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How to get my money back from a (wealthy) friend.

  • 15-01-2022 11:12pm
    Registered Users Posts: 225 ✭✭

    Hi, I was visiting a friend and brought him 3 lamps he asked me to order for him online. He was looking for a very specific ones and I recommended Aliexpress where he could get them for a fraction of the price. He chose the lamps and since I had an account attached to it I placed the order - overall €100.

    So the lamps arrived at my address, actually really good quality, I texted him that I have them and he invited me over to bring the lamps. I arrived on time, brought the lamps and saw that he had some construction workers finishing something on the roof. Two guys finished work and came down for the payment. My friend said, "oh sh*t, I dont have enough with me" (he said that he agreed 900 with the workers but that he only had 500 on him). So he turned to me and said "would you mind lending me 400? " It was quite awkward, all 3 of them were looking at me. I said that I dont have a cash with me but I have a debit card. If there is a an ATM around then I can get it". I am an idiot and didnt even think that he could actually go to the ATM himself and get the money - i wasnt thinking, I was caught off guard.

    So I went across the street to the Centra, took 4 x €100 (the max you could get there was 100 per transaction so I had to make 4 transitions in a row) and brought the cash back. My friend thanked me, the workers got the money and left. The visit was a bit awkward after that, no conversation about when he will repay me but I knew he is not struggling so I was sure it will be at any day soon. I knew him for a few years, he was renting a flat in the same building that I live.

    He is doing ok, works in a bank (he once said he has a 6 figure salary), in April 2021 he bought 2 houses beside each other and renovated them (he said one for him and another for rent), while I am on HAP with €32.000pa. I havent seen him for 2 months now, I didn't get an invite but I texted him 10 days ago if he wants to meet up. He didnt respond. A week ago I texted him if he could maybe be ok at this stage to repay the €500 (for the lamp and the roofing guys), I said that Christmas at home in my home country exhausted my budget, but I got no response from him. I rode my bike around his house this evening to see if he is ok and I saw him at home watching tv with takeaway on the table. I stood there and called him, I saw him looking at the phone and putting it down without answering. The lamps were hanging in the kitchen above the island, no blinds or curtains yet so everyone can see everything.

    I feel like a total fool. I just researched the Small Claims Court website but it looks like personal loans are not included in the list of claims.

    €500 is a lot of money for me and I cant afford to just write the debt off, maybe if he was someone who really struggled or just needed more time, etc. But he is not that kind of person. Calling him a "friend" is a big stretch at this stage, I know.

    If I go to the solicitor it will cost me probably more than the debt itself. Would you share some advice on what to do or where to turn to get my money back? If the Small Claims Court doesnt review such cases then what court does? As a proof, I have a bank statement of 4 transitions x €100 across his house and I have some messages about the lamps he chose. He clearly stated to get them for him and asking about the price - I told him €100 and he said "great". I also took some pics tonight of the lamps hanging in his kitchen.

    Your advice would be greatly appreciated.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,278 ✭✭✭whomitconcerns

    Ask him for it? He's not hiding, knock on the door instead of calling from outside.

  • Registered Users Posts: 225 ✭✭Curious1002

    I did ask for the money already and received no response. I dont think people just come over to someone like that these days, especially if they are being ignored like I am. I dont want to be accused of harassment or called a creep. I would like to stay professional.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,499 ✭✭✭Wheety

    You should have called into the house instead of watching from outside. Tell him you saw him look at the phone and put it down and you want your money back. Feck the friendship. He used you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,615 ✭✭✭893bet

    Tell him you want your money back or you will start calling to the bank to collect it. Threaten to Shame the wanker.

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 6,845 Mod ✭✭✭✭Raichu

    Text him and ask if he’s going to send you the money or would he prefer you call to the bank and withdraw it in cash.

    i bet he’ll reply to you very fast.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 225 ✭✭Curious1002

    I will text him tomorrow and provide my bank account details. I will just say that if it's easier for him to make a transfer then here are my details.

    I might give it another 3-5 working days to see if the transfer went through and if I dont hear from him then I will use his workplace as a scare, like suggested above. I am just scared that if one day I end up in court then my messages will be seen like a blackmail or threats.

    His parents live nearby and I wonder if I should go there to tell them. But they are really nice people and completely innocent so I dont want to destroy their peace.

    I remember he was telling me that he didnt pay his other construction workers because they supposedly didnt do a good job. He said that they have been threatening to break his legs if he doesnt pay but that he blocked their calls. He said that they cant do anything because there is "no proof" that they agreed a certain price and that everything was agreed in cash. I told him that he cant just not pay and that if they didnt do some job good enough then he should ask them to fix/correct it but he should pay them. He said that he has to stick to his plan and budget and that if something goes over the budget then he allows the job to be done but then just doesnt pay. I really didnt like what he was saying but look at me now... I am sitting and wondering that I might be among all the construction workers he took for granted and cheated off their money. I wish I had contact details to them so we could join forces and, if necessary, sue him.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,177 ✭✭✭Fandymo

    Make your mind up, why would you have a “professional” relationship with a mate??

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,707 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump

    Don't go to his workplace. You can get in trouble for that. At least not without exhausting other options.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Don't text him, and don't tell his parents. You are an adult I presume.

    Knock on his door and demand your money at this stage.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,339 ✭✭✭corner of hells

    I do know you have to be tax compliant in order to be a HAP landlord and yet he's comfortable paying cash to construction workers or not paying them at all.

    Eventually something will go wrong on him.

    In the meantime , I'd keep knocking on his door.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,854 ✭✭✭✭El_Duderino 09

    He has told you his attitude to paying people what he owes them. He said he will get the work done and just not pay the one who did the work. You are one of those people. You bought the lamps for him and then you paid the workers for him. Now he's just not going to pay you.

    If his story about the workers threatening to injure him is true, then he solved that problem by getting you to pay them and you're not going to threaten him so it's a pretty clever move by your friend.

    Certainly go through the motions of asking for the money, but don't get upset if you don't get an response, let alone get the money. Maybe if you're persistent enough they will give in out of fear that you'll tell other friends you have in common or something like that. But I'd expect them to try to blacken your name with the mutual friends if they don't want to give in.

    Unless There's something completely missing from the story, your friendship with this person is completely over and they've decided to get some freebies from you too.

    Post edited by El_Duderino 09 on

  • Registered Users Posts: 508 ✭✭✭The DayDream

    You should have just tried the door and if it wasn't locked just walk in.

    How's it going mate, was just ringing you there? What's the story with the money you owe me?

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,145 ✭✭✭✭fritzelly

    If he won't pay you and you know the parents then go to them and mention it kind of as an aside - maybe he will be embarrassed enough to pay you

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,078 ✭✭✭Quantum Erasure

    "they're nice lamps you have there... nice TV too"

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 6,845 Mod ✭✭✭✭Raichu

    Get in trouble for going to the bank?

    i can’t imagine.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,707 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump

    Depends what you understand by "working for a bank".

    With a 6 figure salary it would be a high probability that he isn't a teller at a retail bank. I would say more likely he's up in the IFSC at an investment bank.

  • Registered Users Posts: 112 ✭✭newaccount2017

    You need to keep going to the house and knock on the door and say "I need the money back today". Don't be a pushover. Plus, your friendship is over in case you didn't realise. He's scum.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,220 ✭✭✭dublin49

    looks like your mate(ex) has a serious cash flow problem,you probably won't get your money back anytime soon as if hes as desperate as his actions suggest you will be way down his priority list.Cannot see why you would not call to his house and make a fuss without being illegal ,its doubtful you are the only one hes avoiding and he will pay the biggest pain first and if you hold back and behave impeccably you will left waiting in the wings.First rule of debt repayment ,keep the good guys waiting.

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 6,845 Mod ✭✭✭✭Raichu

    Given his penchant for BS, I wouldn’t believe him that he has a 6 figure salary tbh

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,707 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump

    "Nice,eh, packet of crunchy nut you got here. Pretty expensive as I recall"

    Good advice there though on contract law

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    First, the obvious. This guy is not your friend, not by any definition.

    Secondly, he's likely not wealthy in a cash sense (very likely boasting about a false income) and at best his cash flow is tied up.

    Do you want your money back?

    If so, you'll need to move on from being too polite. What happens when he likely says he doesn't recall you giving him any money or the light fixtures? Do you think that's beyond him... seems more likely than not to me.

    First, go to his house and knock on the door.

    Get to that stage first and can advise further.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,470 ✭✭✭MAULBROOK

    That's a right kick in the nuts, what a dick head. If I owed someone a tenner I would loose sleep till its paid back.

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 6,845 Mod ✭✭✭✭Raichu

    I mean honestly can’t disagree with anyone saying go and knock the front door.

    I still don’t understand why you didn’t when you were there last time..

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,707 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump

    You can do it if you want. Depends on how it might be subsequently twisted. The "victim" might take you to court for harassment and violating their constitutional rights to personal integrity and inviolability of their dwelling.

    Given you likely have no record of the debt, you could also leave yourself open to a criminal charge of making an unwarranted demand with menace.

    Section 11 subsection 1 of the 1997 Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act deal with demands for payment of a debt.

    I think that there are some other specific laws on where debt collectors can contact you and how frequently they can do it as well. I think the workplace is explicitly verboten on that list but I am open to correction. I just have the feeling that I heard that before.

    To clarify, I am not saying not to ask for it, I'm just thinking of the potential games your man could play if he wants to continue acting the arsehole. Given what was said, the "borrower" doesn't appear to be beyond telling lies to try to get out of something.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    That's why it's hard to advise until he goes to the house first and asks for his money. Ideally record it (let's not get sidetracked on this element) on his phone.

    Can advise him further after this encounter.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,973 ✭✭✭blackbox

    This guy is a total pri©k.

    He will never pay you until it becomes a problem for him.

    Persistence is the key - he is hoping (expecting) you will just give up.

    Go to his house and ask him for the money. He will say he hasn't got it and promise to give it to you later.

    Insist on a date for payment and call around again on that day. You can bet he still won't pay up.

    Agree a new date and this time call to his workplace. If he's not "customer facing", you can tell the receptionist you have come to collect the money he owes you. You may have to repeat this a few times.

    If he refuses to meet you, ask to speak to his manager.

    Eventually you will make it easier for him to pay the money than to keep being chased.

    Persistence, persistence and more persistence!

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,715 ✭✭✭✭Ash.J.Williams

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,912 ✭✭✭3DataModem

    It is less hassle for him to ignore you than to pay you.

    You need to make it less hassle for him to pay you than to ignore you.

    Drop in each day in person to ask. Someone once suggested dropping in at the same time as other people are there worked wonders.

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    The guy sounds terrible. However, I think you're way too quick to give up on sorting this out amicably.

    1. You texted him if "he could maybe be ok at this stage to repay the €500". He didn't respond.
    2. Then you called him, but he was in the middle of dinner so he didn't pick up.

    That's very little contact. Personally, I'd never pick up the phone in the middle of dinner. I figure if it's important, they'll call me back.

    He clearly doesn't think the debt is important, and I don't think one text and one missed call is going to impress it's importance upon him. Like you say, sending another text with your bank details is great, it'll jog his memory and give him an easier way to pay. If nothing comes through after a few days, I'd text him again, and if nothing comes through a few days after that, then if you are going to go through any legal route, send him yet another text to warn him that you're going to do this.

    Going to his job or his parents at all would be inappropriate IMO, but doubly more so when you've literally only had contact with him once about the debt (I wouldn't count the phone call as contact since he didn't pick it up).