There's not a whole a lot a secured creditor can do to not burn a bridge with the borrower: choices include the creditor either repossessing the collateral for non-payment, or demanding payments resume. I have also seen creditor s request financial documentation (tax returns, etc) to verify the borrower is still generating income.
However, a secured debt does not survive bankruptcy/probate/claims by other creditors unless the secured loan is both "attached" and "perfected," so generally secured lenders should ensure their security interests are attached and perfected in case the borrower files bankruptcy, dies, becomes insolvent, etc. "Attachment" and "perfection" are legal terms meaning some steps have been taken to ensure that the security interest in the collateral (in your case the tanning bed) will survive the claims of other creditors, and thus survive in a bankruptcy case, probate case, etc.
You can read more about attachment under Illinois law (810 ILCS 5/Art. 9 Pt. 2 SUBPART 1. EFFECTIVENESS AND ATTACHMENT) here:
Pay particular attention to Sec. 9-203, since that it the basic rules for a valid security agreement.
You can read more about perfection under Illinois law (810 ILCS 5/Art. 9 Pt. 3 SUBPART 2. PERFECTION) here:http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=081000050HArt.+9+Pt.+3+Sub.+2&ActID=2301&ChapterID=66&SeqStart=60300000&SeqEnd=61500000
You might want to peruse these sections and find the collateral type that applies to your security and ensure you have properly attached and perfected your lien. Then, you can hope for repayment, or if repayment never comes, pursue your other rights under the Illinois Uniform Commercial Code
You can't worry too much about making him mad since you are the one with the lien and that did him a favor; he needs to be concerned about not making you mad so you don't repossess the tanning bed, thus potentially putting him out of business. But, I understand that maintaining good relationships can have as much value as maintaining good investments; it's not like you're Beneficial or Homecomings Financial, you're a friend who helped a friend, so this can be a tough situation to navigate.
But, at the very least, you can try to protect your investment by protecting your lien by ensuring you have complied with the UCC regarding your lien.
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