Dear Blake,

My husband, “Buddy,” did some HVAC work for some friends of ours. We live in California, where it can get super warm. My husband paid upfront ($600) for the expenses. He sent them an invoice, and the husband replied, “No worries, Buddy. I’ll reach out to you next week.”

It has been four months — and still no payment. I know my husband should not have waited this long to collect, but the couple had just bought a house, so he was trying to be sensitive to their money situation.

A few weeks ago, he sent another message with a reminder and a similar response came back: “No worries, Buddy. I will come see you Monday.” Well, Monday has come and gone and NOTHING. No one wants to fight or go to court about this, but how can friends do that to other friends? Can my husband still ask for the payment? Or should he just write the money and the “friends” off?

Signed, Nancy
From San Diego, California

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Dear Nancy,

Your so-called friends are clearly taking advantage of your husband’s kindness and skills. The only course of action I think you and your husband to take, is to do things that’ll make them prefer to bake in the sun, rather than cross paths again with you and your husband. Here are some ideas. Find some homeless people that are willing to work for a square meal,have them go to your friend’s place at night, remove the air conditioning unit, and its place, leave some hand fans. Or, stand in front of their house with a empty soup can, requestion donations from their neighbors for the upcoming legal fees your friends will incur after you sue them. Or this idea. Assuming they have jobs and get paid on Fridays, set up a tent in their front yard every Friday, so they can’t avoid you after coming home from work. Also have enough food and camping equipment to stay the whole weekend. And this last idea. Tell them there is a recall for the equipment you installed, which can emit deadly gases. When you go over there, remove all the parts you put in, and tell them you’ll replace them as soon as you get all the money for the “new” parts, plus labor. Once they “overpaid” you in full, reinstall the old parts, call them “suckers” as you walk out their door, change your phone number, and give their phone number to every telemarketer you can find on the internet. I hope this helps.