Borrowing from a Loan Shark

This paper is about a man who comes from an inner city life.  He was raised in a poor
single parent family, having several siblings and never knew his father.  His mother works 2 job
to make ends meet and they live in the projects.  He was a high school dropout and started
running drugs to help out the family and buy things he wanted.  

When he was 18 he was busted for possession and spent 7 years in prison.  Upon being
released he found out his mother and siblings had moved, leaving no forwarding address.
desperate for money and having no place to stay he started speaking to guys on the street
 looking for a hookup to make some money.

A guy told him about a loan shark that could hook him up and put some money in his
pocket.  He contacts the loan shark, meets up with him and is amazed that the loan shark doesnt
ask for collateral and provides him with a 4000.00 loan based on his word to pay.  He has 30
days to pay back the money in full with interest.

The terms for the loan are 500.00 for each 1000.00 borrowed and interest accruing
daily at the rate of 20 percent on the 6000.00 amount.  He agreed to the terms thinking that he
could connect with the guy he used to run drugs for and make the money back within the 30
days.  He takes the money and finds a cheap hotel, checks in, gets some food, takes a long hot
shower and gets some much needed rest.

Three weeks have passed and he is still not able to find the guy he used to run drugs for.
Talk on the street is that the area was cleaned up by task forces and nobody knows where the
drug action has moved to.  The loan sharks terms also included that he pay a visit to them each
week in checking in to assure that he is not trying to run out on his loan obligations.  It has been
three weeks and he has a little under 1500.00 of the loan money left.

The loan sharks attitude has deteriorated with each visit.  He has threatened that if he
does not receive his money at the end of the next week he will need to take measures to insure
that the man understands the importance of paying his debt on time.  After he leaves the loan
sharks office he is filled with trepidation on what to do to get the money.  All seems hopeless
and yet another day passes.

With time running out, the man thinks about his options.  He could take the last bit of
money he has and skip town.  But where would he go  He doesnt have anyone here anymore,
but at least he is familiar with the area.  He could try and find a job, but the reality is no
legitimate job will hire him.  On the off chance that one did, it wouldnt pay him what he
needs in such a short period of time, and time is running out.

He didnt have anyone to talk to about it, so he thought about the one thing he had
come accustomed to while he was imprisoned.  He thought about calling the police to see if
there was anything that could be done.  His life had been threatened after all.  He sat on his bed
in his hotel room contemplating his next move.

Making up his mind he grabbed the phone book and located the non-emergency number
for the police.  Dialing the number he began to talk quickly to the woman that answered.  She
asked him to slow down and start over.   After he was able to express to her his concerns, she
actually gave him encouragement.

She told him that the loan sharks terms were not legally binding and that he was not
 legally obligated to pay the money back at all.  She also informed him that he could get
assistance with this problem by immediately contacting the local Trading Standards office.
She advised for him not to worry, as that office would help him to deal with the loan shark.  She
 had him write down the number and advised in the meantime if he is being threatened by the
 loan shark, she could transfer him to an officer to make a report.  He thanked her for all of her
 help and it felt like a weight had been lifted from his shoulders.  After being transferred he
made a report with the police officer he spoke to, and in hanging up the phone he exhaled a
breath of relief.  He quickly dialed the local Standards Trading office and began to tell his story
again to the person who answered.

While speaking to this person, he felt a new found hope not just for the situation, but for
his life.  The woman at the non-emergency police number had also told him about a program
that helped ex-convicts to acquire employment.  That would be his next move on getting back
on track with life.


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