise you lose every non-exempt asset, potentially house, bank accounts, luxuries, business inventory and fixtures, whatever. The amount of money raised this way is usually less than the total amount owed to creditors, so the court pays them out in a certain order: Taxes first, secured creditors (those who have a mortgage or lien on an asset), employees. Then unsecured creditors who have registered with the court, then shareholders. The unsecured creditors and shareholders get pennies on the dollar or more usually nothing because there is nothing remaning to divvy up.

    The key is, once a person or company has declared bankruptcy you cannot continue to go after them to collect. The bankruptcy once finalized cleans the slate like Jim Carrey in the Eternal something of the very clean other thing... the debts are cleared permanently, and the person can then start rebuilding their life. They are obliged for the next certain number of years to disclose to businesses and future creditors that they are a bankrupt, so getting credit is hard. But the point is to allow them to become a productive member of society again, instead of throwing them into debtors prison to rot like in the olden days.

    Companies are a little different, most of the time bankruptcy means that they cease to exist. But sometimes agreements are made between the major creditors that they stand to get more recovery by letting a large company (like an airline or a car manufacturer) continue to operate, and they agree to a payment schedule and oversight of the company's operations. Bankruptcy of large companies like mining companies has been a favorite way to evade obligations for major-league pollution, environmental disasters or product liability.

    YMMV - the laws may be different in different jurisdictions, and none of the above may be accurate in your exact situation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bankruptcy
     
  22. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #22
    All depends on the judge in small claims court, and whether the judge wants to hear the actual conversation a witness is testifying to.

    If you don't like one recording method, try another -- aka camcorder outside with witnesses in public.

    Alternative, hire a collections agent to beat the crap out of the guy and administer street justice.

    It'll be less expensive than small claims, and more satisfying.

    ---

    If the guy in question is around, just walk up to DevilDog ... take the money out and turn around, unzip and urinate over the cash and walk away. ;)
     
  23. DevilDog thread starter macrumors regular

    DevilDog

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    #23
    Could anybody explain how a collection agency works? And would they be applicable in my situation?
     
  24. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #24
    You have to win in court to use the legal version.

    Pay $150 to go to court, and probably the same to get one to look for assets.

    Might clear $5.

    ---

    A street collection agent (aka, brutal thug) will work for less than $300 and get quicker results, usually leaving the guy in pain if he cannot pay.
     
  25. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #25
    To use a collection agency, you must first have a legal debt. You have no paper on this, they won't touch it.

    If you did have a legal thing to collect, then a collection agencey takes over hounding the person to pay, and they keep anyshere from 30% to 50% of whatever they collect, you get the remainder.

    SunBaked was originally referring to the Guido-with-a-Louisville-Slugger type of agency, which is SO illegal we're not even going to joke about it here.

    Besides, you are getting way ahead of yourself. The friend has already said he will try to pay you back out of his own pocket. You make any hostile moves now and you scuttle the friendly approach for sure.


    BTW: Nit-pick about language
    Using Gyp as a synonym for cheat or steal is a slur against Romany people (Gypsies) the same way as saying "that guy jewed me down on the price" is a slur against Jews.
     

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