People, generally speaking, value relationships, especially rewarding and symbiotic relationships. In facilitating this form of relationship, Filipinos are widely known for a trait called pakikisama.
And just like anything of value, pakikisama has two faces, the good side and the abused side. What if out of pakikisama – or sheer generosity, for that matter – you lend money to a relative and end up not getting paid after all this time?
As it is in most cases, it can become painfully irritating for a person who lends another person some money when the other person fails to do his part of the bargain, more so if this person is the kind who thinks the lender is making way too much and it’s okay to just forget about the borrowed money.
Lending money to a relative
Lending money to a relative is not the same as lending money to a person whose friendship or relationship you can do without on any given day. There’s always the Small Claims Court – for amounts less than 100,000 pesos – you can turn to if all else fails.
With a relative, no matter what the terms of the loan may be, it introduces some kind of disparity into the relationship – that of a creditor and a borrower, which, over time, could potentially foster feelings that might become too hot to handle.
Now if you’re unfortunately stuck in the above situation and don’t want to do anything that might jeopardize the relationship, here are some things you might want to consider:
- Assess the situation. Is the relationship more valuable to you than the money owed? Remember, there is no right or wrong answer here. You alone can honestly answer this question. If your answer is “yes,” forget about the money and think of it as an early Christmas gift to your relative. And then, charge everything to experience and learn your lesson.
- If you decide you’re in a financial mess yourself, remind the relative about the money he owes you and ask to be repaid. Be polite but firm. There’s always this honest-to-goodness possibility that the loan had really been forgotten. Then set a date for the payment. If you cannot be paid in full, installment is better than no payment at all.
- If your relative is in no capacity to pay you back, you may also consider asking him to pay you in kind, like things of value that can compensate for the amount owed. He may also run errands for you or tentatively work for you, if you have a business.
- If you think the relationship is already falling apart, can no longer be salvaged and you’re willing to face not-so-pretty consequences, litigation is one option you can look into.
Bottom line, before lending a relative some money, ask yourself: Am I willing to kiss my money goodbye? If you are, we don’t have a problem.
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