Episode 15

Kiss It Goodbye!

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There's an old saying that goes "before borrowing money from a friend, decide which you need most." This couldn't ring more true when people and money mix. Regardless of their best intentions, someone always becomes frustrated and resentful. Maybe you've been down this road before, or perhaps you've found the secret to a successful transaction. Anything to share? 

Your stories

  1. Daddy's advice

    by Fran
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  1. Never lend more than you can afford to lose

    by Giana My father told me when I was very young to never lend more than I could afford to lose. Then, to look at it as a gift to a friend and FORGET about it. If I cannot think of it as a gift, then I obviously cannot "lend" it. If the friend can pay me back, then, great, take it. If they don't, then it doesn't matter. In my mind, it was always a gift, never a loan. Sooooo, if a friend needs $100, and I have to pay a bill or will need $75 of it, I am free to gift the $25 or $20, or even $10 if that's all I can gift them. "I can't help with $100, dear friend, but here's $X.00." If they say they will pay me back, as people do when they're in a bind and feel bad about asking, I say "O.k, I hope this helps." and leave it at that. I NEVER mention it again. If I cannot gift any of it, all I can say is "I'm sorry, I don't have it." I have never lost a friendship or family ties over money. It works.
  2. Daddy's advice

    by Fran My daddy passed away when I was only 14 yrs. old. My daddy was from the age of your word should be more important than your signature. So with that, he also would say never do business with friends or family that you aren't willing to lose. IF you do, then he also said get everything in writing. So, this has been the advice I have used in my life. Just like my daddy, it has never failed me.
  3. Your friends might be strangers

    by Random Swedish person I've lent money to my friends and also borrowed without any problems at all. The problems people are having isn't related to borrowing/lending money from/to friends. The problem is that there are so many people who don't know what a friend is. They have all these shallow acquaintances and call them friends because they've never had a real friend so they wouldn't know one when they see one. It's sad really. My advice is: Do try to get to know the people you say are your friends. Remember that if you don't know them, then they are strangers.

    by Angela The year 2001, I co-signed for an individual for a car. We loved him as family, trusted him with my children, trusted his judgment in many ways. (1) within a few months, he was arrested, (2) I got stuck with the co-signing of his car loan AND (3) My family and I were beyond devastated in what he did to our daughter and nearly destroyed my family! Years later - my son asked me to co-sign for an apartment he was moving in with his girlfriend - and I told him "Judge Judy" NEVER says to cosign for friends, family or anyone! It turned out my son broke up with his ex-girlfriend - and glad I listened to Judge Judy - I watch her show 100% and learned excellent in experience - in truth and NEVER to lie in court - Lies can get you into trouble but "TRUTH" will bring out the honesty in people! Thank You Judge Judy - you are tough AND THE BEST!!!!
  5. Borrowing Suggestion

    by Anonymous My comment is really a suggestion for all to consider. IF the borrower needs extra funds, they should first sit down & figure ALL their finances, starting with the amount they usually get. Next, the borrower should find ALL their current bills, once they arrive. Taking the amount they get, they should subtract ALL monthly expenses (bills)from that amount. Only THEN will they know how much they can comfortably afford to borrow IF anything. NEVER borrow more than you make, & can repay in a single payment.
  6. Going, going, gone

    by Andrew I lent a relative $10,000. They made payments for a year. Then got into trouble with failure to pay employee payroll taxes. Another loan added $18,000 to the bill making nearly $30,000. They stopped making payments, ignored letters, changed the telephone number. Now the good part: The first loan was processed through a title company with a Deed of Trust on a second house they owned. The additional money attached to the deed. I implored them to sell the house, make some money, pay me off. They did not use the second house for 2 years so it was not a matter of shelter. I filed a default, foreclosed on the house in CA, and immediately listed it for sale. I got all my loan back plus I made $23,000 on the sale which they could have originally gotten. It's been years and we don't speak. They feel they were cheated. Lend money on a promissory note and get that note secured on something that can be seized and sold.
  7. We'll Pay

    by Catherine I used to lend when times were tough and then learned that especially with family, it’s money gone and the fight just isn’t worth it. Now a little older, a lot wiser and the wallet not so tight, my husband and I came up with the perfect deterrent for people asking for loans/cash. When approached we'd listen to the pitch and say, “give us the name and address, we’ll send the check to the company.” It’s amazing how fast the request for a loan is withdrawn. One person was fine with a check to their cable company until we found out they were three months behind. A condition for the loan was sitting with us to understand where the money went and establishing a budget; they left. We haven’t been hit up for three years now, though there is still resentment from the people that used to get the handouts/loans.
  8. Expect nothing and never be disappointed.

    by Chelsee A few years ago in 2009, my stepmother's family was so low on money that they couldn't buy food. We had just come into some money, so we wired them $200. We never expected anything in return, and just enjoyed being able to help.
  9. The Bank is closed

    by Katherine My husband used to loan his extended and immediate family money all the time to cover their being "short" because he felt like it was his duty because they were "family." Before we became engaged, I told him that I simply couldn't support that and he was in fact enabling them to not learn to take care of themselves, nor was it his duty to save them. This, plus pointing out that they always found the money for extras (i.e., cigarettes, beer, satellite radio), made a point. He let his family know that no more money would be forthcoming and offered to help them construct budgets. No one took him up on his offer--but the next time he was asked, he said "no." He's had to say no a couple of times since then, but by and large, the asking has stopped.
  10. Thought I was helping someone...

    by Christi My daughter graduated with a girl last year who was "less fortunate." She was the salutatorian of her class and although she saved up her money for the deposit on campus housing, she turned it in late and had nowhere to live. I helped her find an apartment, and loaned her the money for the deposit. She had planned to get a job soon after moving in. I also bought her a bed, bedding set, gave her a rug, a coffee table, and decorations. My daughter drove her back and forth to class and anywhere else she needed to go. Turns out she basically refused to get a job and therefore couldn't buy herself a car so my daughter got tired of driving her around with no help with gas money after 6 weeks. She and my daughter eventually parted company, the girl gave up and moved back home and then refused to pay me back for the deposit. She and her mother are both mad at me, as they believe it's our fault she had to leave school. And I thought I was helping someone...
  11. Forever Indebted

    by FairLady My two younger brothers and I have never borrowed money from each other so it's hard for me to understand how my husband's siblings have always given each other money. To me, it seems like people will never learn to grow up and take responsibility for their lives if someone else continually bails them out. My husband and I are fixing up a home that was in a terrible state of neglect and there are so many things we need to make the home habitable. His sisters are resentful of me (and now of their brother, my husband) because I will not condone giving them money. They are both very irresponsible, take in stray pets, buy alot of unnecessary toys when they do have money. I don't feel sorry for them and if they don't like me, it's just too bad. I think they will learn to be more responsible if they aren't given a hand out all the time.
  12. Unforgiven

    by Thereislighonthehorizon Having a brother who is constantly borrowing $20 dollars here and there and forgetting for the last 30 years is one thing. Having him/and sister-in-law in need is another. (Or so we thought.) My brother, who just got a huge lump payment 4 months previously, came to us with a story of how he had messed up his accounts and could we lend him $1500 to pre-pay his bills while he went and had his hip surgery. He gave the excuse that he didn't want his wife to be worried about the bills while he recuperated his first couple of weeks. Then he vowed to pay $100 every month until the debt was paid off. That was in 2009. He doesn't answer calls or emails so we emailed the wife and 1/3 has been paid sporadically. Our last demand was for him to pay up with his income tax return. Putting a lien on his new car will be the next incentive. We are hoping for an end to this and a return to some normalcy in the family. As it is now, the only ones hurt has been us.
  13. The Plane Ticket Con

    by Scott Several years ago, a friend asked me for 400 dollars to fix his car. I agreed to help him out and offered to give him the cash, or write him or the car repair place a check. He wanted my credit card number, so I gave it to him. Some time later I noticed that my balance was higher than expected and that a plane ticket had been charged to my credit card to the tune of 485 dollars. I called the credit card company and asked about it and I was referred to a travel agency. I called the agency and asked who had authorized the charge to my card, it was my friend. I asked him about it and he quickly offered to repay me the difference, which I accepted. In the end, against the protest of other co-workers and friends, I simply wrote off the money but only after seeing a note supposedly written to his landlord stating that he was thousands of dollars in debt and couldn't make his rent payment. When asked why I hadn't disputed the charge, I said I had agreed to give him the money.
  14. Children don't repay loans

    by Lois Shortly after I inherited money from my mother's estate, my son decided he should buy a house. In order for the mortgage payment to fit his budget, he needed more money to put down on the house. He pleaded and promised to pay it back in installments because he was saving so much with a small payment. Shortly after he moved into the house (and before any payments to me were made) he bought a boat, a new truck, a big dog, got married and had 2 kids and never paid back a cent. He took my inheritance and kept it. Now he wants to buy a bigger house and makes no mention of paying me back; just trading this one in for a bigger one. It shows a real lack of character as well as a feeling of entitlement. The only recourse I have is to rework my will so he gets less than his sister when I'm gone. I just want to say "thanks ungrateful kids for doing this to your parents." You would never do this to a friend or the bank.
  15. Lost money vs guilt

    by Adam Please excuse my language mistakes - Polish is my mother's tongue (I'm aware it's a very poor excuse). I have/had a close friend with whom I had a good relationship involving coming to his house for dinner, spending time with his family and vice versa and exploring different business opportunities together. One time, I asked him to loan me some money (about 1k$), because I had a little financial setback. He did without hesitating much and no written contract took place. I paid him back everything. Since then, our relationship got weaker, from my point of view mostly because of his inability to deliver promises. Interesting thing happened to me one month ago - he called me and asked whether I could borrow him about the same amount he loaned me before. I thought about it long and hard. I knew he most probably won't pay me back but on the other hand if I wouldn't I would feel terrible. So I loaned him the money and accepted that I won't ever see it again. I feel I made the right decision.
  16. Don't loan or borrow money

    by Wayne Lending and borrowing money to family and friends very rarely works and more often than not results in broken relationships. If you need money, go to a bank and for those considering loaning you should always be prepared to not get your money repaid without the breakdown of your relationship to the person that borrowed the money. If a bank or money lender won't accept the risk why should you unless you can afford to lose the money.
  17. NEVER

    by Jake I've been watching "Judge Judy" my whole life, and because of that, I've learned to never, ever lend money to someone and then expect a return. If people want money, then they should just work a little bit harder at whatever it is they do (if they even do anything at all), and then save up, and that way, everyone can be happy about buying something or paying for something.
  18. Yes. I found a method that works.

    by David I have both loaned money to & have taken a loan from a friend (2 separate people). I DESPISE doing this, and the only way I will do either is if there is a written contract to protect us BOTH. With the loan, the "friend" started hemming & hawing about paying me back. I informed him that he could either voluntarily pay me or I'd haul him into court with the contract. When I needed a loan, my friend said a contract wasn't necessary. I disagreed & insisted on it because I wasn't willing to risk our friendship on a "he said/he said" scenario––I wanted it in writing so we could refer back to the agreement & so that HE would feel secure with the arrangement. I knew I'd repay the loan, but I still wanted everything in writing. (Interesting that he didn't want an agreement; he'd previously loaned someone $30,000 with no contract and was never repaid. His loan to me was only $1500.) That having been said, I strongly recommend AGAINST loaning or taking a loan from a friend (or family).
  19. Just do this!

    by Cyndy If someone borrows $100.00, they need to give me 4 checks (or what ever you think is reasonable amounts) for $25.00 each dated on the insurable dates they can pay you back. Agree in writing that you won't cash the checks until dates on the check. Make sure they are good to pay their bills on a timely basis. I do agree if you really need they money back, keep it in your pocket. Works for me. It also works great to clear up those bills like the dentist. The dentist is happy to have 4 post dated checks. It was better than none. If something needs to be done with your teeth in the meantime the dentist will welcome you back. You won't have to feel guilty or be embarassed or think a bill collector is in your future.
  20. Never have it to lend

    by Kathy I would answer with "sorry I dont have it to lend". Simple as that. I would try to help them with suggestions to get the money they need. If one of my sons or mother would ask to borrow money because of a need not a want I would just give it to them if I have it to spare.
  21. Lent money to boyfriend

    by Lady A. He cried and emotionally blackmailed me that he needed a car loan so he could maintain access with his toddler daughter, get to work and see me! He could not get his own credit, so I got him a car loan, never expecting him to break up with me the day after!!! I am not naive - I got him to sign a promissory note, but I would definitely urge anyone that if a friend or boyfriend is emotionally blackmailing you for money, then expect to lose the money with the friendship! Sickening thing is he earns twice as much as me. Good thing is, I take the moral highground as he is a liar and a cheat and a nasty horrible piece of work - I may have the debt, but I am still an honorable person. Will take him to court as soon as I find out where the hell he is hiding out!
  22. Siblings and Parents

    by Kari I have learned that letting my brother or sister borrow money from me will more than likely never be returned. When you hear them say, 'Oh, how much was it? I'll pay you back', it is not going to happen. On the contrary, when borrowing it from my parents I have learned that it is harder to pay them back because you know they are going to be lenient with you. Furthermore, the point is I have learned a couple of things, one, never borrow money unless you set up a plan to pay them back, two, if you have to borrow money you probably shouldn't get what you are needing the money for. Kari's Know-How.
  23. Lending money to a friend

    by Vincent My best friend of 30 years was unable to qualify for financing on new furniture. We drew up an official document defining the amount loaned and the terms of the repayment. We then went to a Notary and it was as simple as that. He paid back the loan 18 months ahead of time. And, we are still the best of friends.
  24. Guilt comes with not paying back

    by Judy H In the 70s, I borrowed $1300 from my mother for taxes. It was our first year in business and we weren't prepared for the end of the year taxes. I never got it paid back. Mother is gone now but it always bothered me. It never bothered my husband. We did so much for my mother that he didn't feel guilty, but I did. I always made my children pay back anything they barrowed. I even took my daughter's bike to make her see that life has responsibilities. Some day they will appreciate the fact that they did it on their own and don't ever have to feel guilty like I did. They owe us nothing and I did it for their sake, not ours. I wish we had had the money to just give them, but we never have had anything to spare.
  25. by Ella Growing up, my father instructed me "if you don't have the cash, you can't afford it". I really stuck with that advice. My dad also said put a limit on lending money to people, and the amount was $10.00. While walking in the elements and someone would ask if I had any spare change, I replied I don't give away money, but I will say a quick prayer and recite something. There is an owl on the American dollar bill and it reminds me to be wise with my spending even though it's just paper. I celebrate life with "no spend days", not even a penny is spent and emotional and spirtual growth is bestowed upon me. There was a baseball broad caster who would say "You can kiss it goodbye" and the play was a homerun.
  26. Borrowing money

    by Ingrid I don't really have a story, but I have a philosophy. When someone is kind enough to lend you money, pay it back. It's the right thing to do, and people are more likely to help you out in a pinch if they are comfortable with the knowledge that the money will be returned to them.
  27. Always giving

    by Doreen My husband and I have always discussed whether or not we should give money to someone. If we need the money for an upcoming bill or activity and would NEED the money back before a certain date, we will not give it. If there is nothing pressing and we can just let them take it without repayment, we will give it. If they pay us back later, that's fine and if they never pay it back, that's okay too, because we had made up our minds to give it as a gift and don't need it repaid. One time, an acquaintance of ours, whom we thought was decent, needed some extra cash. We gave him a junk washer to scrap out for metal salvage. We left the garage open for him to get the washer and, unfortunately, he helped himself to more things than the washer! He has never returned to our home again. What a sad thing for him. He lost out in the long run as we would have been there for him in the future. Bridges are burned and lessons are learned, but that would not deter us from helping someone again.
  28. Lending money to children

    by Helen I have lent my children money for good purposes, mostly when they bought homes. Then I forget about it!!! Sometimes they pay me back, mostly I forget all about it. Lastly, I would not take my children into court, never. I love them too much to embarrass all of us.
  29. Ethics

    by Sheila There is a saying in the Ethics of the Fathers' "he who owes money, shorten their lives." My husband and I have never borrowed from anyone other than financial institutions. We have learned to live by the saying "who is rich, he that is happy with his lot." At age 69 and 73....if we have our health-we have our wealth.
  30. Never lend money to family

    by Kate I have been fortunate and have been able to make a life and career for myself. My family, not so much... They make destructive choices and expect me to bail them out. I have learned over the years to always give them cash as a gift - I would never see it returned if I loaned it no matter what. I will give them about a third of what they ask for. Amazingly, they take what I offer and figure out the rest on their own. I believe that I am very lucky to have the capability to make better choices and I am sorry they don't... But I don't buy into guilt trip, anger that I wont just lend them the amount they want.. Or any other scam tactics...

    by Carolyn Several years ago, my daughter was a college student. After her first semester sophmore year, she was placed on academic probation and lost her financial aid. As a single parent, I could not afford to pay for the next semester. I needed $1700.00. My daughter so wanted to continue her education and promised to do better in school. I asked a good friend and co-worker to borrow the money. And without hesistation she loaned me the money without even a promissory note! I paid her $250.00 monthly until it was paid in full. My daughter became serious about her education, got off academic probation and was again eligible for financial aid. Without my good friend's help she would have had to sit out for the next semester and probably would have become discouraged and quit college altogether. I am proud to say my daughter is a college graduate! I have one of the greatest friends on earth! We are sisters by God not by birth. We are best friends forever!
  32. Paying for someone's bail

    by Jeanette A good friend's grown son got into serious trouble for the second time. We were asked to put our home up as security for his bond. Our friend said, "he is really a good boy. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time." My husband told our friend that he would not put up our house to stand for the bond because he would not even do that for his own son. And he added, "Your son is not a kid, he is married with kids of his own. He needs to stop riding around late at night with a bunch of his friends and go home to his family. That will keep him out of trouble. And he needs to find a better class of friends." As much as parents want to help, there comes a time when repeative behavior has to be recogized by their children...grown or near grown...as being a contributing factor to their problems. If they are not willing ot recognize this, perhaps a fe months or a year or so in jail might make them realize if that is the life they want to have. You cannot learn their lessons for them.
  33. Borrowing Money

    by Dena I (almost) never ask to borrow money. I have never borrowed money from a friend. That just doesn't seem right. I have asked family though, but when I have done so, it was for a darn good reason. For instance, the last time I borrowed money it was because I was moving away to college. I would never ask to borrow money for something like a car or for rent or for a new laptop. That's just crazy!
  34. Family Lending: Forgiven, Not Forgotten

    by Michelle Over the years, my father has lent all of his children money of differing amounts. He has never asked us to make definite arrangements to pay him back, and has never asked for any of it back. Now I am 43 years old. Having some cash after taxes back in 2010, I jokingly asked my father if he knew how much I owed him. He produced for me a printout of a record he had been keeping since I turned 18 years old, that included dates, amounts and reasons for each loan, no matter how small! Although my father has always been there to help me, he has never said anything or offered to show me his "bill" until I asked. I can only guess he must have some faith that his children would eventually want to give back some of what we received.
  35. Don't Lend Cash - Just Pay the Bill

    by Hazen I have had friends and family ask me to borrow cash. Such things do not turn out well. Instead I ask, "What do you need the money for?". If the answer is, "To pay the car insurance." Then I simply pay the insurance directly for them and say, "Treat as your birthday/Christmas etc. gift." If I am asked again in the same year my response is,"Only one gift for you, because we have other friends and family." It is timely you ask because, today, one of the people I gifted in the past, gifted me today, out-of-the-blue, with something I consider far-in-excess of the value of the gift I provided him. We have known each other for 27 years.
  36. If You Lend It, Don't Expect to Ever See it Again!

    by Stacey I loaned my friend money to help them out with their rent. I was planning on going to Japan to teach English as a second language so I had money sitting around. Well my mistake was that I lent money thinking that I would get it back. I should have known better. Wouldn't you know, once I started asking for it back, I never got a phone call returned. And then suddenly I was getting accused of getting too close with my friend's husband. That didn't go over very well with me and a huge fight erupted and in the end the police were called and I had to take them to small claims court. In the end, it was my fault for having opened myself up to that situation. I took responsibility for my part in the situation. Even though I won in small claims court, I decided that it wasn't worth losing her as an acquaintance. We are not friends but at least we are civil. I don't loan anymore but if you feel the need to I suggest going to www.kiva.org as they can allow you to loan money and be paid back.
  37. Disappointed

    by Christine Before my husband retired he lent £600 to a young colleague to help him buy a new car. He was paid back £300 over 3 months, then the young man left the company for another job. My husband hasn't seen or heard from this boy for 5 years. He was so disappointed because he trusted this boy and took him under his wing when he started working with him. I hope he feels guilty and is revisited by his actions.I tell my husband that what goes around comes around. Love your show and your wisdom.
  38. A matter of pride...

    by GC My husband and I have started to call your show "Judge "but it was a gift" Judy"- here's my story: I put myself through college and graduate school--never wanted anything from my parents--or expected it. When I married the first time, my husband and I had an opportunity to purchase a home, but were hurting for the down payment. My late father knew this--and sent a check for $2000--a fortune at the time. We never talked repayment--I think he did think of it as a gift, but I never did--I thought it meant he believed in me and my future. Anyway, years later, when I got a bonus at work, I could hardly wait to send him a check for what he had "given" me and thank him for his generosity in full! He later told me he didn't want to cash it--but he did- it made him very proud and touched his heart. Anyway, just wanted to share how good it made ME feel too--so often that seems to be forgotten by folks on your show. It feels great to do the right thing and thank someone for believing in you.
  39. A Rat Tale

    by Mary-Alice Years ago, when I was young or stupid... or a little bit of both, I had a roommate who would never pay her half of the rent. I was a beginning teacher and didn't make much money myself, so this became a nuisance. She was making considerably less than I was, so I felt sorry for her and just let the matter ride. We had been friends in high school, and I valued the friendship, but wanted her to leave so that I could replace her with someone who was a bit more responsible in coughing up her share of the $$$. In my kindergarten, I had a large white rat as a class pet, so I brought it home one weekend so that I could 'exercise' it in our bath tub. (That was my story, anyway!) I released the rat in the tub, and my roommate shouted, "Either the RAT goes, or I go!" I chose the rat, and the roommate left! I found a new roommate who could pay, and the rat never saw my bath tub again. The No Rent Roommate and I are still friends 47 years later, but she thinks I am really weird! Ha!
  40. Lesson from Pawpaw

    by Michael I was in my early 20's and needed to barrow money. I finally broke down and asked my Pawpaw. He without reluctance said yes. He explained to me that this was not a loan. He said he was giving me this money without expecting it back. I looked at him a little funny. He said if you do pay it back and ever need any more I will give it to you again. If you don't pay this back do not come ask me for any more. One good lesson I learned from my Pawpaw was, never loan family any more than you are willing to loose and never expect it back. He said it is a good investment and will never hurt the relationship. I have abided by this all my life and will continue to do so.
  41. Kissed it goodbye to save a friendship

    by Stacey Loaned a friend money to catch up on car payments. She repaid $100 of a $800 loan, but made herself scarce from my life. I called her after one year and said consider it a gift because her friendship meant more to me than the money. Judy said don't lend it if you expect to get it back!
  42. Children always need help

    by Violette I have come to the same conclusion as you. I don't "lend" money to my children anymore unless I am prepared to "give" it to them. It has taken me a long time to learn this lesson and much stress, mainly on my part as I think they choose to forget all about it. So now they get no money. If they are in dire straights, bad tooth, last minute rent, medication etc I have them give me the name of the dentist, pharmacy or whatever and call them and pay directly. I feel better as a mom and the money is spent they way it is supposed to be.

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