Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Older, certainly - and hopefully wiser

Some time ago, we lent someone some money. At least, at the time we thought it was a loan, but as it turns out, it was a gift, as it was never returned and we have finally come to realize it never will be. We lent it because without the loan, someone very dear to us would have lost his home and business, because our debtor, as I will call him, was having difficulty paying the rent. The fact that he was in full time employment most of the time was a worry - where was the money going? - and that he never had any cash was a blip in an otherwise exciting time, with a new business to get off the ground and new friends to make and all the rest.

Alas, six months down the line, he baled out, leaving us and many others out of pocket - in our case to the tune of thousands of pounds. We asked, politely, if he would be able to pay it back and the answer was no, but his parents would help. To say that the replies from his parents were unhelpful is not even close; his mother was whining and lying, with invented family members dependent on her and her alone. His father never even answered.

So, after months of worry, we went to court and 'won'. Payments of £125 a month were awarded to us and we breathed again; a little, because we were quite desperate for money at the time and £125 hardly touched the sides. Then of course, no payments were forthcoming, so we had to reapply for an execution to get the money (I really wish that 'execution' meant just that, but hey ho ...) and finally got £19.50 a month for six months. Then the payments stopped. To get them started again would cost a couple of hundred quid. Do the maths. Do you think we went further? No - and this is where we leave it.

So, the morals in this blog are many and they are written by a sadder and wiser woman.

  • Don't lend anything to anyone unless you are in a position to wave it goodbye for ever.
  • Don't go to any company promising no win, no fee - no win in their case means if it goes against you. If you are awarded payments that don't come, that is a win and you will be stuck with hundreds of pounds to pay.
  • Don't think that a CCJ will mean anything to your debtor - they owe you so they won't mind owing everyone else.
  • The courts are basically powerless and even when they find in your favour, it isn't any help at all. 
  • Everyone is really sorry, but that won't get you your money back - so stop feeling sorry for everyone else, because at the end of the day, it is every man for themselves.

Finally - can you lend me a fiver? (Just joking).

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