I'm grateful for those who responded to my last post and now I am faced with a new cause to post once more... I have a commissioner (who will remain unnamed. They're a nice person but there's some trouble) They came to me about March of 2010 with a simple head commission. They provided plenty of ref pictures and sent me the initial $125 right up front. We proceeded, communication was good. College started and things slowed down a lot. Was still working on theirs and a few others when they had an idea and wanted to change the mask a little. Simple adjustment so I went with it. Things proceeded but no other payments came. I was made aware that they had no job and were running on credit cards for everything. It concerned me a little but I continued work. About May/June area they wanted to add a gas mask to the head. That set me back about 2 weeks to a month or so. They ordered a few supplies such as tubing, connectors and LED's (think rave gas mask) and I worked on the sculpt for the mask. After about 2 weeks of sculpting I was finally able to gain approval on the sculpt and proceeded to cast. They wanted me to ship the gas mask to them so they could mark where they wanted the LED's to be so I could dremel out holes. They would them proceed to ship the mask back to me for me to do so. Then they would have me ship it back, they install the LED's and other items, and then ship it back to me once more for finishing touches (bear in mind this commissioner is in the UK where I am in the Northwest USA) so shipping all of that back and forth would have been a good bite to the wallet.
Not long after I'm made aware that they are close to bankruptcy and I put the commission on hold so they can get back on their feet. I liked the person and didn't want to see them put themselves in a hole in order to pay me. Yes, I know that's not my choice to make but I figured if they are unable to pay the full price at the time I would hold until they could. During that time I had sent them a pair of video goggles worth about $150.
I am now faced with wondering what I should do. I know this person will not be able to pay for this commission in full for a very long time if ever. Another commissioner made mention that, since I had given them the goggles that were worth equal to what they had paid me, at that time, the transaction was good and I don't need to worry about it any more. I know this person originally came to me to commission me for a mask but what do you do with a person who you know cannot pay? I've looked at both sides and find myself in the middle going in circles.. Help?