Niece still hasn’t repaid the loan for the legal bill | Advice columns

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Several years ago, my adult niece, who I am very close to, got into legal trouble and needed a lawyer. At the time, due to medical issues, she wasn’t working and couldn’t afford the lawyer’s fees, so I offered to lend her some money. I told her she could pay me back once she started working again.

Nine months later she sent me a check for $500 and two months later another for $500. The down payment was $2,600. My niece has been regularly employed for the past two years, but I have received no other payments. I regret not having a formal repayment plan in place, but I never imagined that she would default on the loan.

Her mother told me she was saving up to buy a house and apparently she had money to spend on friends and other people. I never told her parents that I lent her money, and I have no idea if she ever did, although I assume she didn’t. I’m torn between approaching my niece to remind her that the loan hasn’t been paid off yet and risking damaging the relationship we have, or swallowing it all and accepting that I’ll never see the money.

Because of the pandemic, my husband has been unemployed for several months. Although we’re not desperate, the money she owes me could be put to good use. Please advise.

— Good deed in the Midwest

Dear good deed: Meet or contact your niece to ask her about the money she still owes you, and when you do, explain to her that your husband hasn’t worked for several months and that you need it. Agree on a repayment plan. However, if she backs down again, discuss it with her parents. Maybe they can “encourage” their daughter to do the right thing. There must be a reason why they didn’t give him the money for his legal problem. Hopefully it wasn’t because she stiffened them too.

Dear Abby: A relative wants to have a child. She is 30 years old. However, his six-year-old significant other did not propose. She feels that her biological clock is ticking. What would you advise his family to do?

I think a woman who wants a child should have one if she can afford it, whether she is married or not. But I understand that she prefers to get married first. Time is running out on the likelihood of developing a new relationship so late in the process. What’s a girl to do?

Dear amazed: The “girl” should ask her boyfriend of six years if he wants to marry her. If the answer is yes and he wants to be a father, his problem will be solved. However, if the answer is no – and she can afford it – she should continue on her way to motherhood without him. Someone might come into his life later and would like to be a husband and a father. And, if not, it will have fulfilled its biological imperative.

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