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Old April 3 2013, 07:16 AM   #1
StarMan
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Location: ... in another place.
Family Member Owes Money. Advice?

Hi all. I'm in a bit of a pickle and thought you wonderful people might be able to help me out.

Mid 2010 my Mum informed me my younger brother and his partner were having financial difficulties and that he was going to ask for some help. So, after being warned by Mum and 'encouraged' to help out my brother came to me. I asked what it would take and we came to $5000. I didn't feel entirely comfortable with this (first mistake), as it was a substantial chunk of my savings. However, I was *assured* that I would be paid back by the end of the year (they had money due from other sources was the story at the time).

So as I saw it, this money would be absent from my account for a few months and then back before I knew it. I agreed and lent him the money.

Now, recall I said mid 2010. Heh. Obviously things did not go as planned.

I have, to date, received approx $1000 of the $5000 owed, as a result of a couple of cash payments and an automatic payment he set up last year. At the current rate, I'm looking at another 3-4 years. As for my 2nd mistake, we never drew anything up on paper.

So, you might be asking yourself, how did I let it get to this? Really, this ought to have been addressed as soon as the money wasn't through as agreed. I was told after the time expired there had been complications and other 'things' which had never been elaborated on.

A quiet resentment has grown over the past couple of years, punctuated with me venting to both my parents on the situation. They're hardly scraping it at the bottom of the social ladder, with trips away, 2 kids looked after, a business and a house.

I am not in desperate need of the money back, however, I have become increasingly aware of the *loss* I have incurred by not having it in my savings. This would have been a non issue if the loan had only been issued for the few months I had agreed to. However, protracted over several years, this will add up to close to a grand lost in interest.

LOL, so I finally broached the subject with him. I had the idea that to compensate for this, rather than start charging interest, they could provide a service instead. I thought his partner, being a great hairdresser with her own barber shop, could provide me free haircuts and some product over the next couple of years and he could continue paying me back at the less-than-stellar rate that he has.

Well, it went down like a cup of cold sick. I discovered he was incensed by my 'offer' and that I'm his brother, not a bank. Family helps each other out! Basically, the notion of me thinking about interest (see: money I'm losing by not having the loaned money in my possession) isn't above board.

I was blown away. I really thought my offer was generous (overly, now). Something has switched in my mind and I've gone cold on both of them. I can't stomach this loan anymore and I want the lot back. This has been hanging around for years longer than I intended and when I finally addressed my concerns, I'm the one who upset*him* ???

This will be a lesson well learned for the future, but what do I do in the present? My mother wants to stay out of it and my father thinks because interest wasn't agreed to initially, I shouldn't demand it now. Well, I didn't agree to loaning him money over a several year friggin' period! I haven't got anything on paper. We had a verbal agreement that was predicated on me being paid back by a particular time, is all. As that condition was not met I don't see why I'm being unreasonable by suggesting additional conditions (interest) if the net result for me loaning them money is a loss of several hundred dollars. Free legal aid? Collection agency LOL (and what would THAT cost me)?

Ugh. End of rant. Not expecting any magical answers. Just had to get it off my chest and tell someone aside from my parents.
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