How to Walk Away (and save 70k)

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It’s natural to want justice when you have been taken advantage of. But justice at all costs can bring great loss.

This past week I found myself on the wrong end of an issue with a landlord that left me thousands of dollars less than I expected and felt I deserved. The more I dug into the law and pushed for proof from the rental company, the more upset I got. The company I am dealing with is acting illegally and incompetently.

I asked for some advice about how to proceed and here’s one story a friend shared with me that made me consider a different point of view (slight adjustments for readability):

… my parents were engaged in a legal battle over money. It was cut and dry that their property manager had simply embezzled their and many other peoples' money. They went to court over 14k.

Several years and 70k in legal fees later, the defendant only got a year in jail, despite finding 18 other victims (18 of the 19 counts of grand theft were dropped). They were awarded the money, though they never expect to see any of it.

Once you start putting money in, it is extrememly hard to cut your losses and walk away. Sanity, time, and emotional energy are worth a lot. Despite it being 14k, I know my mother wishes she could have walked away, saved the money they spent on legal fees, and avoided years of anger and resentment.

I would seriously discuss how far down this road you are willing to go and what it teaches your kids if it costs you time and energy for years into the future.

While I’m continuing conversations that I hope lead to justice, I’m grateful for the reminder that value is about more than money. It’s easy to fixate on the money we are owed or compensation at work.

Sanity, time, and emotional energy are worth a lot. (tweet this)