How to deal with someone who won't pay you back...

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by timerollson, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. macrumors 65816

    Dec 4, 2005
    I should be asleep right now but I just can't seem to get some shut eye. It's been this way the entire weekend. I lent some money out to my best friend with the agreement that I'd be paid back the following day. It's now three days later and she seems to be making up excuses as to why she hasn't transferred the amount. Mind you, all of these excuses I've debunked. [Note to anyone trying to say they're delayed at an airport, flight statuses can be checked online.;)]

    I don't want to come off as an ******* but I need the money back by the end of the day because I have other financial obligations and I refuse to be late on them. My fault for making the assumption that she'd stick to her word. I didn't have any previous experiences with her that would make me question the decision to give her a loan. It wasn't a gift. Otherwise, I would've stated it was. I don't know if I am more upset that my money is gone or that she lied to me.

    So how do I go about getting my funds returned and is it even worth it to call her out on the lie? I've called and texted her and each time, it's a different excuse.

    P.S. I know this is a lesson learned but I never expected my BF to be so irresponsible and disrespectful of my time and money. I'm just pissed. I don't know what to think of our friendship after this ordeal.:(
  2. macrumors 68000


    Any number of mob movies could give you examples on what to do in your situation. In all seriousness, I don't know what to say. Never lend money to friends.

    Did she actually verbally agree to pay back the next day? Good luck!
  3. macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    An octopus's garden
    Awkward situation. This is why I never loan money to friends unless it's money I can wait on. Your best bet, I'd say, is to NOT call her out on any lies yet. Just explain that you know she's had some setbacks, but you have x and y payments that need to be made by whenever they're due (but tell her a day or two earlier than the actual due date). If things get worse from there then I'm not sure what you can do aside from learn a valuable lesson and lose a friend.
  4. macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2009
    Room 101
    How much are we talking about?

    Forgive the debt. Yeah, not popular, but the situation is probably stressing you both out and will ulimately hurt (or kill) the friendship. Forgive the debt, and don't loan any more $. Hard lesson learned, but at least you won't lose a good friend in addition to the $.

    My 2 cents.
  5. macrumors 68020


    Jul 31, 2006
    Same country as Santa Claus
    I don't know how to help you get your money back, but one thing I've learned is never assume you will get back the money you lend out. If you can't afford to lose that money, say you don't have it.
  6. macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2009
    Room 101
    +1. I would've given this advice if you were contemplating the loan.
  7. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dec 4, 2005
    Yes. On the phone and via text.

    We're talking a big sum of money. I only agreed because she said that she'd be paid overnight so transferring the money back to me didn't seem like that big of a deal. She's not unemployed and has a great job. I don't think I can forgive or am at that stage yet where I can forgive. I just want my money back and some space to think things through. I'm just really big on keeping my word. I just feel like I can't trust her. What's a friendship without trust? Plus, the lack of communication and the varying excuses isn't working in our friendship's favor.:( I don't think I'd be as upset if she'd just tell me the truth. If she doesn't have it, then tell me at the beginning. Don't lead me on to think that you do, you know?

    Indeed. Lesson learned. I will definitely take heed of this advice in the future.
  8. macrumors 65816

    Feb 22, 2007
    Southampton UK
    You want to level with her, tell her that you'd prefer to know if she didn't have the money and you can go from there. But if she's plain holding out on you, and you don't think you can trust her (and your friendship may be over), as long as you've kept the text message I'm sure a threat of civil action might get you your money a little quicker.

    It's a difficult situation, I generally speaking don't lend people money unless I can afford to never see it again, out of principle I wouldn't lend anyone other than my girlfriend a significant amount of money, because if someone want's to borrow that kind of money, there has to be a fairly serious reason why.. which could jeopardise the likelihood of getting that dosh back
  9. macrumors 68030


    May 7, 2002
    2 Much Infinite Loops
    i'd say, don't call or text the person. go and talk to the person personally, and i think you will have a better feel for the situation, if the person is lying or not.

    because you need to pay stuff yourself, i suggest, not dwelling on the problem at hand, but trying to find a way yourself to pay until this gets cleared up.

    at least you know, whom you wouldn't loan money to in the future...
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 21, 2009
    I can't hold any respect or pity for someone so out of integrity. I don't see how you could remain friends after this. Who takes money and then makes up excuses why they can't pay back when they said they would? Your supposed "best friend" is lying to you and keeping your money. I think the friendship is over, I hate to tell you.
  11. Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Well, I'd call her and state the you need the money back and when can you expect it back. I'm sure there's a nice delicate way to put it, but basically that's what you need. While awkward, you need to be forthright and not dance around the issue.
  12. macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    As for your obligations, borrow from another friend and don't pay him/her back. Think of it as a deadbeat pyramid scheme.

    Seriously, find a way to fix your problem of your pending obligations. Then go back to your friend and tell him/her that "It's not personal, but unless you repay me immediately, I will have to pursue legal action to recover my money." Even if you recover your money you might want to rethink this person as a friend based on questionable character. And yes...never lend money to friends or family.
  13. macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location
    I agree with both those statements.

    It's just money. If I lent my best friend money, and they didn't pay me back right away (and told a bit of a lie in order to bide some time to get their act together, I'd probably not let it ruin our friendship if that is still worth something to you.

    Oh, and the whole "Friends shouldn't lie to each other ever, not in their entire lives" attitude just smells of naivety. The truth is that you SHOULDN'T lie to anybody. Are you saying you've never lied? Have you ever been forgiven despite the fact you may not have deserved it?
  14. macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2006
    Long Island
  15. macrumors 603


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    If it's a small amount, forget it. No point in losing a friend over it, but don't trust her with money again.

    If it's a large amount of money, or if you are stuck for cash, I'd recommend having a word. Let her know you need the money, and ask - don't demand - for her to return it. If she hasn't got it, she hasn't got it. If she does, and still doesn't give it to you knowing how important it is, then probably you need to evaluate your friendship!
  16. macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    Call her and ask her to level with you and be honest. Tell her you need this money back as agreed. I think she should know how disappointed you are in her but perhaps don't push that issue too hard until you have your money back.

    I'm sorry to hear another friendship has taken a major step backwards because of money. I've made the same mistake. I loaned money to a very good friend of mine knowing she was rubbish with money but trusted her not to screw me over. As I was waiting for her to pay me back I watched her buying herself things she didn't need and still not finding the money to pay me back. It pissed me off enough that I couldn't stand to be around her. A long while passed and it was obvious she had no intention of paying me back. I got in touch and said that in order to save our friendship she can just forget about it (as if she needed permission to do that :rolleyes: ) and we'll pretend it was a gift.
    I'd like to say she never took advantage of our friendship again but she did it a few times more, just not on a financial level. *sigh*

    I have never loaned any substantial sums of money to friends ever again.
  17. macrumors 68000

    Jul 20, 2008
    i typically do not dole out money to friends and if i did, I would basically write it off as a gift. (i dont mean write it off on taxes, i just mean say good bye to it).

    my reasoning for not giving out money is i question why they need the money. If they are in such dire financial conditions that they need you to loan money to them and they cant use a credit card or something, thats sort of like buying into a company going makes little sense.

    and call me cynical, but friends come and go. and 99% will go.
  18. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dec 4, 2005
    No, I have truly never lied to my friends to this extent where I'm avoiding them and putting them in such an awkward position. I'm big on communicating all circumstances. But I do agree that I may be naive in assuming that everyone keeps their word. I'll definitely be a bit more apprehensive in the future.

    Yeah, I'll be speaking with her shortly. Apparently, she's no longer "delayed" at whatever airport she's at. I don't want to lose her as a friend. I really don't but I don't know if I should sweep it under the rug or chalk it up to one loss in the friendship column.


    Thanks everyone.
  19. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dec 4, 2005
    You're right. I'll just wait until it's returned. I don't want to allow my emotions to get involved where I am saying cruel things out of spite. I want to have a levelheaded conversation with her.

    I agree, but the genuine 1% that I do have from the years are like family to me, so naturally, I'm a bit upset about it.
  20. macrumors 603


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    This isn't the same scenario, but might be helpful: a few years back my sister moved into my apartment as she was starting working in the same city and I had a room to spare. After a few months, I noticed a lot of money had gone missing from the apartment (I keep all my loose change in jars/boxes, then cash in 1-2000 euros once a year).

    For a while, I was very hesitant to ask her about it, but eventually I said I had to. When I confronted her (as carefully as I could) she admitted she had been stuck and had borrowed the money, intending to replace it before I noticed it was missing. She actually was hugely relieved when I brought it up, as she'd been worrying about me finding out. In the end, she paid back every cent.

    If your friend is someone who messes people around, then it's better to find out now. If she had good intentions, but just can't pay you back for whatever reason, it's probably better for both of your peace of mind to get it out in the air.

    (Of course, it's always easier to give advice like this, than to follow it! Good luck! :) )
  21. macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    If anyone ever asks to borrow money- it's best you assume you aren't getting it back.

    Also, never lend anyone anything you can't afford to go without. This is how friendships get ruined.
  22. macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    best advice I have seen.
    As a rule I do not loan money to a friend. I give money to them with out expecting it to be given back. the only expection to this rule is if I know for a fact I will be getting it back at the end of the day like where I am buying something for them on my credit card knowing when we get back they will give it to me.
  23. macrumors regular


    Jun 23, 2008
    Bolivia, according to my flag :P
    I've always been of the school of thought that says "If you can't afford not to get it back, don't lend it." and "Don't ever LEND money to friends or family. It is ok to give, but do not lend. Relationships are destroyed that way."

    My 2 cents. 
  24. Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Money lending rules:

    1. Never lend money to family or friends.

    2. But if you do, never expect to be paid back.

    3. Never lend money that you can't afford to do without.

    Rules to the wise! :)
  25. macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Get it on written form how much she owes and when exactly she will pay back, or collateral.

    Something like:
    Hey, I know you are tight with money and you can't pay back the $xyz you borrowed on date. I can wait (few weeks etc), but would need collateral.
    You (laptop / car /etc) should do as collateral, let me know what you prefer something else if you don't want your (laptop) to be collateral for the amount owed.

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