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Author:  Rebecca
E-mail:  not available
Date:  9/22/2004 1:43:00 AM
Subject:  Money Matters
Message:  Dear Rabbi Abadi,

I have an old debt with a friend of mine, for yearsI have not made any attempt to pay her back, based on her approval and my past circumstances. However, she lived by me for months. I did not ask her for a dime for rent or anything else, and was always kind and gracious to her. She has been and still is, the most loyal and caring friend that anyone can ever ask for.

However, I would like to reduce my debt load and was wondering if I would be cheating her if I totalled up the rent and utility bills... and then asked her if I can knock that off my debt to her.

Please advise me.


(Some words deleted to protect the confidentiality of this story)AA
Reply:  You should have asked her for payment before taking her in. You can certainly ask her if she'll forgive a part of your loan for any reason you like.

I would expect this request to cause bad blood for no reason. She isn't asking to be paid now. She isn't rushing you.

The best you can do would be to bring up the debt now when she feels a bit indebted to you, and just say something like, "thanks for being so nice about that money you loaned me. Don't worry, I will pay you when I get into a better situation. "

She may have thought about addressing a reduction in the loan and by you bringing it up now, she'll get her chance to say her feelings. A friendship like that is not worth losing for a million dollars, certainly not for a few thousand...

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