It's not a matter of money. It's a matter of respect, principle and entertainment. The Irish are known for enjoying a good donnybrook. I've always had a personal 3x's rule. Treat me well and I'll treat you 3x's as well. Do me bad...................... Again, nothing to do with the dollars. Could be $100K or $1.00. It's all the same to me. You went on the hook $20K for someone whose own bank didn't trust him enough to honor his credit card???????????????? He didn't think to just have the money wired to the marina, or even get a Pay Day loan? Guess it's better to have someone lend you the money for free than to pay 27% interest (which is probably his rate if his bank is refusing his card) or 300%+ on a P.D. loan. You're a very lucky man to have gotten paid, and very lucky that you can afford to lose $20K, plus give away 2 weeks of your professional services. Did he at least pay you the interest and vig on that $20K loan? That'd be about $5,000 at Pay Day loan rates. If I did that I wouldn't need to worry about anything. My wife would slit my throat the minute I walked in the door, and I'd give her permission to do it. Big question. Would you ever work for him again without getting paid in full in advance?