Monday, April 25, 2011

Ask a Bougie Chick: Mixing Business with the Boo

{Disclaimer - I'm not a counselor, life coach, relationship specialist or doctor of any sort. I've just been there, done that and written the book(s). My opinions are my own and not reflective of anything other than the corners of my mind.}

It's Ask a Bougie Chick Week! Woo-hoo!

First let me say that if I haven't responded to your email by reply or here on the blog, I apologize. My gmailbox downloads to two different computers (plus the BlackBerry) and I didn't realize that deleted on one, deleted on all - thought I had it set up separately. So, long story short - my bad. Technical difficulties may have prevented me from answering you. Write again, I'll do better.

Today's letter comes from a woman in her early thirties living in Arkansas. She calls herself BZLady. I've made edits for length and grammar. Let's take a look...
Hey Chele, 
Just wanted to say I love the books and your blog first. But I do have an issue to get your opinion on. I met a guy three years ago. Very nice, ambitious and respectful. We got along very well and quickly went from the friend zone to being together. After around 18 months, he proposed and I accepted. We moved in together and started consolidating bank accounts, etc. 
He was working as a mechanic at a national chain and got the opportunity to take over a franchise in a suburb about 30 minutes from where we were near Little Rock. To close the deal, he needed about $24,000. He had eight of that. One day he came home and asked me if I would pull the rest of the money out of my 401(k) and savings account.  
I work at a hospital as an administrator and have been here for close to ten years. I've been very aggressive with savings and putting away for retirement. So when he asked me for the $16,000 I have to admit that at first I was mad that he'd paid that much attention to my finances and knew I had it. Then I felt nervous. My 401(k) would be completely wiped out and my savings would take a serious hit.  
But he said we were building a life together and I already knew how profitable the franchise would be. Plus he said that in a few months, it would all be our money anyway. So I agreed with the stipulation that he put the money back as soon as the business started showing a profit. He agreed and we even shook hands on it laughing about sealing the deal.  
Fast forward to six months ago. We broke off the engagement for a number of reasons and he moved out. Also, his business is doing very, very well. Up until recently, I had access to the books and there is money coming in. I found out that he only needed about half of the $16,000 I gave him and the rest he used to put down on a house that he's living in with another woman. 
I want my money back. He said because we never had a binding contract, he considered it a gift and isn't required to pay me. Last time I tried to contact him about it, he got nasty and told me to quit stalking him. I feel fourteen kinds of stupid and wonder if he wasn't playing me all along. I guess that part doesn't matter but can you tell me if there's any way to get the money back? Isn't this a contract and isn't a handshake an agreement? Was I just being stupid?
~BZLady
BZ, I'm sorry this happened to you. It really, really sucks. I'm not an attorney (and you need one) but here's what I do know. Technically, you had all the contractual elements: offer, acceptance, mutual agreement, legal purpose, consideration, and sound mind of both parties (at least I assume so!). But because this agreement involved a debt one party owes the other to secure the sale or purchase of a business, you really should have put in writing to insure it's enforceability. The handshake does imply consent but if no one witnessed it.... you need an attorney.

Quickly. Like stop reading this and call one. Him telling you that you are stalking him is his way of flipping the script and setting up his defense when you build some sort of fraud/theft case against him. 

In the meantime, make sure you can prove the money came from your accounts and went to his. Technically until he pays you back, you own a part of that business. Do you by any chance still have access to his accounts? Is your name still on anything? I suggest you relieve his accounts of your funds. Hell if I'd be posted up with zero savings while he's shacked up high rolling which some chick on my dime?! No. Ma'am.

Make sure he doesn't have access to anything else of yours and get a fraud alert service on your social security number - he might have used your credit to secure credit of his own. Long story short: Fight back. 

BougieLand, any advice for BZ? Ladies and gents, would you "loan" your S.O. thousands of dollars on a handshake and a smile? What do we think about the concept of "our money" after marriage? Do you co-mingle everything? Would you go into business with your potential spouse? And what would you do to get your money back? Inquiring minds want to know. 

142 comments:

Jubilance said...

E-hugs for BZLady, I couldn't imagine going through something like that.

I agree, you need a lawyer, STAT. And to get your paper trail together.

I think I've seen too many episodes of Judge Judy cause I cringed at her agreeing to loan him $16K on just a handshake. I've done the loaning of money to a S/O, but only with a promissory note. I'm all about a paper trail.

I'm anti-mingling money with anyone other than my husband. And even with him,, I still plan to have at least 1 acct with only my name on it. Some folks will say "marriage is about coming together, blah blah blah" and to that I say, everyone has to make their own rules in their own marriage. For me, I'mma need some money just in case my husband gets hit by a truck, or decides to run off to Tahiti with another woman & all our money. You just never know what can happen.

Sarah said...

That is really too bad. I agree. Call a lawyer today and see what can be about it. I wouldn't call him anymore since clearly he is trying to intimidate you and mess with your mind. I thought I'd comment today because I understand the shame associated with losing money in a relationship. I had to considered the loss a write off. But there was a lot of chastising going on in my head of the "how can I have been so stupid" variety. I still think it sometimes. But all it means is that you let kindness overcome good business sense. Personally, in the future, I'm not lending or helping or whatever anybody I'm not married to except my family. And that's that. I hope this works out. Stay strong!

Lawson1205 said...

Also sending virtual hugs to BZ Lady. The advice you gave was excellent, even if it only serves the purpose of having him defend himself $$. This may turn out to be an expensive life lesson but a valuable one nonetheless. This boy gives men another black eye. Ladies, take heed when it comes to romance and finance. Tread very carefully.

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

BZLady, you need to get a lawyer. And try to get as much of his money that you may have access to through bank accounts and whatnot asap.

Other than that, I've got nothing. Rather, I don't have anything to offer that would be remotely helpful and Christlike.

CaliSlim said...

Ugh...so sorry this happened to you. Definitely fight back!

The co mingling aspect scares me to death because I know what it's like to be in love but want to be smart too. Since he wasn't my husband, I would have insisted he try to get a loan first. Sounds like the opportunity was legit, so I doubt he would have hit too many road blocks.

But I also know what it's like to have your convictions and stick to them and then have the man in your life think you're not "on his side" because you refuse to give up something you worked hard for.

All I can do is wish you luck. I think you have a valid case though.

mojitochica said...

Get a lawyer right now, and then go to your local library to get Suze Orman's Women and Money. You need to get your financial house in order.

There is no way on God's green Earth I would loan anyone more than $500 without a contract, and I most certainly would not take money from my retirement to do so. No ma'am.

I believe in "our money" to a point. As in we have three accounts: mine, ours, and his. A percentage our salaries to cover bills and savings goes into our account. The rest is goes into the individual accounts for whatever use. Obviously I am not into co-mingling.

I am all ready married, but I would have considered going into to business together prior to marriage. Though rest assured lawyers would have been involved, and I'd sue to high heaven to get my money back if things went south.

CaliGirlED said...

Cyber hug to you BZLady!!!...Were you being stupid? YES! (In the name of love, many of us have been. The key is to learn and not repeat). But that's over and done with, now it's time to be smart....Like Chele said, get an attorney STAT! The only other thing I would add is to send him a letter via certified mail, with return receipt. In the letter address the terms of the loan; offer, acceptance, mutual agreement, legal purpose, consideration. Include dates, and times if you can remember them. (Leave out all the emotional stuff, including that you did it because of how you felt about him and your potential future together). Request full payment of your money. If you plan to seek interest and any other fees, include that. This will show your attempt to collect, in writing, before seeking to sue him. Keep it simple as not to further complicate things for your attorney. DO NOT contact your ex S.O. by phone again. Only by letter(s) and DO NOT take his calls. You need documentation on everything at this point!...Good luck to you!!!

rozb said...

It's not too late to get your money back.

First, gather everything having to deal with the transaction. Even though you guys didn't sign anything , evidence of a relationship with promise is still there.

Second, get an attorney - preferably one that deals with separations and dissolution of domestic partnerships. A good attorney will hire specialists like forensic accountants to dig all up in that A.

Next, because he is trying to lay the groundwork for claiming you are harassing and stalking him, only communicate through legal channels. As hard as it may be, keep it professional and polite. If he tries to contact you, briefly tell him you are to only communicate through attorneys - he will do his best to get you to re-consider. He may even try to re-kindle something.

Do not be intimidated by his resources, as he may be able to outspend you dollar for dollar. He may be counting on you to be hesitant and too embarrassed to admit that you gave him money and "got took". You just did what a lot of folks in love do: you have faith in your partner and try to support them for what seems like the future for both of you. Do not feel ashamed, and get smart.

In the future, do not put this burden on another. The next man is not him; deal with the new guy on his own merits. But before you go there, get yourself back to where you were. It won't be easy, but build your savings back, and set boundaries.

I will pray for your future happiness and success, in particular, your success in getting your money and your life back.

rozb said...

I had the money talk with my fiance. We have a bill-paying account that we both contribute to, and we each have our own separate accounts. We love each other, but we believe in being practical. No playing the emotions card when it comes to money: it does not mean I love you any less if I don't just give you chunks of cash.

rozb said...

Lots of documentation is key! I would add to always record conversations if he does call, and keep all voicemails from him or anyone dealing with this situation. Depending on where you live, i don't think he even has to be aware of being recorded.

You are a smart cookie, CaliGirl!

Joycelyn Curry said...

I have to agree with everyone that she needs to get a lawyer but one that deals in business disputes not those of the domestic kind because at the end of the day this is about a loan she made to him for the benefit of his business and she is entitled to be repaid. In my opinion, the relationship is secondary to the loan as it was a pure business transaction. Fight back and get an attorney that will fight to win cause it might get ugly in the battle. Good luck.

CorettaJG said...

BZ Lady, you certainly should speak with a local attorney. Arkansas limits small claims court to $5K, but you likely have evidence of the agreement through your financial transactions, emails, text messages and witnesses who he told that he was "borrowing" the money from you. Gather up the documentation and names and contact information for potential witnesses. Only communicate (politely) on this matter with him in writing so that you can save it for the record and I would definitely send a demand letter certified return receipt. The website Nolo.com (a kind of self-help law site) has materials available online and at the library that you can use to educate yourself on the process. They also have a sample demand letter that you can use as a starting place:

Tucker's Fix-It-Quick Garage
9938 Main St.
Chicago, IL 61390
July 1, 20xx
Dear Mr. Tucker,
On February 15, 20xx, I took my car to your garage for servicing. Shortly after picking it up the next day, the engine caught fire because of your failure to properly tighten the fuel line to the fuel injector. Fortunately, I was able to douse the fire without injury to myself.
As a direct result of the fire, I paid the ABC Garage $681 for necessary repair work. I enclose a copy of their invoice.
In addition, as a direct result of the fire, I was without the use of my car for three days and had to rent a car to get to work. I enclose a copy of an invoice for the rental cost of $145.
In a recent phone conversation, you claimed that the fire wasn't the result of your negligence and would have happened anyway. You also claimed that, even if it was your fault, I should have brought my car back to your garage so you could have fixed it at a lower cost.
As to the first issue, Peter Klein of the ABC Garage is prepared to testify in court that the fire occurred because the fuel line was not properly connected to the fuel injector.
Second, I had no obligation to return the car to you for further repair. I had the damage you caused repaired at a commercially reasonable price and am prepared to prove this with several higher estimates by other garages.
Please send me a check or money order for $826 on or before July 15. If I don't receive payment by that date, I'll promptly file this case in small claims court.
You may reach me during the day at 555-2857 or in the evenings until 9 p.m. at 555-8967.
Sincerely,
Marsha T. Rizzoli

Mony_Mony said...

You can record a conversation that you're a party to in Arkansas, but this is NOT the case in all states. It is ILLEGAL in some states to record a conversation without the consent of both parties, and if charged you can be fined or even imprisoned. In general, check the law of your state (google record without consent State Name) before recording any conversations!

rozb said...

Thanks, Mony!

Mony_Mony said...

I'm so sorry that you're going through this. As Chele stated, all of the elements of a contract are there. Gather up all the evidence you can find (letters, emails, voicemails, etc) and get thee to a lawyer! You have a lot of great advice here (don't communicate with him unless via lawyer, document everything, etc.). I wouldn't try and take any of his money unless it is in both your names. It will only backfire in the long run (he can countersue to get it back and it will weaken your case by making you look like the "bad guy").

Best case scenario, he folds after you fight back with an official letter from your lawyer, as many bullies do. Worst case scenario, you have to take it to court. Imo, (with the obligatory this is not legal advice and I am not your lawyer disclaimer) you have a strong, based on the surrounding circumstances. Even if you can't prove that it's a loan, you can likely prove that it's a conditional gift (in consideration of marriage). Since the marriage never happened, he has to return the money.

As for the other questions, I would NEVER loan anyone any amount that I couldn't afford to give away, period. If for some reason I felt I had to do it, I would get it all in writing, including a stated interest rate and a set repayment schedule. If you treat it like a professional loan, than the other person is more likely to as well and it's much easier to enforce if they don't. I also would never co-mingle finances with an SO who isn't my spouse (one of the reasons I would never cohabitate, but that's another issue). If it comes to the worst case scenario, marriage offers multiple protections that engagement or cohabitation don't. I would have no problem commingling finances with my spouse, but we would need to have separate accounts (in both our names) for day to day expenses.

CaliGirlED said...

Thanks Roz! And I agree with Mony below about the legality of recording conversations. But also it eliminates someone being able to say, "That's not my voice". At this point no verbal communications should be allowed. I wouldn't even talk to anyone who knew both of us, only MY folks. (And even then I may be skeptical!). This is a great deal of money, at least for regular folks, and there is no room for bullshiggity. Hopefully she gets a good attorney and lands a good judge! She stands to get her $16k and then some. And needless to say I would be going ALL IN, because ol' boy's intentions were foul from the start!!! "I found out that he only needed about half of the $16,000 I gave him and the rest he used to put down on a house that he's living in with another woman." I don't care if it was him and his mama living in that house, "Somebody done told you wrong son"!

Penny said...

As with the other posters, I am sending you cyber hugs. Just know that you are not the only one that has done things in the name of love, that if you had been able to see into the future you would not have done. A close friend recently had a similar situation happen.

Now, on to the future-stop kicking yourself for being "fourteen kinds of stupid" and begin the process of trying to recover your money. This man is a con man, and I am betting that he has done this before. He is now trying to intimidate you, in hopes that you will go away and not take legal action. Don't let him intimidate you. Don't let the fact that you were "played" stop you from trying to recover your money. Get a lawyer-do you have a legal plan or an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at work? If so, give them a call. EAPs are free to use, and are confidential; and they often include a legal referral service. While the EAP can not provide legal advice, or take your case, they may be able to save you some legwork in finding an attorney in your area that can outline your options. If you have a legal plan at work, you may be able to obtain legal services at a lower cost, than if you were paying out of pocket personally.

BTW, since you withdrew this money from your 401K, if you are under age 59 1/2 (I am guessing that you are) you will be charged with a taxable distribution, and next year, when you file your 2011 tax returns, you will be assessed a penalty for this. You will be out of even more money than you thought-all the more reason to try and recoup your losses. Since this person has a business and a house, he does have assets that can be attached, in the event you get a successful judgment against him. My friend who had to go through this learned this the hard way (in her case, dude had no assets), but she did learn that unpaid loans are tax deductible for federal tax purposes. If you can't get your money back, that may of small help to you financially. Consult a tax adviser.

Oh, and if it is determined that you have a case that can be pursued legally, let your lawyer handle the communication. Once he has seen that you are serious, he may try to do the "tap back" in an attempt to get you to stop the legal actions. (I didn't really love her, I really love you, etc.) Don't fall for the okey doke twice.

CaliGirlED said...

Amen and amen!

Mony_Mony said...

Sorry, for being so long, but I just had to follow up with general advice to get everything in writing and make sure you keep a copy of all important documents! As an illustration for the first point, my brother had to complete licensing for his new job. He made a deal with HR rep #1 that if he studied for and passed his exams on his own time, he could take any leftover study leave as vacation time, but didn't get anything in writing. When he goes to HR to schedule that vacation time, HR rep #1 is on maternity leave and her replacement, who hasn't heard anything about the agreement, refuses to honor it. Bro was steamed, but he was SOL because he had no proof.

For point #2, I do a lot of HR legal work with my company. You won't believe the number of people who are applying for a job at my company who have to ask their current employers for a copy of employment paperwork like restrictive agreements or stock options grants because they didn't keep a copy of the paperwork. If they refuse to ask, because they don't want their current companies to know that they're looking for a new job, we can't offer them a job. If you sign it, you should ALWAYS have a personal copy of it!

datdudeincali said...

Not to go hood in BougieLand but might I ask if you have gathered up three or four of your larger male relatives to pay a visit to old boy? Have a "conversation" with him? Cause he surely needs a talking to.

MickMicki said...

Jesus take the wheel. To quote the sage, Big Worm, playing with my money is like playing with my emotions! MFs always use the "gift excuse". Well, at least on Judge Mathis. Why am I hyped like it is my money?

You have received excellent advice. Go to an attorney and document. Put together a file. Create a timeline of events. Be your own forensic accountant. Do you have a copy of the canceled check or details of the electronic transfer? You will need all of that. Stop calling him. Have your attorney contact him from now on. Subpeona his business records. Ask him to show proof of the downpayments on the business. Put a lien on shit!

Chele - My mother taught me that I should lend with the idea of not getting it back. If I feel that I would have to kick tail to get my money back, then I won't lend it. But I would not lend any significant amounts of money without some sort of promissory note or formal agreement. For a $16K business investment, I would have an attorney draft an agreement with stipulating that I have majority interest in the business. $500-1000 in the front end would save a lot of heartache in the back end.

I don't believe in "our money". I haven't seen very many examples of that working well. My parents had separate accounts and there weren't any secrets.

Reecie said...

Aretha Franklin sung a song that sums up my thoughts on this money situation "Aint No Way" if he wasn't my husband, he wouldve gotten a loan. as a couple we couldve paid it off togetha, but MY 401k to be cashed out? naw, son.

I'm sorry she went through this. really. I don't know how the next woman could be with him on her dime. I wouldn't be with a man that did another woman like that...

Grace said...

This ticked me off like he stole from me. I'm ready to box somebody. For a while, I rented a room to my younger brother and I made him sign a lease, put down a deposit, the whole nine. I don't play with money even with loved ones. It's all going to be on paper and reviewed by a legal professional.

Mony_Mony said...

I disagree. This is a question of both fact and law and an experienced family law attorney will be better equipped to handle both the fact and the law in this situation. A business attorney will not be as experienced with the law distinguishing gift versus loan, because the default assumption in a business transaction is that it is a loan. (S)he also won't be familiar with how personal facts (broken engagement, his lies, etc) may affect the outcome of the case, because those types of facts are usually irrelevant in a purely business transaction. A good family/divorce attorney will be familiar with the law and how personal facts might affect it, because this situation is unfortunately all too common amongst family and romantic relationships gone sour.

Mony_Mony said...

My mom taught me that exact same thing about loans. If I can't afford to give it away, I don't lend it, especially amongst family.

rozb said...

Big Worm did not play with his money!It's principalities!

David Parrish, Jr.(Inkognegro) said...

If there is no paper...there better be paper.

The end.

Trey Charles said...

Romance and finance are an uneasy mix. No way I would have put that much money in without having said "I do" and even then, taking it out of the retirement account? Ouch! I once had an S.O. ask me to cosign on her car loan... no ma'am. You aren't Mrs. Charles, you don't get my name attached to yours like that.

SingLikeSassy said...

Let me preface with the fact that I did not read past the letter so I know not what reasonable and sane advice that Chele has dispensed.

Remember the other day when I said people have accused me of being cold about my money and business?? THIS, right here, is why. He wasn't my husband and we would have consulted lawyers and signed a contract on this ish, damn a handshake. We aint married until we are married. Yeah yeah commitment, umhm building together -- WHATEVER NINJA! Contracts and attorneys or call your mama and let her bust open her retirement nest egg. That's why I kept my money and assets separate until I GOT MARRIED cause I would straight bus' a mofo in the throat with my elbow then crush his skull with a rock if he took my paper to start a business and used some of it to buy a house he and ANOTHER WOMAN were living in.That house would be ashes and soot right now.

Now I go back to read Chele's advice, but this got my pressha high and this aint even my money! I wish a mofo would...::mumbles and twitches thinking about the loaned out money::

thinklikeRiley said...

In the words of the poet Killer Mike - Eff you, pay me.
I don't play with money like dat. Eff you, pay me.
I be outside old boy's house and business on a bullhorn. Eff you pay me.
New chick would have to get told too. I see ya rockin' new shoes? Eff you pay me.
I'm comin' for dat azz til ya pay what ya owe.
And uh... Eff you, pay me.

JohnKinPDX said...

I hate that she was taken advantage of in that way, she definitely needs to get that paper trail tightened up and seek legal recourse immediately. I had a joint account with the ex-fi but I put a very small (relatively) amount of money in there. I recall her asking me when I was going to change my life insurance. In retrospect, that's scary as hell. Anyway, don't mix business with the boo without an ironclad contract.

Andrea M said...

OMG!!! Why is everyone so damn calm?! SIXTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS?! Are you kidding me? Sorry ya'll my bouge is not fully evolved, I'd be outside his house with a baseball bat.

CaliGirlED said...

"I wouldn't try and take any of his money unless it is in both your names. It will only backfire in the long run (he can countersue to get it back and it will weaken your case by making you look like the "bad guy")." YES YES YES! I forgot about that part...Not only would it make you look like the "bad guy", but that could probably be considered theft. DON'T DO IT!!!

Stank_0 said...

I only "loan" trivial amounts, even to friends and family. Anything else I need in black and white, with at the least a witness.

I'm sorry but I would have been the bad guy and said no. If you can't secure a loan (even with a co-signer?) then maybe this is God/Allah/Buddha doesn't want you to have this loan. If I'm your last best hope, then you have a problem.

I believe the woman got played (allowed?). I would think a handshake agreement is a binding contract.

CaliGirlED said...

"BTW, since you withdrew this money from your 401K, if you are under age 59 1/2 (I am guessing that you are) you will be charged with a taxable distribution, and next year, when you file your 2011 tax returns, you will be assessed a penalty for this. You will be out of even more money than you thought-all the more reason to try and recoup your losses. Since this person has a business and a house, he does have assets that can be attached, in the event you get a successful judgment against him."....BOUGIELAND is puttin it down today!!! Yes indeed!

Stank_0 said...

Might make her feel good but then charges are pressed and that case gets brought up in any potential future cases. Again might make you feel good, but won't help nothin.

rozb said...

Do it on a regular schedule and make him feel like it's Groundhog Day!

Andrea M said...

OKAY! This what I'm talking about. I'd catch a case behind this nonsense and you can see me on the next season of Snapped. "What had happened your honor was..."

rozb said...

"...I would straight bus' a mofo in the throat with my elbow then crush his skull with a rock..."

@Sassy: you are responsible for my EMS bill because I am dead at this comment. X_x

CaliGirlED said...

Now I am ALL for a deserved beat down, but this would do serious harm to BZLady's legal proceedings. Now should such legal proceedings prove to be fruitless, "Pookie and nem" would need to anonymously tap that a$$, as not to connect BZLady to said beat down thereby landing her back in court, on the defense side.

maureen palmer said...

Sorry to hear this. Get into action ASAP, stop calling him and get a lawyer. Since you made a deposit to his account, that should be the 1st trail of paper you need. Also you said he used only half of the money, I guess you have eveidence pointing to this fact, get that information too. Sorry to say this , you might end up spending a lot of money (lawyer fees and taxes that get levied on a loan against 401K) to recoup your $ 16,000.00, but it's a battle worth fighting-

CaliGirlED said...

See I was tryin to be all intellectual with mine, but you and Dude are bringin out the hood! LOL...I don't know how many times I have quoted Big Worm about money and emotions. And yes, Roz, it's the principalities! LOL! Ol' boy would be looking over his shoulder at every corner messin with me, my money and my emotions!!!

CaliGirlED said...

I feel you Reecie, but these women out here are not caring how a man has treated another woman because they don't think he will do the same to them. The new woman will soon see her fair share of treachery from this man!

CaliGirlED said...

Agreed! And Trey you can always use the Bible to back you up on that one. Proverbs baby!!! LOL

ASmith said...

I'm over here choking on everything laughing at you. Not bus him in his throat and crush his skull!!!

CaliGirlED said...

"I would straight bus' a mofo in the throat with my elbow then crush his skull with a rock if he took my paper to start a business and used some of it to buy a house he and ANOTHER WOMAN were living in.That house would be ashes and soot right now."....I.LOVE.YOU!!!

CaliGirlED said...

This.right.here!!!

C Nelson said...

Calm is because the goal is actually getting the money back, not just making him feel some temporary pain and getting hauled up on criminal charges. :(

CaliGirlED said...

It's best that I don't put in writing (you know paper trail and all) the types of things that my cousins and sistagirls would come up with to deal with a mofo and my $16k. And that's after they finished beatin my ass for doin it. But I would gladly take that beating!

CaliGirlED said...

Lawsuit should definitely include attorney fees.

taut_7 said...

hate to be like this but i would have never gave him the money until a contract was signed and i saw all the paperwork showing exactly how much he needed. yeah they were engaged but not married. 16K is a lot of money to just be giving away.

Yvonne Bynoe said...

I am an attorney and I'd say that this is a life lesson about not co-mingling funds with someone you're not married to or who you have no written agreement with. This is classic Judge Judy situation. The problem with verbal agreements is, in the absence of some kind of fact (i.e. the person was paying a set amount regularly then stopped) that there is no way to ascertain that all of the elements of an contract have been met.

Dude's position is that you "gave" him the money, it appears he made no effort to pay it back, nor did you take any formal steps prior to the end of the engagement to get the money. There's nothing but your word that you're not a scorned woman who's regeging on a gift (that's what his attorney would contend).

I disagree with OneChele about her being part owner of the business. The funds were in a joint account, means which Dude had a right to use any and all of the funds, Had she taken the loan funds from her own separate account, at least she could prove the origin of the money. However it still wouldn't show that the funds weren't a gift." .

If you're not married, you're single. If you choose to provide a loan to your boo, then document it. If they won't sign the document then take that as a sign about the health of the relatioship and the integrity of your boo,

Mony_Mony said...

Agreed. As my mom says, don't make short term decisions that have long term consequences.

Think P. Smart said...

Seek legal action and walk away with this as a cautionary tale. You NEVER casually loan (with no signed documents, it's casual) someone money. I don't care how much engagement y'all have going on or how much shacking y'all are doing, you are not married and not legally bound through anything OBVIOUS. You probably wouldn't have felt comfortable asking him to sign anything because y'all were supposed to marry. The key is that you hadn't married and until you do (which you didn't) financial matters (including whose name is on the cable and phone bills) need to be handled with limited emotion and loads of 'protect your neck' sense. I expect to see you on the People's Court ASAP! Oh and get your cousins to beat his *ss on GP. Nothing says, "Fug yu pay me" like a good *ss whooping. You have me over here heated by proxy!

OneChele said...

It is and it isn't: http://www.legalzoom.com/business-law/contract-law/oral-contracts-do-they-carry

I think dude played her from jump as well.

Joycelyn Curry said...

I think she can establish that this was never meant to be a gift. I think the fact that it was in the context of a relationship is only a precourser to the fact that this was a straight business loan. Since she put in most of the money, she owns most of the business. She needs to ask for an accounting and sue for breach of contract immediately. I would think couching it in a relationship gone sour makes a better argument for a gift than if you make it straight business but that's just my opinion. The most important thing is she find a good attorney in her area to give her advice based on that state's laws.

Think P. Smart said...

You bring up a good point. If a grown ass man can't get a loan from a reputable institution, why would I give him MY money? If BOA doesn't trust you, Smart Bank and Trust isn't taking the risk either. I'm not even signing as a co-signer either. Again, if you are over 27 and you can't get a loan, maybe you need to wait until your ducks are in order.

Think P. Smart said...

I like you and I like the way you think! Women (moreso than men) use 'love' to discard good fiscal sense.

OneChele said...

No. She. Didn't! Fellas, for the record - anytime a woman is extraordinarily interested in your life insurance while you're young, childless and in relative good health... that's a red flag.

OneChele said...

I'm going to start a Bougie Bail & Defense fund.

Asada said...

To anyone who knows,
is it possible for her to share in profits for the franchise?
Especially since she helped to put in a start up amount, it seems she is an investor.

OneChele said...

And there you have it.

GrownAzzMan said...

Ok I am supposed to be on a boring conference call but I decide to take a side-trip through Bougieland for a little fun multi-tasking. The letter is a sad situation but I am reading along ok and then I come up on this:
"...I would straight bus' a mofo in the throat with my elbow then crush his skull with a rock..."

Now how am I supposed to go back to the call after that????

OneChele said...

If he stole from and cheated on the first one, it's just a matter of time before he does the same to this one. If I were her, I'd guard my heart. And my wallet.

GrownAzzMan said...

We are calm because the baseball bat idea sounds satisfying but the best way to get the money back is through the legal process. Also better the be the plaintiff in a civil case then the defendant in a criminal case, IJS

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

Oh snap. So glad that sucubus is out of the picture. Asking about life insurance? That's cold and downright scary.

OneChele said...

Money jacks up enough relationships as it is without adding this level of stress to the mix. I wish more people would sit down and talk about how $$$ will be handled.

Yvonne Bynoe said...

EXTREMELY doubtful. See my comments.

OneChele said...

Romance and finance are an uneasy mix. <~~~There it is.

OneChele said...

In the words of the poet Killer Mike <~~ iQuit.

OneChele said...

This is definitely a cautionary tale EVERYONE should take note of. As far as she was concerned, she did everything she was supposed to do for the man she was planning on spending the rest of her life with. It's terrible that he wasn't even trying to do right by her.

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

Wow. She was doing the most, wasn't she? *shakes head*

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

Excellent idea.

Think P. Smart said...

She did everything had it been an amount she could afford to give away. She couldn't afford 16K. And if he was focused on them as a couple, he wouldn't have had a problem with her not having blind trust and asking him to sign something. Also, I wonder if the issues they had cropped up after there was the money exchange or if they were already having 'issues' prior. I ask because sometimes when you're already having issues, you don't want to rock the boat. In this case, boat rocking would be giving dude the money without anything in writing.

CaliGirlED said...

You bring up a good point. It's not clear in the letter that the money was put into or taken out of their joint account, but judging from her "lack of good judgment", it probably was. Dun dun dun dun....I think we were all assuming that she could show a transfer from her account to his. OUCH!!!

happinessisme said...

Bz should feel stupid She got played-hard! is there anything in writing where he says he owes you or at least acknowledges that he received money from you? Can you call him and record the convo?

JaymeC said...

Potential life mates need 5 kinds of chemistry: Personality, Values, Communication, Physical and Financial Chemistry. If one of these is incompatible, drama happens. Makes it that much harder to keep it all together. I don't want to discount the validity of their relationship such as it was but I strongly suspect he was a predator who planned to take her for all she worth financially and emotionally. She should consider herself lucky she escaped without total ruin. Harsh but true.

David Chase said...

So when we tell you that you dodged a bullet, feel free and take that literally. Damn, son.

David Chase said...

Might wanna get an attorney on retainer for the BnB Faithful.

David Chase said...

This is a job you contract out. Anonymously. And prep an alibi in advance. Just sayin'... not that I'd know.

gregisdumb.com said...

Yeah...this sounds like a setup from the jump. It may be because I work with all women and the TV is on court shows for my second half of the work day everyday, but this just smells funny. This dude planned that from the jump. The problem was she was PLANNING on spending the rest of her life with him, not actually spending the rest of her life with him.

You got Anna Nicole Smith'd. Sad part is you still got some decades left.

Us men can be impatient sometimes.

GrownAzzMan said...

I share the sympathy expressed by many in Bougieland. This is an unfortunate situation and it all starts from this: We all need to learn to separate the emotional section of a relationship from the business section. In case you didn't know, there is always a business section. Sistahs, and Bros, STOP THINKING WITH YOUR HEART! Things like pre-nups (where applicable) loan documents etc. need to become the norm yesterday.

Hindsight is 20/20 of course but when he asked for the money to purchase a business she should have had her name on the purchase agreement right along with his, clearly stating how much she invested and her percentage of ownership. I am a commercial banker and these types of agreements are very common.

Of course when you know better you do better. Next time consult a lawyer first. It's not like he was asking for $100 till payday. $16k is serious money and as some have pointed out, there will be tax implications.

SMDH!

Bethany Showell said...

I'm still stuck on 16K... And emptying MY 401K for YOU?! Naw...

blackprofessor said...

This is too funny and it sounds you know how to handle this!

rozb said...

This is why some folks have mugshots with half-crushed afros and ashy lips. Playing with money, minds, and emotions will get you sleeping next to Jimmy Hoffa. Not that I know where he is, but he hasn't been found, and he was messing up somebody's money. I'm just sayin'...

CaliGirlED said...

John if you're not a Bitter Black Man after all of this, "Will you marry me"? IJS

blackprofessor said...

Oh, wow! I think Bougieland has covered all the highs and lows and my heart goes out to BZlady!

I will leave you with a piece of advice my dad gave me as you move forward with your life. He told me that a real man would never ask a woman for a significant sum of money unless he has already exhausted every avenue of trying to secure the money through legitimate means. He explained that men with integrity never want to jeopardize their standing as providers in the eyes of their women unless there is simply no alternative for the situation.

blackprofessor said...

Well said!

FreeBlackMan said...

From the masterful movie "Set It Off":
There are three people I don't play with - The I, The R and The S.
No sir. 401(k) tax hits are nothing to play with. She's going to have to claim that money as income and pay taxes on it. 16k could put her in a whole different bracket.
Nope. I don't care what our relationship is, I need documents and whatnot.

GrownAzzMan said...

We SEE you...LOL

Annette Evans said...

Never, Never, Never enter into any financial agreement with a handshake and a smile. Love is great,but you worked hard for your money. I made my daughter sign a promissory note when I loaned her $600 to go on a trip(she was 18). She paid me back promptly, and learned a very valuable financial lesson. "Mama loves you, but you must honor your debts." You will have a better relationship if you keep the business and the relationship separate. As far has co-mingling finances after marriage, that can be tricky, and I think every couple should sit down with a financial advisor before any "I do's" are said. What's love got to do with it?, is a valid point. I would only go into business with my potential spouse if he could guarantee that my name was included all the paperwork. No "silent partner" for me."

mojitochica said...

And you shouldn't cosign even if she is Mrs. Charles.

Annette Evans said...

There is an old saying-"never loan money you cannot afford to give away". Lot of truth in that.

Bunni said...

LMAO @ "..bus a mofo in the throat with my elbow then crush his skull with a rock". Dead @ "..that house would be ashes and soot right now" *_*

CaliGirlED said...

GAM you know I'm not for women being aggressive and all BUT DAMN bruh man went through more than enough for 10 men!!! If's not a little bitter....LOL

JohnKinPDX said...

Watch out there now, you know I'm moving to Houston in June. Might need a... tour guide.

JohnKinPDX said...

Watch out there now, you know I'm moving to Houston in June. Might need a... tour guide.

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

Total tangent, but what in the hayle is Chele doin on Twitter to get all these dudes to move to TX? Must take more bougie notes! You know, in case the current beau acts up ;-)

LadyL said...

Sweet Jesus! Reading this hurts my heart. BZ, you've received sound advice from Bougieland folk. I hope you find your way to the other side successfully. Peace.

MeetCharlieL said...

Yeah, getting around that number is taking some doing for me. That is 10 + 5 + 1...

MeetCharlieL said...

I'm writing that down.

MeetCharlieL said...

My man.

rozb said...

Do I see another Bougieland hookup?

CaliGirlED said...

Talk about foot in the mouth, if I was white, I would be blood shot red right now! That's what I get for being "keyboard gangsta"! LMAO!!!...I did not know that, but it's all good John, holla atcha girl!

baileyqc said...

This would definitely tempt me to smash a headlight or two.

CaliGirlED said...

All I know is, I moved to Houston in Sep '09 and have not regretted it. The move was for financial reasons, but even if I hit the lottery, I would not move back to Cali! Visit, yes, but not live.

Joy Andrews said...

I'm sorry. Sixteen thousand not sixteen hundred? Hell to the no. Never. Ever. I don't comingle. You got yours, I got mine and we'll work it out from there.

GrownAzzMan said...

O_O We see you too Bruh. Just so you know, Cali is like a little sister to me...IJS

Mykeia said...

I want an invitation to the ceremony, uh-hum...I am from PDX too...just sayin'...

Mykeia said...

Dead at: God/Allah/Budda doesn't want you to have this loan. <=real talk

Nickolleta80 said...

Such a sad story, but I've heard of other women allowing similar situations to happen to them. They weren't as severe at this, but definitely similar. Co-signing on loans, buying property, purchasing real estate...all for men that they did not share a last name with. Love will make you do some crazy things, but dang. I hope BZ gets all of her money back and takes this as a lesson learned. Relationships/Engagements ARE NOT marriages. I wish more people understood this.

Only the Tall said...

You gave her some very sound advice. You said "she did everything she was supposed to do for the the man she was planning on spending her life with" I say she did everything EXCEPT require that he marry her. This is why you don't live together before marriage, you don't buy houses together or set up business until the real union has been established. 16 grand from a 401K? Not today or any day. Even after we're married I'm going to get a lawyer and put everything in writing. Love is blind but I'm not.

SassyJJ said...

JohnK- My jaw hit the floor when I read this earlier. Scary doesn't EVEN begin. Ugh

ConvertingMe said...

Snapped is my show but the Hubbster has Banned me from watching it! " bus' a mofo in the throat with my elbow then crush his skull with a rock" is the stuff.

tiffanyinhouston said...

I never had a problem with Black Ops myself..just saying...

aishao1122 said...

i learned young NEVER EVA mix money with love EVA. And that was from my Grandaddy the Minister. Ok, two other times i learned it from watching it.

My Godmother/neighbor found out her husband was cheating, waited til he went off on his "business trip" cancelled all the cards that they had together, changed the locks on the house, had the garage door opener thing changed, pass codes on everything changed I mean EVERYTHING, she even cancelled his cellphone(not the work one, just the personal) took his name off the insurance policy (and since the car was in her name) filed a stolen car report (he drove it on the trip) and b/c she had family in the law business filed for divorce. He came back and he was locked the hell out of everything, and when he called her and showed up at the house pissed off, she let him know since everything including his precious 67 mustang was in HER name, he could shove off. It took two years and a whole lot of groveling and seeing a therapist before she would even speak to him about anything but the kids, and then they made up, but she still keeps everything in her name (when they got married she had better credit and a higher paying job, the house was a gift from HER parents, and they never put his name on it) Some may say it's mean but hey when push came to shove she could protect herself and the kids and he could take a flying leap.

the second story is my aunt R who was married for five years, bought a house, and everything with her hubby (down south old money folks) and stopped working b/c well he could provide for them. Just before seven years hit, he tells her (through the lawyer) that he wants a divorce and finds out that he has a girlfriend who was pregnant. My aunt didn't get mad she got even (with the help of his Mama who really loved her and was pissed at her son, b/c according to her, he chose trash over a good woman) she filed a lawsuit for alienation of affection against the 'mistress', because he had hidden assets under her name to keep from giving my aunt her full due. Then she got one hell of a barracuda lawyer who helped her find ALL the damn assets and get almost 75 % of it. since when they got married she made more than him (since he worked for the family firm and wasn't really caking it to begin with) and she helped to build up the firm using her sorority and college associations. Since she could prove all of that (the clients where more than happy to help back her) she got divorce settlement AND money as if she worked for the firm at the rate she would have been paid if she still worked for them. She walked away with millions, and the funny part??? The baby turned out to not be his, but the girl saw money and went for it.

Never mix money and love, be serious this chick needs to get a lawyer that will take him for everything he has, especially because they were getting married and had begun to consolidate assets, that ring is an agreement, especially if they had dates and stuff picked out.
Good luck girlie

tiffanyinhouston said...

Awwwww damn! You coming to the H??? We have got to link up!

tiffanyinhouston said...

Every thing is better in the great state of Texas.

tiffanyinhouston said...

What hurts the most is how much longer she's going to have to work to pay herself back. I am so sorry BZ.

Cherelle D. Mattox said...

Umm, can I put in a request that some of BnB men move to Dallas? I'm just saying.

JohnKinPDX said...

You already know you're about to be running a halfway house for BnB brothers. I saw Will begging for a plate the other day.

diamond life said...

Aren't David and Trey in Dallas?

diamond life said...

*fist bump* Know your forensics. That is all.

Trey Charles said...

Dang! Ya'll are on it! David is very taken. But yes, Trey is here in Dallas. Holla.

This One Woman said...

This was just all wrong from the gitty-up. Poor lady.

Cherelle D. Mattox said...

Alright now Trey don't play. I will look a brotha up when I move back to Dallas in early June.

BrendaKay said...

BZ, my heart breaks for you. Some life lessons are extremely difficult to get past; the bitterness, pain and self anger can almost destroy you. But please stay strong in prayer, seek the support of those whom you can trust, and as so many others have advised, get thyself to a lawyer promptly with as much documentation as you can find.

For all the single women (and men), young and old ~ file BZ's experience in your mental storehouse. If this can happen to her, it can most certainly happen to you when you're caught up in the starry eyed emotions of love and passion.

Anytime anyone asks for a loan of over $100.00 dollars you need to ask yourself ONE question ~ "Can I afford to lose this money, if the loan isn't repaid?" How you answer that question is your very first clue as to how you should proceed.

It is of course vitally important to have a clear picture of your intended husband or wife's credit history and financial obligations. But if you're not yet legally a married couple in the eyes of the law, then your sweetheart, boo-boo, love stud, sugar pumpkin ~ should not have unfettered access to your financial accounts.

Lastly, we all could save yourselves so much heartache and headaches if we would simply learn to trust our gut instincts. If the internal alarm bells are going off in your head and your heart is also uncertain; heed that warning and step away from the situation until you have clarity.

T. Cameron said...

I'm an attorney and the advice was spot on. You need to act quickly and gather as much documentary evidence as you can to support this oral contract. It is a binding agreement in law and you can recover your money! The difficult part is proving that the agreement existed but better to try to recover your $16,000 than give up and let him have his cake.

My heart really goes out to you. It's terrible what that jerk did to you. And believe it or not, this happens more often than we bougie folks like to admit. Love can make us do crazy things especially when the man up until that point seemed respectable and honest. Married folks mix their funds all the time and sometimes one of them ends up being shafted. It is not a good idea to mix funds worse if you're not married. Tell him to go get a bank loan. But if you decide to mix funds, the key thing to remember bougie folks is to make sure you have a clear understanding (in writing --- have no shame when stipulating this) on what your respective obligations are and LEAVE A PAPER TRAIL. If you give him a cheque write in the notes section specifically what the funds are for. Send him an email confirming that you transferred to his account "the money I am lending you to start your business". Follow up for him to respond by email that he got it (key thing is getting him to admit in writing that its a loan). Set a definite date for repayment and follow up with a reminder close to the date.

Good luck and may we learn from each other.

T. Cameron said...

Unlikely, unless there was an express agreement to this effect. Sounds like they agreed she should only recover her loan

T. Cameron said...

Never a truer word spoken! That goes for $100 or $16,000. But if you must, get it in writing. Even then you might still catch hell to get him to pay you back.

JojoRaze said...

I recall her asking me when I was going to change my life insurance.

My brotha, you need to be in church running around telling GOD major thanks for saving your life. I mean tearing-up-the-church-in-the-Holy-Ghost thanks!

Iced_Coffee_Sweet_Tea_Diva said...

Sorry for BZ but let this be a lesson to one and all: Bruh'man had the opportunity to take over a franchise but didn't have the cash - hmmm....where in Major League Baseball have we heard a similar tale??? I hope that BZ at least gave him the money by cashier's check (preferably made out to the seller or chain) and that she wrote something on the paperwork about funding his business when she pulled the money out of her retirement account! He may think he's doing well and done with her, but karma comes back!

Iced_Coffee_Sweet_Tea_Diva said...

I'm not a lawyer, but hoping that she deposited that check and then issued a cashier's check for the same amount, but before that hoping that she put down the specific purpose of the money when she pulled it from her account. This is ish to the nth degree, but like Big Momma would say "Ain't nothing new under the sun."

Iced_Coffee_Sweet_Tea_Diva said...

"Not that I know where he is, but he hasn't been found, and he was messing up somebody's money. I'm just sayin'..." And neither the Meadowlands or the marshes will ever tell!

Iced_Coffee_Sweet_Tea_Diva said...

Holy water, sage and garlic over ANYthing that she touched!

Iced_Coffee_Sweet_Tea_Diva said...

Sorry, imho (not a lawyer) she should let counsel do the talking, unless they advise her to contact him. Since he wants to play the "she's stalking me card", I would fall back and use professional channels. Which might shake his lying, cheating a_ _ up enough to want to negotiate and not get dragged into court. Since he's a franchisee, seems like the corporate won't be too happy if their name gets dragged into his drama.

Only The Tall said...

God Bless all the women in your family and mine included, we DO NOT go for the okey doke. Ok? Ok.

CaliGirlED said...

Aw how sweet!!! Thanks GAM!

J. Jackson said...

BZLady,

OMG, I am so sorry! I agree with Chele, you need to call a lawyer ASAP. I'll admit when I read your story a red flag automatically came up when he asked you for 16K. Like what you said, how did he know that you had that in your retirement?

At this point, you need to have documentation that shows the money left your account and went to his. Also, you wrote, "I feel 14 ways of stupid", please don't feel that way. You were in love (or so you thought). Unfortunately this situation happens all the time. I just finished reading a book by Phillip Thomas Duck (dope writer by the way), named "Counterfeit Wives" where the main character did something similar to women. I would pray on it, because it will all work out. Look at this as a lesson learned.

Now the questions posed:
Ladies and gents, would you "loan" your S.O. thousands of dollars on a handshake and a smile?
Nope. We would need a written contract preferably with a witness, so if any ish goes down, they cannot say, "Oh I was coerced to sign that!"

What do we think about the concept of "our money" after marriage?
I already told my family and friends IF (and that's a big if) I get married, I will have my own account, my husband will have his own account, and we will have a joint account where we agree to put a certain amount each month. I think this way is good. I know people who do "my money is our money" and yet they have arguments to the effect of, "Why did you take out $200? What did you do with that money?" I'm trying to avoid all of that. You can spend your money on whatever you like AFTER putting money into the joint account.

Do you co-mingle everything?
No. Looking at my parents, and grandparents, I noticed that they co-mingled on some things, and yet on others they were separate. It seemed to work. I think you should not co-mingle on everything.

Would you go into business with your potential spouse?
Depends on the circumstance.

And what would you do to get your money back?
Anything within legal limits. I enjoy my freedom, and I can't do jail...

J. Jackson said...

I LOVE Snapped. Watch it every Sunday on Oxygen. It gives me pointers on what not to do, *ahem* I mean, I just like the show. LOL

TARA said...

I feel bad for you, but how do you give someone other than your spouse access to view your retirement fund info? This is a hard lesson to learn, but it sounds like you had a verbal contract. Also, I bet in his franchise agreement he was to disclose where or whom all funds came from to invest in his business. If your not listed he could be in violation of that contract as well. You're in the Little Rock area, try the Rolfe Law Firm. It may cost you a few grand, but at least you'll have a chance to recover most of your money.

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

"She walked away with millions, and the funny part??? The baby turned out to not be his, but the girl saw money and went for it."

Ruh-oh! He must be feeling like all kinds of Boo Boo the Fool, huh. Hehehehehe. >:D

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