X-Friend wrote last November after Weggieboy contacted her to let her know he’d had to pay her $449.39 telephone bill because he’d stupidly co-signed for her when she needed a co-signer on her telephone contract, then she failed to pay a couple months:
“Doug I’m sorry about this and I will pay you back we have had some financial set backs but I promise I will pay you before Christmas.” [sic]
The promised date by which the debt would be repaid, Christmas, is past.
I considered several possibilities: 1. suck it up and forgive the $449.39 debt, 2. file a small claims suit since I have definitive proof she owes me the money, 3. give her a little rope and let her work out a time frame that works for her even though this $449.39 hit me at a time that wasn’t convenient.
Option 1. is stupid and unrealistic. Option 2 requires her to be in state, which she isn’t now. Option 3 galls me, but may be the only option.
After stewing about the possibilities, I sent X-Friend a follow-up e-mail to remind her I haven’t gone away and I want my money:
I co-signed twice for you and twice you failed me. The first time you paid the overdue bill, but I felt sorry for you and gave you a check at work for the amount of the bill. It was a $267 (I think- $200+) “gift” because Adult Child’s buddy left town without giving him money for the bill, and Adult Child didn’t have the money to pay his and the friend’s, leaving you with the whole thing. The failure was that I ever got the letter saying I had to pay your bill or else, though you showed up at the same time I did and took care of it: I was humiliated and mad to get that treatment! I pay my bills in time.
The second time- I was a fool to co-sign a second time!!!- I got the deadbeat telephone call from Viaero for a $449.39 bill you, Adult Child, and “Person of whom I’ve never heard”, the three people on the contract, failed to pay. Failure two. It was a steep price to pay for trust in you, given you failed me once on this same cellphone account. This time I wasn’t humiliated, just displeased, and I wrote an extensive letter to Viaero to let them know why and what I hoped they could do about it considering I was held accountable for your debt, thanks to co-signing for you, and considering I was paying in full one last time. I believe they followed my instructions and they have my $449.39 for your bill.
The third failure on your part was to repay the $449.39 “before Christmas”. I can appreciate you have financial set backs just now. Though I am fat and have a beard, I am not Santa Claus. I’m not the 1st National Bank of Doug either. I’m not charging you interest for the $449.39 I paid to save you humiliation and legal issues with Viaero. I’m not a nice guy for that, I am a fool because I trusted you THREE times and you failed me three times. Besides, not to pay the $449.39 you owed would have screwed up my credit record. The last time I checked, my rating was 812…because I use credit moderately and pay my bills in a timely manner! I don’t carry bills past the first billing cycle, and sometimes pay before the bill is due when the credit card company sends me e-mail notice of what my account will be charged later in the month. (I have the option of waiting or paying immediately, so pay immediately.)
Yes, I do expect to be repaid the $449.39. There will not be any Christmas miracle or forgiveness of a debt to me in the spirit of Christmas because the amount is too significant to me as a retiree on a fixed income.
I’m not giving you a time frame for repayment of your debt to me because I don’t know how strained your finances are, of course, nor is it any of my business beyond $449.39. I prefer a cashier’s check, a postal money order, or cash (only if given in person) because I seriously doubt I’d feel comfortable accepting your personal check after the three failures noted above. I believe you understand why. You are not stupid by any means.
My address is: [etc., etc.]
Will I get paid? For the time being, that is the $449.39 question.