You have probably heard that it is not wise to mix business with pleasure or with friends. In many cases, this is so true. In fact, it is easier to give money to a friend as a gift rather than loan it to them upon request. It has ruined many friendships and relationships. When you enter into a monetary agreement with a close acquaintance, it is usually with the hope that everything will go according to plan and the friendship won’t suffer.
Yes, you have the best of intentions, but while that is true, it sometimes doesn’t work out that way. There are times when you invest money into a business with a friend, hoping to recover either your money or your money with a profit. The project has come to an end and months pass by without any phone call or attempt at contacting you. Suddenly, your friend no longer wants to come out and play. What do you do then? Soon, you have to start calling, which you wanted to avoid, and there is no answer on the other line. You had plans for that money as you waited for the time to come for repayment. How do you approach your friend now that you are getting annoyed? Can the friendship withstand the obvious confrontation? Can the relationship be salvaged for non-payment?
Try Other Means
When the phone calls go unanswered and you are unable to collect your money, it may be time to seek the professional help of a collection agency or debt collector. However, before taking this approach, find other ways that you can resolve this such as finding a mediator who is unbiased. This could be a church official or a supervisor, if you are coworkers. You could also try sending an invoice by mail or email to see if you can get a response. If that doesn’t work, then it is time to proceed to the next step.
The debt collector is your next option. A professional will not choose sides, but will still assume a fiduciary role with you as the client. Choose a professional employed in the debt collection industry for a number of years. Be sure to get a continuous report on the status of the collection with periodic updates. This will allow you to determine if you should take other measures into consideration.
If you have mutual friends, be sure to explain the situation while sparing the details, but ask for their support for both of you while you try to resolve the situation. If some of your mutual friends decide to take sides, it is their loss and not yours. Remain positive throughout the process, not complaining to the mutual friends, but letting them know that you are taking a professional approach to collecting what is owed to you. Some will understand and some won’t.
If your friendship means a lot to you and worth saving, send your friend a thoughtful gift, if there is a birthday or anniversary coming up. Put some space between yourself and your friend while the debt collection process is being undertaken and sometime afterwards as you try to rebuild the relationship.