YOUR MONEY Get your money from peo­ple who owe you

Steps to follow to de­mand money from a debtor

Move! - - CONTENTS - By Sello Mo­ra­pedi

THE re­al­ity of life is that when we loan peo­ple money, es­pe­cially our fam­ily and friends, they break their prom­ises when it’s time to pay back the money or they don’t pay at all. Many peo­ple of­ten feel bad about ask­ing for their money back when it’s not paid as promised for fear of ru­in­ing re­la­tion­ships. We give you tips on how to deal with the sit­u­a­tion.

SPEAK­ING TO THE DEBTOR

En­quire po­litely about the money to make the debtor aware that they haven’t been paid you. Some­times peo­ple forget and all they need is a friendly re­minder.

“A con­stant re­minder to the per­son who owes you money is a good start­ing point for you to get your money back as this will give you a clear in­di­ca­tion of whether the debtor in­tends to pay you or not. Re­mind the per­son how much they bor­rowed, why they bor­rowed it and when they bor­rowed it,” says Capetic Bank Client Ser­vice Con­sul­tant Bon­gani Le­bambo. “By do­ing so, you are be­ing civil and show­ing hu­man­ity to the per­son you have bor­rowed the money.”

HAVE EV­ERY­THING ON RECORD

Bon­gani ad­vises peo­ple to al­ways keep a record when ask­ing for their money back – from SMSes, What­sApp con­ver­sa­tions, tele­phone record­ings, pay­ment agree­ments, email con­ver­sa­tions and let­ters of de­mands.

“This is very im­por­tant be­cause peo­ple are not al­ways trust­wor­thy. This will also help you when you de­cide to take the le­gal route. When you have been pa­tient and the debtor starts telling you sto­ries and they are no longer in­ter­ested in pay­ing your money back, then it’s time to make a de­mand.

“At this point, you should tell the per­son to come up with a pay­ment plan to pay you on a monthly ba­sis. Should there be no pay­ment or com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the debtor, then you can take the le­gal route. Some­times we are forced to take our friends and fam­ily mem­bers to court, not be­cause we want to, but be­cause they take ad­van­tage of the kind of re­la­tion­ship we have with them,” says Bon­gani.

TAK­ING THE LE­GAL ROUTE

Bon­gani says that tak­ing the le­gal route is the last re­sort when the debtor clearly has no in­ten­tion to pay you.

”File a law­suit in the Small Claims Court and make sure that you have all the ev­i­dence against the debtor,”says Bon­gani.

He adds that you must how­ever make sure that the amount owed is worth fight­ing for in court. He says that if you feel that going to court is going to be too much of a has­sle, you can re­quest a col­lec­tion agency to col­lect the money on your be­half. This will let the debtor know that you are se­ri­ous about get­ting your money back.

This will save you the ef­fort of con­tact­ing the debtor your­self and ar­rang­ing for the pay­ment of the money. Bon­gani warns that col­lec­tion agen­cies will charge you a fee and they can charge you up to 50% of the pay­ment for their ser­vices, so you need to de­cide if the par­tial pay­ment is bet­ter than noth­ing.

A WORD OF AD­VICE

Bon­gani says when you bor­row money to fam­ily and friends, make sure that they sign an agree­ment stat­ing the amount of money they have bor­rowed and the date they are going to pay it back.

”I ad­vise you to trans­fer the money elec­tron­i­cally so that you have ev­i­dence should the per­son refuse to pay you back,” he says.

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