Saturday, September 4, 2010

No to the dishonest, con-men debtors!

What the dickens goes on in the brains of dishonest people who love to take advantage of people's kindness and willingness to help? I have blogged before about people who take things and never return them. Today my scrutiny is more specific as I focus on the debtor who specialises in borrowing small amounts with such rapidity, that it quickly accumulates into sizeable amounts.

I often used to ask myself what the caretaker of the place where I live, buys with the twenty rand (US$ 2.60) loans that he would ask for, from time to time.Before I caught on to his stroke of financial wizardry, I would also wonder about something else. How was it that, come payday, this man always struggled to pay back such a paltry amount and would instead resort to avoiding me? He would even neglect coming over to my place to do maintenance work that he would have been instructed to do. It eventually dawned on me that he borrows ten to twenty rands from most other residents in the complex and at the end of his borrowing spree; he has amassed a tidy sum without owing any individual a particularly large amount! His situation is of course exacerbated by his too frequent trips to the liquor store across the road. Needless to say, I have since handed over the baton of lending this man money, to the newer tenants.

It is sad to note that the little integrity that once existed in people as far as borrowing money goes, has been flushed down the drain. In today’s notorious times, we are often subjected to Oscar winning performances when people borrow money. You will be told a soapy, sad and sympathy evoking story of some crisis or emergency that needs your urgent financial intervention. Even if you are not on a sound financial footing yourself, horrific tales of children who have not had a crumb to eat for the past few days will cause you to whip your wallet and fish out whatever is there. All kinds of promises will be given that the repayment will be made speedily and timeously. When pay up time arrives, excuses will be made for the first couple of days or weeks, until the debtor resorts to avoiding you. If the money is indeed paid back, this type of debtor will be back before you can remove your hand from your pocket. The fact that he has paid you back, despite it being six months late, gives him the licence to return and borrow again. This proven “trustworthiness” qualifies him for a revolving credit facility.

Unfortunately, the moment you part with some money to finance a soft loan, you create the wrong impression that you are Mr or Ms Moneybags. When you are unable to assist, you are given a glare that could make Godzilla cringe with fear. Except for instances when I know that the would-be debtor is someone I know well and trust, I have decided that I will take my chances with the killer glare and be labelled a ruthless miser, rather than be duped by these small-scale, big-time confidence tricksters.

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