Sorry to bore you all on a Sunday but this one’s slightly lengthy. It’s something that’s been doing my nut for weeks and it’s to do with someone who used to post on here. Apparently legal things are going on, but I want to detail everything and do so publically as I’ve got nowt to hide. Which is why it mystifies me that there are legal things.
No names changed to protect the innocent / guilty, although I (obviously) will not give out contact details and I’m avoiding surnames etc. I just want to get the facts out, not cause any backlash. What I’m seeking here is a chance to set my facts straight and (possibly) get any advice from you lot. I have no idea if she still reads this blog, but as I’m posting nothing but fact (and, admittedly, some of my opinions of what’s gone on) I don’t really care. There is nothing here to hide.
Brief back story:
I used to be friends with a girl called Elly. She has posted on this blog before, but basically went mental a few months ago after I posted another of my semi-regular anti-speed camera articles, sending me a mail saying she wanted me out of her life entirely and I wasn’t to contact her again.
Basically, we’d gotten a little closer than friends should, only I didn’t want to (or couldn’t) take it any further. I tried to keep things friendly, backed off and Elly said just to talk to her if I wanted / needed to. All I can assume is that because I didn’t feel the need to contact her directly for a while, she decided to end the "friendship" forthwith and in dramatic style.
Fair enough, and her prerogative. Only I’d loaned her £150 on the 9th of June 2004 and thought it fair to ask for it back. Over an exchange of emails/MSN/text messages she basically said that the only way she would pay me back the money would be if I gave her my bank details and she’d pay it in directly (this is how I paid the cash into her account in the first place).
I don’t want to sound paranoid – and people who know me know that I do a vast amount of my shopping online where I dish out my credit card details willy nilly – but I’ve been stung before with someone getting my bank details online. It was my old NatWest account – which I’ve since closed – and I’m not risking it happening again. It’s nothing personal against Elly, just a rule I’ve set myself. Bank details only ever go onto Direct Debit forms and the like.
So, I asked if she could send me a cheque. I was told that wasn’t acceptable. The reasons started with "I don’t trust you to cash it"! Now, why on earth would I want to ask someone for a cheque for £150 and then never cash it? The other reason was that she’s apparently taken out an Egg loan (online banking) to pay me back and as the money was in an electronic account, she had to transfer it electronically to pay me. I was told I had a time limit otherwise she would spend the money on the car. I did query why she couldn’t transfer the cash from Egg to her current account and then send me a cheque, but was told "You paid the cash directly into my account. I want to return it the same way."
Again, the paranoid bit of me woke up screaming. Every time I came up with a method of her paying me, she came up with another reason for me giving her my bank details.
The only thing I could think of – I don’t think this was ever clarified – was that I could get the cheque, wait ages and then cash it once she’d forgotten about it, thus possibly causing her problems if her balance had gone too low. Of course, I know I’d not do that but by this time, I’m evil personified to Elly so of course she doesn’t trust me.
I said I wasn’t giving my bank details out for those very reasons and was told therefore that I’d not receive my cash. I waited a couple of weeks and sent another email asking for the money, and received short shrift in reply.
Hello? Cheque? Bundle of used fivers in an envelope? Some kind of response to say “you’ll have to wait, I’ve spent it”? Or do I have to write off another wodge of cash I lent in good faith to someone I thought was trustworthy?
write me off, your not getting the money now because you refused to give me your bank details… i tried… you wouldnt answer my calls or reply to my texts with the bank account details so your not getting it… leave me alone… dont contact me again… your out of my life
i would rather be deemed untrustworthy by you than give in to your stuborn ways… stay away from me… your not im my life anymore… and u wont be hearing from me again…
True, I didn’t respond to her calls. It was costing me a fortune in text messages (still is) and I’d made it clear I wanted a cheque. It got to a head in December when I wrote a letter to her father. Now, the letter itself (which follows) makes it clear that I’m only writing to him to ensure that the message gets through to her and isn’t just binned without someone else knowing about it. I do mention Small Claims, but have again made it clear that I would much rather avoid this path and wish this to end amicably.
Can I first start by apologising about having to send this letter, partially as I expect Iâ€™m not the favourite person in the [SURNAME DELETED] household right now and this probably wonâ€™t help. Please appreciate that Iâ€™m trying to keep this as amicable as possible and just sort one thing out.
I donâ€™t know whether youâ€™re aware, but I loaned Elly a substantial amount of money some months ago. Elly decided recently that for reasons best known to herself, she didnâ€™t want anything to do with me and promptly vanished. She wonâ€™t answer emails, texts or phone calls from me. Prior to this (or over the course), she stated that she would only return my money if I gave her my bank details so that she could arrange an electronic transfer.
Again, I apologise, but right now Iâ€™m not in a trusting mood with her. Regardless of this fact I quite simply never give those details out to anyone unless itâ€™s a direct debit form, credit check, etc. Instead, I asked for a cheque, but was rebutted twice and given various flimsy excuses as to why it had to be electronic. Frankly, every one of them started to sound more like an excuse to get my details than to return my money, but maybe thatâ€™s just me being paranoid.
Anyway, Elly finally replied to one of my mails this weekend stating that I could forget it and just write the money off as Iâ€™d had my chance. Well, Iâ€™m not prepared to write off such a large sum. While I appreciate Elly isnâ€™t earning a great deal, and Iâ€™m happy to wait a short while for the cash, there is simply no way on earth that someone is going to walk off with almost £200 of my cash.
I loaned Elly £150. On top of that, I bought her a £35 ticket for a football match that she refused to use after asking me to get it for her. I would appreciate the money back for that as well, though I feel this will fall on deaf ears. I wonâ€™t even get into the wasted cost of the hotel and will just write that off.
As such, I would be grateful if you could tell Elly that if she doesnâ€™t return the money â€“ as a cheque â€“ by the end of January, then I will be forced to lodge an issue with the Small Claims Court. Given that I have emails from Elly and bank records of the money moving about that prove she admits that she owes me the cash, Iâ€™m more than sure they will judge the matter in my favour. This will increase the sum Elly owes me by the cost of the court action which is likely to be over £100.
I would much rather this didnâ€™t become the case. I canâ€™t be bothered with the hassle and I appreciate Elly would feel the same way. Again, I apologise for dragging you into this, but I feel fairly certain that if I sent a letter directly to Elly then it would be ignored. She can be quite stubborn (and thatâ€™s not an insult â€“ I can be just as bad!) and as I said, Iâ€™d rather this didnâ€™t go as far as the courts as that could also affect her credit rating in the future.
Thank you for your time and my apologies for the way things seem to have worked out between your daughter and myself. My best wishes to all of you and I hope we can resolve this rather silly matter amicably. By all means, if yourself or Elly wish to discuss this please feel free to call.
Re-reading it, I think paragraphs 6 and 7 are maybe a little heavy but it’s very clear that I’m only using her dad as a channel for the message, and that I really, genuinely just want my cash and to be on my way.
Anyway, into early January and I’d not heard anything so I thought I best check just to make sure the letter arrived. I didn’t want to start anything with Small Claims only to find that the letter hadn’t been delivered. I decided to call her father at work – don’t ask why, it made some kind of sense at the time. I think, basically, I didn’t want the risk of Elly answering the phone and going off on one. Her dad always struck me as more reasonable.
A quick phone call, a 2 minute conversation. I apologised for ringing his work number and just said I was calling to ensure the letter arrived. He said yes, it had, and I’d know their response by the end of the week. I thanked him, and that was it.
Very shortly afterwards, I get a text from Elly. There now follows a listing of all the texts I’ve had from her in the last 2 weeks or so. I apologise that I can’t give my verbatim replies to all of them (though I know she has them stored herself) because of the way my phone’s “sent mail” folder overwrites stuff after a while. I noted the first three down and I have the most recent. In between, I apologise for any inaccuracies but I’ve tried to get the gist and be as honest as I can, even if my tone/wording may have been ill-advised.
Elly: Stop ringing my father give me your bank details and u will get the money we are all agreed and no small claims court will support ur claim once they find out i have agreed to pay
Me: As I said in the letter, I want a cheque and regard your insistance on bank details as suspicious. You can transfer the cash to your cheque acct electronically then post a cheque as I’ve been asking for weeks. I don’t regard this as unreasonable as the cas was a loan in good faith, which you’ve not shown
Elly: as i said on many occasions i dont trust u with a cheque so give your bank details to my parents as you choose to involve them i will wait untill then
Me: How the hell can you not trust me with a cheque? What on earth can I do with that?!
Elly: ditto to bank details, u can choose not to cash it i want the money and u gone asap,
Me: Why would I get a cheque and not cash it? I need the money. I’ve been defrauded before by someone misusing my bank details and you’re too keen to get them in my opinion. I want you gone as much as you want me gone, believe me.
Elly: great my parents can have your bank details then sorted u know their number
Me: I am not giving out my bank details. It’s not a personal thing, I don’t give them out to anyone
Elly: right i have spoken to my parents and they have said that if u dont wish for them to b a 3rd party then give us your solicitors details and i will pay the money to them that way u cant abuse my cheque and i have a record to prove i have paid, you are not getting a cheque with my details on u dont trust me and i dont trust u so some compromise from u is needed
Me: I don’t have a lawyer and don’t see why one should get involved
Elly: we want a 3rd party involved specially as u have threatened court action, i have to protect myself as do you
Me: (I can’t recall my response)
Elly: because we don’t trust you and u got my parents involved and they agree that i shouldnt hand over my personal details so we wish 3rd party involvement becaue u threatened me simple as that really
Me: (again, can’t recall the response, but it was another option for repayment. Perhaps opening another account for her to transfer to, or her parents sending me a cheque instead)
Elly: its way past that now my parents want solicitors details and to be honest so do i, u where the petty one refusing to let me pay u back in the first place
Me: (I don’t think I actually replied here)
Elly: so your going to get back to my parents with some solicitors details then?
Me: I will sort it, but as you asked for solicitors then you pay the fees involved
Elly: contact my parents via letter and we will not agree to fees
Me: Why not try sending me a postal order? Post Office acts as 3rd party, you get receipts and it’s payable to me only
Elly: all my parents want is details to pay the money to which ur refusing postal order can prove [she sent another message correcting this to "can’t prove"] u got the money so not acceptable form of payment also dont degrade yourself anymore by name calling [I honestly don’t recall the name-calling. By this stage I had, though, thrown my phone across the room in frustration]
Me: So send the POs by registered post. You’ll have a signature that proves I received them
Elly: im not stupid we will have no proof the money end up in your bank as thats where it came from thats where its going end of
Me: [can’t recall again – something about that being unreasonable, probably]
Elly: of course it is i don’t want u threatening me again saying u didnt get it when u did plus my parents want to see it received
Me: I don’t like being branded as untrustworthy as you yourself are proving to be [or words to that effect]
Elly: i have proved no such thing i never wanted u to pay that money in to my account and i have said atleast 2 dozen times im waiting 4 u let me pay it to you
Me: I don’t understand your reasons for not sending me a cheque or a PO
Elly: and i dont understand yours
Me: I have been ripped off by someone else getting my bank details before. I don’t give them to *anyone*
Elly: so we dont have to accept that, if a was going to defraud u or care what u detail are i wouldnt be coming up with other options we just refuse to give in to you when i have done nothing wrong, im not giving u any power over me and a cheque would give the exact bank details ur refusing to give me. i didn’t ask for that money
Me: So use POs instead of a cheque [I think]. And I already have your bank details – how do you think I paid the cash in in the first place?
Elly: which you could hold on to, so no as already said many times
Elly: oh and btw you HAD my bank details
Me: [honestly cannot remember]
Elly: can’t trust you
Me: How about PayPal? No bank details, fully traceable, goes into my bank account
Elly: have to run it past my parents
[the following is a week after the last response and verbatim from my sent message log]
Me: Been another week now. So PayPal?
Elly: i will know by the end of next week what action we are taking against you so hold your horses you will fing out soon enough
Me: Against me? For asking for my money back? Good grief.
Elly: this is nothing to do with the money this is about u threating me and my family
Me: Threatening? Erm, what planet are you on? The only "threat" was of Small Claims, which I made it obvious I want to avoid. Also, that is only you, not family.
Elly: unfortunatly you where the one who involved my parents not only by letter but at dads place of business, when u decide to take me to court let it be known that i have tried to pay you back in various ways and you have refused me the means to do so
Me: The letter clearly stated that I wrote to him to ensure the message got to you. Nothing more. I called him at work to ensure it had got there as I had no reply. You have given *one* option of repayment, not many. I have a valid reason to refuse that method.I however have given several that you have refused.
Elly: look im busy, i said i would have news of action by the end of next week, a record of all text messages show i have given you at least 3 options so goodbye
Me: I count 2 options that involve my bank details that I made it clear I won’t give out. Then you started getting silly and expecting me to pay a lawyer to do it.
I’ve had no further replies.
So… what’s this "action" going to be? Restraining order? They going to sue me for non-existant threats?
Over the course of the text exchanges, it seemed that every time I came up with an option, they/she was just waiting there to shoot it down in flames. The final one, PayPal, is ideal – yet I got no response on it at all. By my count, Elly has given me 2 options involving passing out my bank details (to her and to her parents) and involving a lawyer at my own expense.
I have offered cheque, Postal Orders, Postal Orders with registered post, cash and PayPal. I also agreed to the solicitor thing if they paid, which seems fair given that they are the ones insisting on using them when other options exist. I like the way the reason for refusing a cheque has gone from the ludicrous "you won’t cash it" via "you’ll hold onto it and cash it at an awkward time" to "It has my details on and I don’t trust you with them".
I’ve asked around – including one lawyer who’s a friend so I wouldn’t involve him in any transactions – and it seems I couldn’t ask my lawyer (if I had one) to act as intermediary anyway. He’d be acting on behalf of both parties, therefore a conflict of interest arises.
I attempted to call my financial advisor who’s been of great help to me in the past. His response was… well… initially unprintable but summed up how I felt. Let’s just say he pretty much vocalised all my frustrations and settled for telling me to just let Small Claims settle it for me. He also mentioned opening another account, getting her to pay into that and then closing the account, or talking to my bank to see if there was a way they could get the cash without me dishing my details out, or perhaps using a banker’s draft that wouldn’t have account details on.
As for Elly’s claims of threats etc., the only thing I’ve threatened is Small Claims and I stated that I didn’t want to go down that route. The whole point of SC is to avoid court, lawyers and the related excessive costs. It seems from her most recent responses that – and this is a guess – lawyers are now involved.
Now, feel free to comment but please don’t just hurl insults at either myself or her. Advice, ideas, anything like that would be appreciated. So I sit still and wait for whatever is coming my way at the end of the week? Or do I just fill in the online form and ask Small Claims to deal with it (and yes – I would be mentioning that I’d refused payment by bank transfer for the reasons I already gave).
Again, sorry to bore you all.