October 9, 2018

Rules for the Lender and The Borrower

I am a very practical person so when I need an item, like a costume or gown for my events I don't spend to buy a new one, I borrow from friends.

Last November 2017, an FB friend asked me if I know someone who can lend her a gown since she's a plus size woman. My cousin is also a plus size, so immediately messaged my cousin if she can lend the gown she wore from her daughter's wedding. I vouched for the borrower, saying that this borrower is a kind person and all. Since my cousin and I are very close, without any hesitation, she said yes. I connected both of them in FB. I specifically told the borrower to have the gown dry cleaned and return it within a week. She agreed.

Months passed, my cousin messaged me saying the gown has not been returned. I am in a very delicate position so I gave the borrower an ultimatum to return the gown immediately or I am going to take legal action. The borrower had the guts to say so many words and make me look the villain of this story! She even blocked me on FB.

To cut the long story short, it took 9 months before the gown was returned. The gown was ripped at most parts. The laces were awfully looking.


Am I mad at the borrower? At first yes because she blocked me in FB. I actually wanted to take legal action for her to pay for the damages but I guess she might be in a very dire situation at that moment.  I really think she's a good person. She may just be having enough troubles of her own. So instead of getting mad and doing legal action, I took full responsibility and did something to make it up to my cousin. 

There are many lessons we can learn from this experience. Here are Few Rules for the Lender and The Borrower and The Middleman.

For the Lender:

Filipino are known for being accommodating, we can't say no because we  but feel uncomfortable letting people down with their requests.  If the item being borrowed is very special, politely decline.  In short, your property, your rule!

However, if you lend the item, make sure you have an agreement and keep all forms of communications (mobile phone texts, private messages in FB/IG, email etc.)

Take note of the following for borrowing-lending agreement:
1.  State name of the borrower, the item being borrowed and the date to be returned.
2.  State the condition the item being borrowed (better to take photos and attached it when necessary.
3.  State how the item is going to be used, as well as the date and time it is going to be used so you'll know it's not being abused.
4.  Both the lender and the borrower must sign on the agreement form.
5.  If you're lending money or an item with a high value, have  the agreement form notarized by a lawyer for future reference when necessary.
6.  Remember that the item was borrowed and it was meant to be returned and you are within your rights to ask for it so don't be afraid to remind the borrower of his or her obligation to return the item but do it politely. 
7.  If the borrower refused ignore you, you can remind him or her that she/he agreed to return it on a certain day that has already passed and show him or her of the agreement form you both signed. 
8.  If you lend money or an item with a high value and the borrower refused to communicate, it is time to consult with a lawyer. 
9.  If the borrower is a friend or a relative, who refused to return the borrowed item or money, you can write it off and consider it a lesson learned. 
10.  All of these choices will probably hurt the relationship, which is why it's generally best not to borrow from or lend to someone you want to remain friends with.

For the Borrower

1. Be a responsible borrower. Return the item on the agreed time. Returning the item earlier than the schedule is better.
2. Don't take advantage of the lender's generosity. If you cannot return the item borrowed on time, give the lender heads before the agreed upon date and time. 
3.  Be honest.  If whatever you borrowed gets damaged, tell the lender outright and make a sincere apology and have the item fixed. If it can't be fixed, go buy the person a new one.
4.  Be extra cautious about borrowing from from a friend, a relative or a coworker because if something goes wrong, you risk jeopardizing your relationships.  It is best to borrow money to a lending institution  like banks or cooperatives where the deal is strictly business. Borrowing the tagline from a Pinoy movie, "pautang lang, walang perosnalan".
5.  If you ask to borrow something, and the lender refuse to let you borrow, don't be offended. Do not take it personally. It is his/her money by the way.

For The Middleman/Guarantor:

You will be liable for any damage that the borrower failed to comply.

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