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Suggestions In Recouping £400 I'm Owed By An Acquaintance

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SurreyGuy | 12:47 Fri 03rd Jun 2016 | Law
17 Answers
I would like some advice please (I don’t need criticism) regarding a sum of money that I’m owed and that I have been trying to recoup SINCE JANUARY 2009! Only lawful suggestions please :o)

Being the kind hearted soul that I am, I loaned £100 to an acquaintance after he told me that he’d had his wallet stolen en route to a boys’ night out. He said that he’d pay me back “in the next couple of days” but, over seven years later, I’ve not received a penny!

A couple of weeks after I had loaned the money, I was already getting the feeling that the guy was being elusive, so I went to his house with a friend of mine. We had to speak outside as the boke didn’t want his girlfriend to hear the conversation. The bloke was going on holiday for a week the following evening and asked if he could drop the money at my mate’s house the following morning (they only lived a few miles apart, whereas I was 20 miles away), so I agreed.

Another couple of weeks went by and I hadn’t heard from the debtor, so I texted him, only to be told that he’d broken his leg whilst on holiday and that he was not yet back in the UK.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, over the next six months, I received lies, lies and more lies from the debtor about his personal injury insurance, police investigations and late wages payments, so I decided to go through the Small Claims Court.

When I issued the claim (in July 2009), I received abusive texts and phone calls from the debtor. I advised the Police and the Court about these.

By September 2009, the debtor had not replied to any Court correspondence, so judgment was awarded in my favour.

By November of that year, the debtor had not paid any money, so was summoned to Court twice - he failed to appear both times. I was told by the Court that an arrest warrant would be issued but, as far as I know, that never happened.

In March 2010, I wrote letters to the debtor at the address that I had visited back in 2009 (I got a “he doesn’t live here anymore” reply from his [by then] ex-girlfriend).

After much mulling over, I wrote to his parents in August of that year, but didn’t get a reply. Instead, I got a snotty message on Facebook from the debtor stating that he only owed me £100, not the approximately £400 that was now owing (due to costs, interests, etc). I told the debtor that he’d been sent all the Court paperwork and that I was doing things by the book and lawfully.

In late 2011, I found a company who tracked debtors. Again, to cut a long story short, they did find someone with the debtors name who was apparently “linked” with the address (in Reading) that he had been living at in January 2009. However, his latest apparent abode was in the Midlands! After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing between the “found person”, myself and the Courts, it turned out that the company that I had paid to find my debtor had found the wrong person, so I was back to square one!

In 2013, I got talking to someone who knew someone that had a debt collection company. He said that he’d get him to help me, so I gave him all the details to pass onto his mate and I waited. THREE YEARS LATER(!) and following several occasions where I was told “I’ll be talking to ………….. and will ask him how he’s getting on recouping your money”, I was eventually told that the debt collection company had been unsuccessful. TBH, I don’t believe that the debt collection company tried particularly hard!

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a couple of local council offices to check the electoral rolls for the two addresses that I had for the debtor, but that drew a blank. I have no idea where he now lives or where he is working, so

I’m now out of ideas as to what to do next! I'm also ng to think, "what's the point in being law-abiding when you just get walked over?"!

Any lawful ideas, please?


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I think you have to draw a line under it, as investing more time, energy and money in chasing the debt is unlikely to be any more successful than you have been until now. Put it down to experience. I have been defrauded once "lending" a stranger money. Found out he was a professional at it and hopefully got locked up. It happens.
Sounds like you have exhausted the normal legal routes.
This issue seems to have become extremely personal to you. Can you not see that sometimes pursuing this 'at all costs is' is costing you ( and others ) much much more than the £400 in money.
You should seriously consider talking this through with a counselor.
Personally, I'd have 'wrote it off' as I handed it to him. Then you wouldn't be disappointed and might have had a nice surprise.
You do seem to be investing an awful lot of time and angst for little reason. You'll feel much better if you 'let it go'.
I doubt you will ever see £400 even with the best legal adviser in the world. If you could just get the £100 back it might bring closure so maybe that's the best you can hope for. If you can make contact agree to accept that and see what happens. If that doesn't work then I would move on.
I think. Step away and don't lend money .
I think you overstepped the mark when you wrote to his parents! you really need the money so bad from 7 years ago as it really doesn't seem worth the stress.
Without a known location it doesn't sound good.

That's the problem with restricting it to lawful ideas ;-)

You could always write to Dominic Littlewood and see if he needs to ensure any more folk don't get done for his next TV show.

But more practically sometimes you just have to cut your losses by not throwing away good money after bad, And put it into the past. As everyone above points out, as far as quality of life goes, losing the stress alone is probably worth £hundreds. You only have the one life as far as we know; make the best of it even if sometimes you have to take a hit.
Put it down to experience and move on!
Neither a borrower or a lender be(Except to a bank or building society for a maximum of £75,000 .00)
I'm sorry but I think you have to draw a line under this.
I was in a similar situation, £50.00, not £100.00 (I also think you have to be realistic about the 'other' £300.00). I asked my friend for the return of the money a number of times over the space of a year, and then wrote her, and the money, off.
It was infuriating, but I decided that I wasn't going to use time and energy on a lost cause.
Believe it or not, you will feel relieved if you let it go.
Send debtor registered letter giving 30 days to settle or pay interest @ (bank rate). When the debt reaches £1k+ call in High Court sheriffs.
bit of a long post

you are owed a sum by someone and you dont know where he lives or ifhe has the funds....

walk away from it and do something more productive

I mean how many hours have you spent on this ?
even at £ 6.89 / h you spent more in trying to recover the debt than yoou will ever recover
I'd be tempted to place all the legal paperwork on Facebook or YouTube or something like that, it might discourage others from lending money to this thief.
Question Author
Thanks to all-but-three of you for the advice/answers.

I appreciate the sentiment and words that most of you took the time to write and I shall now try to move on. It just pains me to be taken advantage of and, despite abiding by the law and doing the right thing, I got nowhere.

I would love to name/shame the bloke, but I fear that'd backfire on me, too, but never say "never".
He who hesitates is lost and this sorry tale of delay after delay in initiating proceedings and thereafter enforcing the decree proves that this is true.
Agree with the "write it off" suggestions, but what I also suggest is that you write a letter to your "mate", telling him EXACTLY what you think of him, call him every name you want to call him, swearing as much you like, then throw the letter away! It's very cathartic; I know, I've done it myself!

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