How to shame someone who owes you money –
People take debts to survive in tough times, and helping someone in their tough times is a kind behavior. Many people take loans in hard times but cannot repay them. We must use methods to get our money back in such a scenario.
A common way to get the money repaid is debt shaming.
Debt shaming is a controversial method to be used. Many collection agencies use this method to get loans repaid. Debt shaming is related to public embarrassment or feelings of unworthiness in borrowers.
But how effective is debt shaming? Let’s see.
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Is Debt Shaming Effective?
According to a psychologist, Dr. Kate Levinson, shame is a primitive feeling that makes us feel vulnerable when we find ourselves unworthy.
That makes debt shaming an effective method; psychologically, the human mind avoids facing negative situations. Therefore to avoid a situation like public embarrassment, a debtor can repay the loan at a given time or at least try to pay the debt as soon as possible.
“Shame is so uncomfortable that we will generally do whatever we can to get away from feeling it” – Dr. Kate Levinson.
On the other hand, according to John O’Neal (Law Attorney), debt shaming can also be ineffective. If the debtor learns that you are trying to debt-shame them to get your money back, your plans can backfire.
The debtor might get stubborn and intentionally delay the repayment. In some cases, he can even contact an attorney.
Overall, debt shaming can be effective if used in limiting by knowing how another person will react. Here are 12 ways to shame someone who owes you money. We won’t be mentioning extreme debt-shaming methods, as there are high chances that they can backfire.
12 Practical Ways to Shame Someone Who Owes You Money
#1. Tell Them Your Story/Point of View
Sometimes people are too self-oriented; they cannot think from another person’s perspective. In such cases, explain to them how this loan has disturbed your mental health or, if there are some harsh consequences of lending money, mention that in your conversation.
When you tell them about your situation, they might feel guilty because of their actions; you are suffering.
It is an effective method to use on good family members and friends or compassionate people.
#2. Be Kind, Concise, and Direct
Being rude, confusing, and talking indirectly may prevent the debtor from repaying. Instead, try being kind yet concise and direct with your words. To be straightforward, you can write what you will say in a paper.
Writing on paper gives you great mental clarity.
You can make a debtor aware of the consequences of not paying the money back. Like, you can tell him that you won’t be able to trust him if he won’t repay the loan or you’ll never again lend money to him.
#3. Meet In-person
Such conversations are best-made face-to-face. Because your debtor can easily ignore emails, messages, calls, etc. But meeting in person, they have to face you and give a reason for late repayment.
In many cases, the awkwardness of being asked to repay a loan to get money back is enough to get your money back, especially in social situations.
#4. Do Negotiation
I know you might not be willing to negotiate and want the money back on the agreed date.
But to get your money back, you should be open to Negotiation. You can give them another more manageable plan for repayment, like weekly or monthly installments. They might not be in a good financial state to give you full repayment, but you provide them easy options like $20/week, $100/month, etc.
Here is an example Sam Toha (Quora user) –
#5. Remind a Debtor About Money Frequently
Many people make a big mistake while lending money: they don’t remind debtors about repayment. It makes an impression that you are not serious about money or don’t need money. You have to remind the debtor frequently after giving a loan.
If the loan isn’t a huge amount, you can ignore reminding them, but if it is, then you have to remind them with your calls, texts, or emails.
It makes the impression that you are serious about your money, and reminding you of the loan also takes a mental space in the debtor’s mind.
#6. Set a Date/Deadline
While lending someone money, you should necessarily have terms and conditions. In those terms and conditions, mention the last repayment date (deadline).
If you haven’t set any last date, it gives the debtor reason to delay payment endlessly. The debtor may feel you don’t have to be upset because the debtor hasn’t violated any terms.
That’s why you must set a strict deadline; if you can, it is best to charge interest or fines. That will make the debtor think that being late will make him pay more.
#7. Give Them a Repayment Plan
If you have read the 4th point, you know the importance of a repayment plan. Giving someone a manageable repayment plan encourages them to pay the total amount. A repayment plan should be on which you both agree.
An example of a manageable repayment plan is dividing the whole amount into phases or paying the loan as a weekly or monthly EMI.
#8. Focus on What’s Important for Them
One of the greatest authors of the 20th century was Dale Carnegie. He was famous for his book “How to win friends and influence people,” which has given us a great tip on influencing someone and getting your work done.
The only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.
Everyone is interested in knowing what’s for them and how they can get profited from this deal, including you and me.
So if we apply this principle to our topic, we have to think about the debtor’s profit in giving the money back. Take a pen and paper, and write down points where the other person is getting benefitted.
For example, you can say if you repay the money on this date (deadline), you don’t have to pay me 6% interest. Instead, I will charge you 4% interest. Or I can give you a low-interest loan if you win my trust by repaying the loan before the due date.
#9. Ask Them about Social Situation
Humans are social creatures; we do various work under social pressure to avoid social rejection. Humans tend to be less selfish when other people are around. Asking someone in front of others, especially familiar friends or family members, is an effective way to get money back.
#10. Be Friendly and Open Minded
It’s hard to maintain calm in such a situation when another person is careless. But never let your emotion take over; insulting or threatening them can backfire, and the debtor might decide to keep the money.
You should keep your cool, be friendly and listen to their reasons.
#11. Take Legal Actions
Words have limitations; some people don’t get affected by your words. Considering the amount, it would be best to take legal action against such people. After getting legal notice, they might take the situation seriously.
Explain to them the consequences of no repayment.
To take legal action, first, send them formal notice of giving money back. Now, go to small claims court and file a case. You can hire a lawyer to file a lawsuit in that court. Lastly, make a police complaint and give the complaint copy to the court.
Now, the court can seize the person’s property, hire a debt collector, or get that person into court. It depends on the amount you have given.
#12. Call the Police
If the police get involved in this matter, there are high chances of getting your money back. Some people might give you money to avoid going to the police frequently or in fear of getting jailed. You can make a police complaint and tell the police to inform the debtor via phone call.
It might not be easy for many of you, especially when dealing with a close friend or a family member. However, if the methods mentioned above don’t work, this is the last option.
Tips to Lend Money Wisely
Here are some money-lending tips to help you to lend money wisely.
- Know your limits: Only lend money which you can afford to lose. The best scenario is you will get the money with interest at an agreed date; however, you should also consider the worst-case scenario, which is losing all the money.
- Keep your relationship separate: If you cannot ask for money back, you don’t have to lend it. Helping someone in tough times is good, but if you think from a long-term perspective, your relations shouldn’t affect because of money.
- Set a clear repayment plan: Not giving a clear deadline or not setting a repayment plan can encourage the debtor to take your money for granted. Sometimes, people forget or focus on paying their bills first, so their repayment will be delayed.
- Talk to your mutual friends: Many times, people take loans from your mutual friends and family member, so it is best to discuss loans with some mutual friends. You’ll know if the debtor is not paying other people’s loans, you can save yourself.
- Legal bond: If the loan amount is huge, you can consider creating a legal bond. Even if you trust a person, you should create a legal bond.
That’s it for our article on how to shame someone who owes you money.
Final Words – How to Shame Someone who Owes You Money
Issuing a loan is a common habit in our society; according to Experian, about 25 million Americans have a personal loan. However, banks and financial institutes know how to get their money back, but in the case of peer-to-peer loans, it is all about trust.
People may delay giving loans back, but they repay fully if you are strict.
You can use the methods mentioned in this ‘how to shame someone who owes you money’ article and let me know in the comments which way worked for you or how you recovered your loan.