Lending money

Someone you know has a legal issue and they tell you they need $3000 three weeks from now or they could get some jail time. They don’t need the entire amount from you, but they know they can’t get all $3000 by then. You agree to help to a point but no amount has been set.

The next day they call ask if you can put $150 in their account because they wrote a check for $600 and have only $450 in there. You assume the check is to their lawyer. Before you get the money there the check has already cleared and the account is overdrawn.

You have access to their account because they travel for work and you are the one who keeps an eye on what’s going on for them. You look up the cleared check because you’re feeling nosy and see that the $600 check was for a part for their race car.

Would you help them? Or would you tell them if they are so gd stupid and irresponsible to spend $600 on a ‘toy’ instead of taking care of business they deserve to go to jail?

I have two hours left tonight to cover the bad check and OD fee or another $40 will be assessed. Yesterday they sent a text asking me to please cover it so they don’t get charged the additional $40.

I feel like it’s one thing to help a friend out in an emergency, quite a different thing to finance their hobby. I feel like I am being taken advantage of. I can afford to lend them the money but I really just don’t want to. I haven’t talked to them since Tuesday, never answered the text and I have no idea where they are and right now really just don’t give a damn.

And now I have 1 hour and 45 minutes to make the deposit.

Depends on whether you want to keep that friendship or not.

They don’t sound like very good fiends to me so I might let that bridge burn and move on. Not depositing any money.

However if you want to maintain your friendship you don’t have much choice at this point.

If your inaction results in jail that’s kinda harsh. You are furthering the problem because you have already given them the reasonable assumption you’d cover the debt. Waiting till the last minute to tell them ‘no’ gives them little opportunity to seek funds elsewhere.

The scenario presented is so black-and-white preposterous that it almost defies debate. A person in desperate need of money who begs you for a loan who then spends money on frivolous pursuits probably needs to spend some time in jail.

There is nobody on earth I’d lend money to in this situation, not even my best friend. If he pulled an idiotic stunt like that it’s clear to me, as his best friend, that he needs the law to punish him so he can learn a lesson.

I don’t associate with criminals. My answer would be “no” and I would be perfectly happy to never hear from them again. I have no time in my life for people with legal issues.

ETA: someone who clearly has assets to sell clearly doesn’t need a “loan” (yeah, right) from me, either.

I have a simple rule that has worked well over the years. Never loan a person more money than you are prepared to give that person with no strings attached. My mother in law once needed to borrow $500 and I said yes. (Never got it back, but I don’t care). Brother in law once wanted $2000. I said no. It is an interesting exercise to determine how much you would be willing to give to each person you know.

What did you decide to do?

My policy is similar to **Lubricious Integument ** and I just went through a long, drawn out similar situation with a family member, which I posted about here http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=592568. I got lots of good advice.

You are the only one who can make the decision and probably you should talk to the guy first and clarify the auto part issue. He may have been committed to that for some reason, or trying to maintain a business reputation, etc., that seems reasonable. Or not. These kinds of situations can make or break relationships, but do not put yourself in debt or loan money you can’t afford to lose.

I’m willing to help out a friend, but that friend has to put some effort into getting out of trouble, too.

I don’t care HOW great that price was, it’s a luxury, and the person knew that s/he didn’t have the funds to cover the check. So, no more money from me. If the person is a professional race car driver, MAYBE I’d change my stand, but I don’t know.

It would be a lot different if this person was buying a part for his/her car that is used to get back and forth to work. Even then, I’d have preferred to be asked to cover that check before the purchase, not afterwards. What if I’ve just taken someone to the ER, and I know that I will be short of money?

I don’t normally put a price on friendship…and yet here we are!

I do that too. But the OP situation is peculiar, and it’s more about whether you would loan any money (even if you’re prepared to lose it) or not in this particular situation.

You committed to do this, they are anticipating you doing so, jail is pretty harsh. I’d consider paying it, and then telling them you need it back swiftly.

Things between them and I would, I think, naturally chill, no need for a confrontation. Never again would I consider helping them out financially.

If they approach you again, tell them until they have repaid the previous amount, no go. If they have repaid, tell them you’ve had a bad experience, and have shut the tap off, as a result. All true.

$150 is a pretty cheap life lesson, all up, I gotta say.

None of my friends are (a) that strapped for cash that they couldn’t scrape up $3K, (b) likely to have legal problems, or © into buy race car parts. But given the situation you put forth, I wouldn’t give the guy the money. He’s not too big to fail, so no bailout is required.

No money.

Choose better friends.

“Is he a good friend of yours? Well there’s your answer right there. Look at it this way… It costs you $150 dollars to get rid of him. He’s never gonna bother you again. He’s never gonna ask you for money again. He’s out of your life for $150 dollars. You got off cheap. Forget it.”

-A Bronx Tale

sahirrnee, what did you do?

Hell no I wouldn’t give 'em money!

Drop 'em like a hot potato.

Cover the 150 - and tell them to get a car title loan on the racecar for the 3,000 they need.

This friend seems to have some responsibility issues. If you give them money, you better regard it as a gift rather than a loan (which is generally a good idea but it seems especially true in this case).

It’s not necessarily a deal-breaker in a friendship. If you’ve got the money, it may not be a significant issue to you if you’re passing some on to a friend. But if you’re not happy with it (which seems to be the case) then don’t do it. You already know the answer - you don’t have any moral obligation to help your friend buy parts for a race car.

If it were my wife or parents, I’d assume they’d already had a good reason to ask (although I’d be very surprised they didn’t tell me what happens). If it was someone else, I’d have a distinct impression they couldn’t tell the difference between “I’ve been falsely accused of a major crime and need bail” and “I defrauded my work of a lot of money and want to pay them back before I’m caught”.

I might give them the $150 if only because I promised. But that would be it - as others have implied, $150 would be the cost of the friendship, and I’d never give him a penny again.

If I didn’t give him the $150, then I would probably have a conversation with him about the race car. But really that isn’t going to do any good. You can’t lecture people into changing. If he wants to buy his race car parts he can do it on his own, and you aren’t helping him by loaning him money.

Most likely I’d give him the $150. Then when he came back for the money to put towards the $3K, I’d just say “I saw you bought the race car part, so I figure you must have enough money to throw around.” Or something like that, politer.

Off to jail!

That’s the only way this person is going to learn.

Letting him drag you into his irresponsibility is pointless, and it’s just going to keep happening until you finally say no, or run out of money yourself.

Let him grow up.