How to not be a fool with their money

There is a reason why some expressions become part of a nation’s culture – because they are true! That truism, in my experience, applies to a fool and their money which are easily parted.

Recently I acted for a lender who sought repayment of a significant loan from the borrower and guarantor. Before my involvement, the status-quo of non-payment continued to drag on. My client had themselves, admirably and then frustratingly, sought repayment from the guarantor (as the borrower had fewer recoverable assets).

Let’s call the guarantor “John”. John had not only avoided paying the original loan – but, with his silver-tongue, managed to convince my client to advance further funds. The lure that John used was, you guessed it, the prospect of imminent, and greater, repayment. The inevitable occurred, with the result being that John received more money that he had no intention of repaying.

Desperate, my client engaged me. In our first contact, John tried his silver-tongued approach on me. I was not persuaded by his promises and flowery language. Firstly, I did not share my client’s incentive (call-it ‘wishful thinking’) to believe him. Secondly, and arguably more importantly, I have significant experience dealing with people like John.

With his cooperation, and the same ‘silver-tongue’ that he had used to (until then) defraud my client, John provided me with the evidence that I needed. This not only helped John pay back the money that he owed my client, but plenty of his own for the pain and trouble that he put my client through. In that sense, John became the fool who was easily parted from his money!

This then brought to mind another popular adage – ‘All’s well that ends well…’ (but not for John).

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