Wedding Woes

Cut your losses, and your ties, with her.

Dear Prudence,

I was close friends with “Cara.” She called me crying, saying her car was broken in another city and she needed over $500 to fix it. If she lost her car, she would lose her job (there are no buses in our area). I was once homeless and used to live in my car, which Cara knew. My heart bled for her, so I sent her the money, telling her to pay me back when she could.

It was a lie. Cara never had a car problem; she was out partying. All our friends apparently knew this. I confronted Cara, and she laughed. She said she doesn’t have to pay me back because I turned “psycho.” I have gotten no sympathy from any of our friends. I get lectures about not loaning money you can’t afford. If Cara had actually been in trouble and couldn’t have paid me back, I would have forgiven the loan. She wasn’t in trouble; she lied, she stole, and she leveraged personal information I’d shared with her in order to do so. If Cara stole money out of my purse, everyone would call that a crime. But since she relied on my trust, apparently it’s my fault for being a fool. I am taking Cara to small claims court. I guess I am looking for some understanding—am I am unreasonable for thinking like this? I would have never done this to a friend, even at my lowest.

—My Friend’s a Thief

Re: Cut your losses, and your ties, with her.

  • She asked for money, you gave it to her. This isn’t theft. You didn’t have any sort of contract to require repayment. Don’t waste your time on small claims court just move on. 
    This.  And that's why I don't feel LW's friends are wrong in telling LW to STFU and move on.   

    LW needs to chalk up this as a lesson not give money or share secrets with unreliable people.  I'm sure this is not the first time Cara's done something questionable. 
    charlotte989875InLoveInQueensMesmrEwe
  • It would be interesting to see if small claims court actually gets her to pay the LW back.

    And if the "friends" are saying this then she needs new friends. 
    charlotte989875ei34Jen4948
  • A contract doesn't need to be in writing to be enforceable, and given the circumstances, it would be hard for Cara to convince a judge that the money was intended as a gift. Small claims court is definitely worth a shot. If LW loses, she's only out the filing fee and an afternoon. For $500, I wouldn't write it off without even trying.

    I think the mutual friends are assholes for dumping on LW. Sure, it was stupid of her to loan Cara money, but it's pretty gross for Cara to lie about car trouble to get a friend to loan her money. 


    Unfortunately, where I live, the "filing fee" is around $250 (eye roll) for a small claims case.  The high filing fee has certainly stopped me from filing small claims cases, even when they were "open and shut".  Because, then what?  I still couldn't get blood from a deadbeat turnip.  And now I'm out ANOTHER few hundred dollars.  It is such a s**ty system.

    True, it is substantially cheaper in most of the rest of the country.  But the filing fee alone may still not make it worth it.  Because the real hard part is actually collecting on a judgment.  

    I'm not sure why the LW's friends are dumping on her.  They should be ostracizing Cara.  Probably time to find new friends, all around.

    I'll just leave this as general advice.  Don't loan money you expect to get back.  Someone who doesn't have $500 for an emergency, even on a credit card, is probably not someone who will ever be able to pay anything/much back.  And if you do "loan money" to help a friend or family member out, pay it directly to the provider.  Because people lie.  And desperate people are even bigger liars*.  As in, the LW should have gotten the auto shop's info and made arrangements to pay them directly once the work was completed.  Then the jig would have been up.

    Because, even if the auto repair story would have been true, Cara is such a financial f**k-up she might have spent the money on something else anyway.

    *Obviously not all people, even desperate people, are liars.  But, when it comes to money, it is more often the case than not.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • If she can get small claims court to believe her (she might have a shot), she can garnish Cara's wages.

    I wouldn't be standing by Cara either.  I'd completely understand why LW was hurting.  I don't get why any friends were okay with Cara doing this in the first place.
    charlotte989875ei34Jen4948
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    A contract doesn't need to be in writing to be enforceable, and given the circumstances, it would be hard for Cara to convince a judge that the money was intended as a gift. Small claims court is definitely worth a shot. If LW loses, she's only out the filing fee and an afternoon. For $500, I wouldn't write it off without even trying.

    I think the mutual friends are assholes for dumping on LW. Sure, it was stupid of her to loan Cara money, but it's pretty gross for Cara to lie about car trouble to get a friend to loan her money. 


    Unfortunately, where I live, the "filing fee" is around $250 (eye roll) for a small claims case.  The high filing fee has certainly stopped me from filing small claims cases, even when they were "open and shut".  Because, then what?  I still couldn't get blood from a deadbeat turnip.  And now I'm out ANOTHER few hundred dollars.  It is such a s**ty system.

    True, it is substantially cheaper in most of the rest of the country.  But the filing fee alone may still not make it worth it.  Because the real hard part is actually collecting on a judgment.  

    I'm not sure why the LW's friends are dumping on her.  They should be ostracizing Cara.  Probably time to find new friends, all around.

    I'll just leave this as general advice.  Don't loan money you expect to get back.  Someone who doesn't have $500 for an emergency, even on a credit card, is probably not someone who will ever be able to pay anything/much back.  And if you do "loan money" to help a friend or family member out, pay it directly to the provider.  Because people lie.  And desperate people are even bigger liars*.  As in, the LW should have gotten the auto shop's info and made arrangements to pay them directly once the work was completed.  Then the jig would have been up.

    Because, even if the auto repair story would have been true, Cara is such a financial f**k-up she might have spent the money on something else anyway.

    *Obviously not all people, even desperate people, are liars.  But, when it comes to money, it is more often the case than not.

    Most places are 50-100, and if you do win, you get to tack it onto the judgment. And Varuna is right, if LW gets a judgment, she can garnish Cara's wages to collect it. You can garnish up to 25% of someone's gross pay; it won't take long to get $500. Cara may be a financial f**k-up, but she is employed. There is some blood there!
    charlotte989875
  • Also, depending on friend's level of vengeance and their small claims, she could make this really hurt for Cara.  Here, the garnishment paperwork has to be filled out monthly.  So, friend can tack on court filing fees and expenses to judgement, then she could continue to charge Cara for the garnishment fees and expenses to have Cara's wages garnished.  That $500 can carry some pretty heavy penalties for Cara.  
  • Where is Judge Judy when you need her? 
    image
    mrsconn23MNNEBride
  • Where is Judge Judy when you need her? 
    That really is the only answer here.  ;) 
  • I had to file on an ex once.  I got court costs plus interest. If he missed one payment I could garnish his wages. 

    Her "friends" are jerks.  Did I read it wrong or were the friends aware in the moment that Cara was lying? That's next level asshole.

    short+sassyVarunaTT
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    LW, find new friends, stat.
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