We've loved Len since he first started on KGO and miss him keenly. Here's my problem: In 2010 we loaned a friend $10,000 toward starting his new winery, with a signed contract
(no lawyer) starting quarterly payments at 7% interest. We live in Napa County, he's in Mendocino and we see him socially several times a year, considering each other good friends. All was well until a year ago, when the September payment was three weeks late. It did, however, include the stipulated $30 late fee. The December 1, 2012 and March 1, 2013 payments were several weeks late, paid only after I emailed asking where they were, and with no late fee included. Excuses both times were "new accountant," "I had no idea," etc. etc. with our "friend" saying in March that "I told him (accountant) to pay you guys first."
It's June 21 and no June payment has been received. We actually drove to Mendocino over the weekend, he bought us lunch and when we asked for the payment, he again gave the same excuses, even pleading ignorance of when we were to be paid ("are you getting quarterly payments?") and then saying "I'll write you a check right now." Except that, after going to his vehicle, he "had no checks with him."
He went so far as to say, "You're the only ones this is happening to. I'm sending out an email to the new COO and the entire company today and will bcc you." Of course, there was no email (I wrote two days ago and said I'd never received it and still have heard nothing) and no payment thus far. I figure he still owes us about $3200 and want this to end.
I want to exercise the statement in the contract that says:" If any installment payment due under this note is not received by lender with the grace period, the note will be in default and the entire amount of unpaid principal will become immediately due and payable at the option of the lender without prior notice of default
We've always been overly nice about it -- my husband especially, since he doesn't want to end the friendship -- but I feel he is no friend whatsoever and is completely taking advantage of us. Business is business.
We're both retired and live extremely modestly and I wonder what it would cost to contact an attorney who would send a demand letter written on official lawyer letterhead.
Thank you so much.