I Regret Lending Money to Friend - Please Help

I'm looking for advice on how to recoup funds I lent to a friend.

My friend asked to borrow $10k to pay legal fees related to the settlement of an investment scheme. I regret lending him money because my gut tells me that I won't get my money back. I trusted my friend and didn't do my due diligence - this is was my mistake. He said he'd return my money within 1 week and it's now going on 4 weeks.

1st red flag - after sending him the funds (Saturday), he asked me for another $7k the very next day!! (Sunday). He said that he sent the $10k to his friend (who I don't know), whom is also in this investment scheme to pay for the legal fees. However, his friend's doctor/hospital took $7k out for "cancer treatment". WTF?! Doctor's just don't direct debit $7k on a Sunday, they'll usually call and ask for your card details. Even so, who doesn't have the money ready for their life-saving treatment?! I said no and he had the nerve to ask me to ask my parents…

2nd red flag - he says things like "Don't lose sleep, I'll take you to Nobu and on a shopping spree once the money settles" and "just a few more days, trust the process" This comes off very charlatan-like and rather evasive, not very assuring at all. I get the feeling he is only saying this to keep me calm.

I'd appreciate any advice on how to best approach the situation. I want my $10k back and I don't care if the friendship is over. I am stressed out and it's affecting my job/work and personal relationships.

TLDR: Lent friend $10k for "legal case". Gut tells me that he is a degenerate gambler. How to get money back.

Edit 1: I already feel shit as it is. If you don't have anything constructive to say, please gtfo.


    • +1

      I guess I could write a book to monetise my misfortune

      • I could see you are very stress. Not sure your age, some parents will always warn their children about lending money to friend. Although some parent may find it hard to convince their child, so this will be a real story to tell and warn others. Not sure if you also get your "friend" to write a statement that 10k was borrowed from you. You may have to move on from this. Take it as at least it is 10k not 100k. Hopefully time will heal you.

      • Yeah you shoulda skipped the snoring surgery.

  • +1

    You never lend to a friend, you give to a friend. And you just gave your friend 10k

  • +1

    I want my $10k back and I don't care if the friendship is over.

    One of these things is true and one of these things isn't going to happen…..

    Gut tells me that he is a degenerate gambler. How to get money back.

    If your gut is right, the money is gone and I highly doubt you'll see a cent back.

    Unless you had some formal agreement, you have zero chances of getting any money back.

  • +1

    Sounds like a gambling addict to me. You're better off seeking legal advice and getting new friends.

  • +1

    If 10k is a significant enough amount of money to cause you this much stress (before it's even actually due back to you) perhaps you shouldn't have lent it out to someone who you didn't trust and know 100% in the first place.

    I get a strong sense their is more to this story that you haven't disclosed. Were you financially incentivised to loan this "friend" the money? If you were doing it purely out of friendship then you must know him well and long enough to know whether he is capable of scamming you out of your money.

    • What? OP trusted his friend hence the situation

      • So what is he stressing out about for? If you know your friend well and long enough in order to loan him 10k, you shouldn't be stressing to this degree before the loan is even due.

        • I don't see how you arrive at this conclusion

        • If he had said that the funds would be returned in 4 weeks, I wouldn't have had a problem with it.

          I don't have an immediate need for the money, it's the fact that events thereafter are of concern to me that I'll NEVER get it back.

  • +3

    Yeah boo. I learnt the hard way with family (parents). Blood is thicker than water? Bullshit.

    One sure way to ensure family/friend relationships are ruined is to get $$$ involved.

    • Personally, I'd have less of a problem with it if it was family

      • +3

        A family member that doesn’t return your money is worse imo. They used your relationship for benefit and see you as a fool, as it was in my case.

    • +4

      Dodgy parents are even worse than dodgy friends. You think you can trust your parents of all people and then when they decide not to pay they give you the guilt trip about how much they spent raising you and what a POS you are asking your dear old parents to pay you back. Just because they are family doesn't mean they won't shank you for a dollar at the first opportunity lol.

      • +3

        Guess we were brought up differently. If my parents needed $10k I’d give it to them no questions and wouldn’t want it back.

        • +4

          Wew lad. You've jumped to a number of conclusions there.

          My point was even parents can be dogs and just because someone is family doesn't mean they won't rip you off. Also there is a difference between willingly giving your olds $10K and them asking for a loan, promising to pay you back and then never doing so. Not exactly sure how you can't see the difference but maybe we were brought up differently.

      • +1

        Lol your parents gave you life, and in most cases a whole lot more. If they need something their children should jump at the chance to help out. Seems incredibly petty to quibble over money with the 2 people who you will always be indebted to no matter what.

        • +5

          Do people have a comprehension problem? There is a difference between giving you parents something and them asking for a loan and then not paying you back when they said they would.

        • +2

          Indebted? If i need to be indebted because they had a hard time raising me and they want to take advantage of me because of that, then they should have thought about that before having kids

          Theres a difference between giving them cash to help out vs giving them cash (and lots of it) because they needed a leg up and they promised not only to pay it back but a percentage of capital gains, and then they just say, oh, nup we’re not giving you anything - you owe us for living for free when we raised you. And then paint you as being ungrateful

          • -4

            @Vote for Pedro: Nah mate you still don't get it. And im not talking from a legal or technical standpoint.

            Let me make it very simple for you. Parents shouldn't have to borrow from their kids. If they are in need of anything their kids should just help out because you know they are your parents and you wouldn't be here in the first place without them.

            The only assumptions being that the kids are actually in a position to do so and we're not talking amounts that would put at serious risk their own financial future.

            • +6

              @harthagan: You’re not getting it either. He’s not talking from a legal standpoint. He’s saying that you did not choose to be born or “be here without them”. Your parents chose to have children and as such they chose to take upon themselves the responsibility to look after you.

              If they looked after you well (they were loving, not abusive, made sacrifices for you, etc) then it’s very likely that you’ll have a good relationship and will want to help them out at any opportunity. But you shouldn’t be made to feel indebted or obligated to them because of it.

              Sadly, not every parent will be there when you need them either or was there when you needed them growing up. And some parents are pretty bad with money and make bad choices and giving them money is akin to throwing it in a fire pit. So you can’t just judge people without knowing the whole story.

              • +4

                @Laurana: You said it more eloquently than I could.

                I helped my parents buy (with deposit) and pay off their house (through fortnightly support). 5 years in I asked them not to give me anything but to just be guarantor. Guess what they said…

                I didn’t learn from that lesson (still thinking family bonds etc) and then had a large sum of cash not doing much in a bank account so I said ‘here, whack this in an offset or redraw to reduce interest (5% at time) but when i need it for my deposit, make sure it’s available’

                Few years later, take a guess…

                • +1

                  @Vote for Pedro: So sorry to hear that happened to you, mate. Absolutely shit on their part.

                  • +1

                    @Laurana: Thank you.

                    I’ve moved on. It took a while to recover both financially and emotionally. Cut all ties. Came to terms with it. All good now.

                    Though, I’ve learnt to put myself first and not let people take advantage. Unfortunately I do approach most new people and some people I’ve known for a while cautiously.

            • @harthagan: Huge asterisk there at the end. Which is why you find people aren’t ‘getting you’

              Of course I’m grateful i was put on this earth and raised by them. But if you constantly want to shove in your kids face ‘all the sacrifices you had to make’ to make them feel bad then what I’m saying is you probably shouldn’t have had kids.

        • You didn't have a chance in the womb to pick who your parents are.

  • +10

    Ask your fRieND you need the 10k by tomorrow to release 150k fund from the term deposit or you won't be able to lend him more

    • Hmm reverse uno… I will try this. Thank you.

    • +4

      As if that is going to work. Shady Shysters like this cat don't fall for that. Their intend usually is not to pay a cent back & move onto the next victim.

      Besides, he probably doesn't have the 10K ready to give back anyway.

    • "Trust the process"

  • +1

    looks like you need a new friend.

    now that we are friends can i have $10,000?

    • I was thinking, the friend who got 10k, he probably asked another friend for 10k, the other friend who rejected him probably became "better friend".

  • 1st red flag - after sending him the funds (Saturday), he asked me for another $7k the very next day!! (Sunday).
    Sounded like your friend didn't expect you to lend him money. So when you did, he regretted asking you for 10k, he should have asked for 17k, or 20k. Would name and shame help you mentally if you don't get your money back?

    • +1

      I don't see how naming and shaming would benefit me, I just want my money back

      • Nothing beats money back. We just hope you can wake up from this bad dream.

  • +1

    if you have evidence that he asked for a loan then send a letter of demand and persue it in small claims court, otherwise you will have to suck it up and take the loss. Just be thankful it was only 10k.

  • Username FareEvader

    Sounds like you guys are as thick as thieves.

    In all seriousness though OP. I feel for you. The money is most likely gone and so is the friendship. NEVER lend money to friends.

    • It's just a username Guy, don't rush into it, you're already mentally unstable aged 57 so don't read into it too much.

      • +5


        • I was wondering the same thing, I thought fareEvader has some special skill until I read your username. You try to deduce something about who op simply from the username, fareEvader return a favour back to you. Hard to put into someone else's shoe until experience it yourself.

          • +2

            @htc: I know. I'm not 57. I was playing along with OP. I also didn't deduce anything from his username. It was tongue in cheek. It seems neither of you read the third paragraph of my post.

            • @Guybrush57: I did read, somehow your first sentence stood out more. You are right, tongue in cheek, probably op didn't find it funny. People interpret things differently. Although I often find, if you know someone very well, saying these things are ok, if you are meeting a person for the first time, it could be hard for that person to digest.

              • +1

                @htc: I'd say under normal circumstances OP would find it funny but he's under stress and worrying about his $10k.

        • +2

          He could be born in 1957. Which means he is actually 64 y.o. now. The username was created in 2010 so less likely he is 57, if anything he would be 68 by today (11 years from 2010).

  • Yeah might be "projecting" but this person sounds like they do this often. I had a friend who would borrow $100 - $500 very often. I also lent them $4500 for a month and they paid $500 in interest after returning it. One day at a bbq they put on (they were also good at socialising etc) I found they owed about five people money. They were basically getting close to a second small weekly income from borrowing money of their friends, lol. This person may have even made friends with you based on sizing you up for this. I would get their legal name, address and dob in case you need it. Then get some legal advice, to see if you can do a small claims as suggested above.

    • Sound like your "friend" pay your money back and the interest with the other people's money.

      • yep who knows.. it is like in certain movies lol. Later I would find that this was signs of possible money laundering.

  • +1

    Never lend to friends or family. Assume it is a gift. If they return it then you know they are trust worthy.

    • Would be interesting to hear if anyone actually got their money back after they lend to their friend and share their story.

      • +4

        Loaned 15k to help a mate out who was buying a home, loan approved and money back after 5 weeks. 6 weeks was the agreed term so there is some good… but def a good mate

        • +2

          You are definitely a good mate to your friend, lending friend money to buy house.

      • When I was younger and really wanted quite an expensive car, I was lent money by a sibling. The agreement was to pay the money back with whatever interest he was getting from his savings account.

        I paid the money back in full, within 12 months, including interest. Everyone was happy.

        It is possible to make it work, but it requires the people involved not to be an ass.

        • +1

          Lending it to the right person, but often the right person would not ask for a loan as the person would find it inappropriate to ask while the wrong person always ask for one.

      • Yes, i did lend some money a couple of times to my friends and i did get it back. It also depends on how well you know your friend and the trust that he's gonna give it back.

  • Is this the first time you’ve lent them money? Or did it increase from just a little to a 10k loan

    • First and last time.

      • +5

        Do you have mutual friends? Quietly ask if they’ve been approached for money also if so.. you might not be alone in this

  • You lent your friend money for some sort of pyramid scheme he disguised as "legal fees". How did he know you had 10K lying around?

  • Helping friends and family don’t work.

    I’ve done it a couple times and I’m the (profanity) because I have to chase funds up. Never again.


    • Could you share your strategy on chasing funds up?

      • +2

        Driving to their house at 8pm Tuesday nights when her pay came through to her bank account and waited at their house until I got something. She would go to atm and withdraw and give me $50-$100 at a time

        She is shit with money and blows weekly pay in a day or 2

        • Good strategy. FareEvader, this is a practical strategy for you to use and claw back the money you loan slowly. Keep your friend close, keep your enemy closer, you need to find out more about him, where he gets money and what assets he has.

        • Wow, how much time and fuel did you waste on this?

          • +3

            @KSMLJ: It’s the principle

            • @Bafranz: Exactly.

            • +1

              @Bafranz: I get the principle of it, I would have done the same.

              It wasn't a rhetorical question, just wanted to know how much time and fuel it took to sort out in the end.

              • @KSMLJ: Company car and no kids at the time, provided some mild entertainment really.

        • Wife material she aint!

  • +1

    sorry - expensive lesson, but one you will no doubt remember for a looooooong time :(

  • I'm so sorry this happened to you, it sounds like a very stressful experience. I just wanted to lend another perspective, especially if you think your friend is being harmed by gambling. Often people being harmed by gambling have other pre-existing and underlying issues, mostly related to mental ill-health. They have a psychological addiction that is fuelled by an industry that preys on the vulnerable. And they need help.

    I am not saying that your friend is not at fault- they 100% are, but they are also a severely unwell and unstable person. People who are being harmed by gambling often go to whatever lengths necessary to feed their addiction, they steal or finesse money from friends, family, work places, illegal activities etc. But when they address their addiction and rehabilitate themselves with the support of others, they are often very remorseful and also pay back their debts as a part of their rehabilitation.

    • Wish there are some gambling helpline for people who lent money to gamblers, where they can refer them to the gambling addiction rehab centre, then when op's "friend" recovers, become a "better" person, hopefully he will pay the money back to op. Yes Op's friend could be a victim too. This also reminded me of another post, the ebay seller got scammed, but someone mentioned, the scammer could be a victim of another scam.

      • There are! Most gamblers helplines are not just for people directly impacted by gambling but for others too! OP can look up their states gamblers help service and speak to them.

  • "Trust the process"?? You gave him a loan, you didn't make an investment. The money is gone.

  • +1

    Hire a scary looking bodybuilding debt collector to "persuade" him to return the money.

  • Sadly, but sometimes in life you really have to learn the hard way > don't ever risk trusting people regardless of who they are!

    Some people will tell you that if you want someone out of your life, simple… loan them some money, because more then likely, you will never see or hear from them again! just saying

  • either get the services of bikey to kneecap the clown, so he/she can get onto ndis payments which is higher then dole, and hope they repay you…if not….u are working hard paying taxes to upkeep this cripple

  • +2

    Ask if they can afford to pay you back in installments - I borrowed about 5K due to an emergency procedure (i would have had to wait months in the public system) and paid back $100 per pay - I set up my pay account so money would go directly into their account so i wouldn't forget/spend it. I tried to pay a little more back as interest given it took so long to pay back but mate was just happy he could help and i suppose that i didn't shaft him or spin a sob story. Dont burn bridges as you dont know when you truly need a helping hand or your close friends need help

  • +4

    Tell him that you wouldn't worry so much if he hadn't broken his initial promise to pay back after a week which was the basis on which you leant him the money. Now you deserve some detailed explanation on what the "process is" and evidence of when the "process" will be complete and loan repaid. (I would have asked for all this up front, but too late now).
    This is a reasonable request. If he refuses to discuss it or provide any evidence or details then you can be pretty sure he's no intention of paying it back. Tell him on that basis, you will commence civil proceedings to get your money back (extremely difficult).

    • Thanks, was planning on approaching it like this

      • +1

        When all avenues are exhausted, consider reporting to the police. https://www.victimsofcrime.vic.gov.au/the-crime/types-of-cri....

        As someone who 'borrowed' close to 10K in the past from my best friend of 20 years, I never promised to pay in 1 week. My promise was, "once I get another job…" and then once I got my job, I set up a payment plan, paying off $500 a month (I also had to pay back debt to other parties by the time I got a new job). I was debt-free in a little over a year.

  • +11

    OP I don't think you are getting your money back, it sounds like your friend has a gambling problem. In their heart I'm sure their intentions were good but addiction is a horrible disease that robs people of who are they are. You can either ask your friend to start repaying you in tiny amounts, but chances are people who are extremely threatening are probably already after them. If you've got it all over text message or something you could threaten to sue them or take them to VCAT (or your states equivalent), but the goal will be to hold them accountable rather than recover your money. Your friend is expecting you to either give up and defriend them so they don't have to do anything, or they expect you to get angry at them so they can pretend that you're overreacting and the money is coming, which it isn't.

    And no, you're not stupid, you're a kind friend who anyone would be lucky to have. They are the stupid one and their story never ends well. It ends in homeless and alone, or dead. Yours ends in wisdom and good money management. Take care out there.

  • +4

    “ I'm looking for advice on how to recoup funds I lent to a friend.”

    Is that you Josh Frydenberg??

    • +4

      No, joshy doesn’t want the millions
      back from his big business mates, just poor people for a few measly dollars overpayment.

      Its a joke

  • +3

    At the very least I would be texting him that you loaned him the $10k and are wondering when he will be paying you back like you both agreed. It would help your case if he replies to that text admitting that he will pay you back as soon as possible.

  • +1

    I've seen someone do something similar to OP's friend IRL. I only know him through like 3 other people and barely ever spoke to him, but he asked me for $10,000.
    Luckily I never lend even $1 to anybody so I avoided this.

    He ended up with over 300k from his various family, friends, friends of friends, etc. And seems to keep asking for more, but doesn't have anything to show for it.

    Everyone thinks he's trying to run a business / whatever lie he comes up with at the time.
    What are these sort of people really doing with all this money?
    Is it like drugs / gambling? Getting scammed / Nigerian Prince'd themselves?
    Maybe I'm sheltered but i can't imagine what you'd spend that much money on within a few months? It's not like he has a house or lambo or anything

  • Unfortunately there are few options available. Do you have, anything, in writing to indicate it was a loan? Even if it is an email or a message.

    If you have mutual friends is there anyway you can shame him or, at least, warn them?

    Expensive lesson to learn and my sympathies are with you.

  • +1

    I was asked to lend money to a friend once, When i asked some of my other friends about it, they said, remember when you lend money to someone, you need to look at it like you have given it away as a gift and if it ever comes back, bonus but you need to be prepared for it to never come back and be ok with it. IF you still ok to give the money away then its fine but if you think you wont be ok with it after thinking about it like this, then dont loan / give money. So basically they said, generally you will only feel ok to think of it as a gift if its a family member or super close friend. I had already loaned the money out and i was told it will come back within a few months, but in reality it took more than 1 year, but he finally did pay it all back which i was lucky about as i hear a lot of times you never end up getting it back.

    During the year , i did feel awkward and weird especially whenever i saw him spending money or going out etc but i realised he still needs to live a life as well. But these are the issues with loaning money out, so generally its better to not do it unless like i was told, you will be perfectly happy to think of it as a gift rather than a loan. The other issue i had was, after he returned the money, every couple of years i got asked again to loan money out, I kept making excuses and saying no and after about 10 years i dont get asked anymore. But then other mutual friends who knew i had loaned him money, would also ask me at times and they werent even as close. So even though i got it all back, it was probably more trouble than it was worth, considering i wasnt a good friend , i presume all his other friends had said no to him first.

  • +1

    Does he have any collateral you can take such as jewellery or even a car he can transfer to you? At least you may be able to swell this to recover some of it.

    • Yes, cars and bikes. Will also add this strategy to the arsenal.

  • You don't lend money to friends, you give it to them. If you couldn't afford to give your friend $10k, you shouldn't have.

    Otherwise the cash isn't coming back.

    Next time a friend asks you for money, tell them to get a loan from a bank instead. If they can't get the loan, maybe they shouldn't be borrowing money.

      • +2

        Exactly. Dumbest post of the thread award.

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