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Collecting from dead beats.
Old 01-29-2008, 11:36 PM   #1
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Collecting from dead beats.

One of my favorite activies is playing poker. For a variety of reason most of the games I'm involve in are pretty serious money, winning or losing a $1,000 in a night while not common is not rare. In general poker games have two types of players; poker players (like me) and gambler who will bet on anything college pro sports, golf, and of course love the action at Vegas. The dark side of poker is that of course gambling addicts are attracted to it and do some very destructive things.

Over the last six months one of the most colorful characters had a string of bad luck (he is also a bad poker player) and started borrowing money from lots of people. I begged off for a while but eventually last Oct. in moment of weakness I loaned him $300, with his promise to pay it back in Dec. I I was not surprised that he didn't pay me back in Dec or Jan.
I was surprised to find out how many other sucker there were out there and he borrowed $500 from one friend and $3-5,000 from another. Nobody know how much he owes to everybody, but I suspect the total is well in excess of $20-30,000. As I've learned people welching on gambling debts is far from unusual and the amount he owes is far less than I've taken from him on the poker table. I feel for my friends since they aren't in my financial position and this will hurt, but we all knew he was addict and those are the breaks.

However, today I learned something even worse. My cleaning lady use to be the home health care work/nurse that took care of his very sick mom and dad, his dad past away last summer and his mom last month. Come to find out that he owes her almost $6,000. She is your classic hardworking first generation immigrant she is pushing 60 and still working hard as cleaning lady nurse making $15/hour to help support the family back in the Philipines. It seems incrediably unfair that sweet woman had to work for several months for free because of his stupid addiction.


I know he owns his own Condo and will get his mom estates (of unknown size) so the guy isn't without assets.

AFAIK nothing is written down and it would be his word against whomever.

My question is there any way that all of us that he owe money to collectively can get together an hire a lawyer. It would seem to me that eventhough all of the contracts were verbal, having a multiple people say he borrowed money and didn't pay us back would be the fairly compelling.

Or is this such a weak case that no lawyer in his right mind would take the it.
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:28 AM   #2
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Or is this such a weak case that no lawyer in his right mind would take the it.
I'm not a lawyer and I am often not in my right mind.

But I still wouldn't take it.

Ha
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Old 01-30-2008, 04:38 AM   #3
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Doubt a Lawyer would take it and if he did you may be sending good money after bad as the Lawyer will want to be paid too and I assume these are just "word of mouth" loans; no paperwork. I think lending money to "friends" (most do not lend to enemies) is like lending to a family member, don't do it, unless you are willing to consider it a "gift". I think for you and your poker buddies you should just forget it. Personally, I would first all get together and sit him down and tell him if he will repay the cleaning lady (and I assume her numbers are correct) you guys would forgive what he owes to you. Hopefully, all the "buddies" could agree to do that. Someone will come along shortly and suggest a "hit" on the guy but there no sense in compounding the problem.
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:49 AM   #4
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Tell him his $$ is no good at your table until he repays the debts he owes to the players.

Taking away the one thing he loves will get his attention. And if he walks ... you're better off.
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:59 AM   #5
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Tell him his $$ is no good at your table until he repays the debts he owes to the players.

Taking away the one thing he loves will get his attention. And if he walks ... you're better off.
"Nip it in the bud." Barney Fife
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:27 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by clifp View Post
One of my favorite activies is playing poker. For a variety of reason most of the games I'm involve in are pretty serious money, winning or losing a $1,000 in a night while not common is not rare. In general poker games have two types of players; poker players (like me) and gambler who will bet on anything college pro sports, golf, and of course love the action at Vegas. The dark side of poker is that of course gambling addicts are attracted to it and do some very destructive things.

Over the last six months one of the most colorful characters had a string of bad luck (he is also a bad poker player) and started borrowing money from lots of people. I begged off for a while but eventually last Oct. in moment of weakness I loaned him $300, with his promise to pay it back in Dec. I I was not surprised that he didn't pay me back in Dec or Jan.
I was surprised to find out how many other sucker there were out there and he borrowed $500 from one friend and $3-5,000 from another. Nobody know how much he owes to everybody, but I suspect the total is well in excess of $20-30,000. As I've learned people welching on gambling debts is far from unusual and the amount he owes is far less than I've taken from him on the poker table. I feel for my friends since they aren't in my financial position and this will hurt, but we all knew he was addict and those are the breaks.

However, today I learned something even worse. My cleaning lady use to be the home health care work/nurse that took care of his very sick mom and dad, his dad past away last summer and his mom last month. Come to find out that he owes her almost $6,000. She is your classic hardworking first generation immigrant she is pushing 60 and still working hard as cleaning lady nurse making $15/hour to help support the family back in the Philipines. It seems incrediably unfair that sweet woman had to work for several months for free because of his stupid addiction.


I know he owns his own Condo and will get his mom estates (of unknown size) so the guy isn't without assets.

AFAIK nothing is written down and it would be his word against whomever.

My question is there any way that all of us that he owe money to collectively can get together an hire a lawyer. It would seem to me that eventhough all of the contracts were verbal, having a multiple people say he borrowed money and didn't pay us back would be the fairly compelling.

Or is this such a weak case that no lawyer in his right mind would take the it.
Interesting story...... There are a few rules that I live my life by. And one of them is that if you steal from me ...... you are not my friend. The world is literally filled with people that would like nothing more than to treat me poorly. Life is too short to spend any time at all with folks like that.
I am an avid poker player as well. I even have a whole poker room at my place where my friends and I play once a month. Just a $20 buy in.... a fun time is always had by all, and if you cannot afford to loose the $20 then you should not be playing (I have made everyone there acutely aware of that). To me, playing poker is about having some fun with firends, not really about winning or loosing money at all. My advice is to stop "feeding the monster".
Not only will a lawyer NOT take such a case, but he would probably laugh at anyone who suggests it. Any money given to anyone to "borrow" without a written contract, falls into the category of a "gift". And those never need to be repaid. I hope that your friend can find the internal strength to break his addicition.
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:38 AM   #7
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I have a question: is it too late to add paperwork to the loan? That is, could you approach the guy and say something like,

"Hey Deadbeat. I know you're a little behind paying me back, so I thought maybe we could do some kind of payment plan to make it easier for you. I wrote up this quick note that just basically says you agree that you borrowed $300 from me, and you'll pay me back $50/month for 6 months."

Then when he skips out the first payment (which he inevitably will), you've got a signed paper from him where he admits he owes you $300. Surely that would pass muster in court, wouldn't it?
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:56 AM   #8
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In my experience collecting money you have a very slim chance of getting any money out of this deadbeat. Even if there were signed agreements, if they guy does not want to pay, he will not pay. If you try and take him to court, he will no-show. If you get a judgement against him, you will still need to collect it.
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:23 AM   #9
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Usually someone named Vinnie would collect on this type of loan.
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:33 AM   #10
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Is it even legal in HI to gamble on card games in a private home?

He'll quickly move along to other suckers. You'll never get your money and he likely has none to pay back the debts with. Fifty bucks says his property and interests in the future estate are already mortgaged or have loans set up against them.

I guess if you wanted to round it all up and feel good about it, you could all play a big game of poker with him, collectively lose 30-40k to him, have him feeling like he's hit the big strike, and then tell him that he played a good game but that it just wipes out his debts to all y'all.
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:54 AM   #11
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"Nip it in the bud." Barney Fife
Nip his bud or break a kneecap...
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:20 PM   #12
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Because all the debts did not arise out of the same transaction, I doubt that you all can get together and do one big lawsuit for all the money. (did I just say y'all?) If the debts are really gambling debts, some states bar their collection as against public policy. This shouldn't apply to the money he owes the home health aid. If one lawyer represented everyone the lawyer has a conflict of interest (if there is limited money, who gets paid first?) which may or may not be able to be waived.

I feel bad for the home health worker. You guys should "make" him pay her.
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:22 PM   #13
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Reminds me of the sopranos when that guy that owns the sporting goods store gets in over his head at Tony's poker game.

I'd write it off mentally and be glad it was only $300 - in your heart you know you'll never see a dime, might as well make your peace with it.
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Old 01-30-2008, 01:04 PM   #14
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Thanks for the feedback. Martha clarified the legal status and I now see why it would be a conflict of interest. The rest of you reinforced what I feared the legal system will be of no help.

Home poker games are legal in Hawaii, although there are a number of restrictions on house rake and stakes. Some of the games are legal many are not. The guy never was a friend just somebody I played poker with and was so crazy that he added a lot of entertainment to the games.

Adding some paper work after the fact is worth a shot, although I wrote my money off long ago I did encourage the health care worker to write down all the dates she worked. I now see that she should do this and simply submit it a bill, she didn't lend him money he just did not pay her for services rendered.

Unfortunately, none of the other folks know the home health care worker. (I doubt I even know all of the people involved) Even if they did, I suspect many would say ya Deadbeat is D*ck, but not my problem.

My greatest fear is that Hawaiian "mafia" (picture large Somoan guys and marital artist) will collect some leaving none for the Health Care worker.

Convincing her to bring a small claim action will be difficult, but I'll give it a shot.

"The meek shall inherit the earth only after the strong rip off everything that isn't nailed down"
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:09 PM   #15
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Simply keeping him aware of his obligations might help. People like this tend to have mental blocks against thinking about their obligations. He is probably trying really hard to not think about how he's harming his caregiver. Just keeping it in his face might be helpful, if not for getting repayment at least so he doesn't keep on his self destructive path.
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:17 PM   #16
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Once I had a guy who wouldn't pay me the $200 that he owed me. I have a hard time letting things like that go, but I knew that being antoganistic with him would not only be useless, it would also emotionally drain me. So as an experiment, I tried the "smother with kindness" approach... I sent him birthday and christmas cards with little reminders that he still owed me the money. The first couple of times he sent me small payments ($10 or $20) and after that he stopped responding and I stopped sending the cards after he moved to an unknown location.

Even though I wasn't successful in recovering the debt, I feel like I had found a productive channel for the energy of the anger I had against him.
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:10 PM   #17
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If he's a lousy poker player, I'd keep playing with him until I got my $300 (plus maybe a few bucks for the lady) then send him on down the road.
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Old 01-31-2008, 01:07 AM   #18
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He is pretty much banned from playing poker where he owes a lot of people money.
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:02 AM   #19
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Reminds of a guy in knew in college ... owed everyone $$. Once asked if I loan him $10 so he could go to the Pub (with the rest of us). I said "Nope". He said "Why not?". I said "Because you're not good for it. You'll never pay me back!"

The look on his face was priceless. Maybe the healing began.
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:15 AM   #20
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If he's a lousy poker player, I'd keep playing with him until I got my $300 (plus maybe a few bucks for the lady) then send him on down the road.
The guy isn't paying his poker debts now, how is inviting him to play more poker going to help? That sounds like the bad mortgage loan fiasco the country is in now. "You're a proven bad risk? Sure, I'll front you some money!"

Maybe you can invite him to a poker game, and tell him he's gotta have cash for the buy-in. Once he pays for his chips, you can remind him "Oh yeah, you already owe me money. I'll take this. Now, if you want to play poker tonight, you need to come up with some more money."
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