DEAR ABBY: I read your column daily, but never thought I'd write to you. Now I need an objective opinion, because my family is on the verge of a meltdown.
Almost three years ago, I allowed my sister-in-law (the wife of my half-brother) to take over my cellular phone account. She ran up charges of nearly $750, then refused to pay the bill, so I had to pay it. I have been trying to get her to pay me back since that time, and although she has told several members of the family that she'll pay me, she has not. After all this time, I have come to believe that she will never pay me unless she is forced to, so I have filed a suit against her in small claims court.
Now my family is angry with me. They say I should have just let the money go. I say that's wrong, and she should not get away with it just because she's family.
Please advise me, Abby. Was I wrong to pursue this matter in court? -- TORN IN TEXAS
DEAR TORN: "Because she's family" is no excuse for this woman to stiff you out of $750. If she had intended to repay the money for the phone bill she ran up, she could have done it on installments and had the amount entirely reimbursed by now. I think you did the right thing. But I'm not family, and you may have to take some flak from yours for a while for standing up for yourself.