“I was a loan guarantor for someone, now he absconded and I’m being made to pay”

"I was a loan guarantor for someone, now he absconded and I'm being made to pay"

From a blog reader:

Good day fellow blog readers, please I am in desperate need of advise as I am confused and totally depressed. I am about to pay a painful price for being naive and stupid enough to trust someone I barely even know. This guy is a co-worker in the office, he was regional security coordinator for My office. A much older guy, and a family man at that. He approached me to stand as a Guarantor for a small loan he was taking with a money lending company and I was to sign an undertaking as well as sign blank cheques in case he defaults in payment.

As much as I had my reservations, I agreed as I just thought of the risks not being too high as he is well paid and would be able to pay back and being a staff of a financial institution, same as I, I was certain he wouldn’t issue dud cheques on his account. Above all, I was being helpful to my fellow man so I was like, what d heck, lemme do it!

The first time was February last year, he paid off and took a second, which he also used me as Guarantor and all I needed to do this time was just send a mail, no docs to sign as they already had my cheques. He also paid off, then he took a third which I also sent a mail for and he was availed. This was some months back. Nothing to suggest anything was wrong or he had plans of eloping. I even still saw him as recently as two weeks back and we had a good conversation.

Now, on Friday I get a debit alert on my account for N55k from the company and I flared up immediately. Tried to call the guy to understand what was going on and his number was switched off. I drove straight to the lending company’s office and met the rude manager who told me the guy’s cheques bounced and they have since been unable to reach him so they debited me instead. Of his nine months to pay, he had only paid back four, remaining five. I was mad! I was neither informed nor given time to even try to reach this guy before having my account debited. It was a heated argument but I got up and left to avoid any ugly scenes. Anyways, because the cheque was issued a long time ago and the serialty didn’t tally on my account, I was contacted to confirm it’s authenticity to which I requested that the cheque be returned as I had no prior knowledge of it.

Now this guy’s number is switched off. Word has it that he took off without a word, he is now in America with his wife and kids. He didn’t even formally resign at work. He has deactivated his whatsapp. He is totally unreachable! My lawyer friend has advised that I take up issues with the lending company on why I would be debited without even informing me of the developments first. And I could also claim ignorance of the whole transaction being that only a mail from me was sent and not that I signed a document. I could claim that my account was hacked or something. I could also write the US Embassy reporting him that I was defrauded and he Eloped even worse is the fact that he took several loans and used a number of us as guarantors so I’m not alone. We could write a joint petition against the guy.

I’m just sad and depressed as to why people could be like this but I really need to know how best to go about this. I cannot pay 55k for four months out of nowhere. I like to live within my means, I don’t have the heart for loans and all. Helpful responses will be greatly appreciated pls.