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Just had to say no (again) to lending my dad money

(50 Posts)
Labracadabra Fri 29-Jan-16 16:43:13

I am 37 and married with 2 DC (5 and 2). My parents (but mostly my DF) are hopeless with money and live on credit. They have no assets or savings and live in rented property. They did own a house but about 15 years ago my DM discovered that DF had remortgaged the house (in joint names but he forged her signature) so when it was sold they were left with nothing.
DF was made redundant about 15 years ago and started his own business, ran up debts of £100k (plus other money he'd borrowed from family) and then went bankrupt about 8 years ago. When his mum died 3 years ago he inherited about £30k. After paying off debts he was left with about 15K. It has all gone now (a couple of holidays and lots of "stuff" bought such as electronic gadgets and non-essential household items).
My mum is now seriously ill having suffered two stokes (unexpectedly, she is only 62 and was in fine health) so is currently in hospital and is very dependent,. She is due to be discharged from hospital in about a month, their current rented house is unsuitable as it is a small cottage with no downstairs loo and a narrow, winding staircase. Their income consists of a tiny company pension (DF), housing benefit, pension credits and DLA/carer's allowance. They need to move house and because DF likely has a dreadful credit rating and a low income they may be refused unless they pay 6 months rent upfront. My dad asked if I would lend them that money and I said no.
I feel terrible but it's no exaggeration to say that DF has never repaid any money he has borrowed, ever. My uncle (DF's brother) lent them 6 months rent upfront a few years ago for another property and only ever got 1 monthly payment back (in addition to other money he lent which he never received). I have lent money back when I was at uni (my student loan!) and never got it back. DF has no problem buying "stuff" on credit and as soon as he has cash in his pocket he spends it. He got £2500 for some work he did a few months ago and bought a boat. No kidding.
They used some of their savings (inheritance) to pay 6 months upfront on the house they're in now, but instead of putting the monthly rent back into savings for the next 6 months they spent it and now have no savings! Over the past few years he has bought things on a whim like old classic cars, a tandem and other things he fancies, they sit around never used and then he sells them at a loss a few months/years later.
I feel so cross about the childish attitude to money (especially other people's) and I know I've done the right thing (head over heart) but they do need to move and I'm worried he might get a payday loan or something. I know he has applied for finance in my brother's name before (possibly with his permission, I'm not sure) and has used my Gran (his MIL)'s debit card to buy stuff and pay for car repairs (she has dementia).
I have suggested he sells the boat and one car (they have two and my mum won't be driving again) and raises the money that way. He's not keen - thinks mum deserves to have something nice like a boat with all she's been through (at the moment, she can't walk, speak or swallow) and he rather likes his Mercedes! I drive a battered ancient car with 150K miles on the clock, an oil leak and peeling paint. But when asking for the money he said "we know you can afford it". I work full time for a good salary but we have a childcare bill of £1300/month and are madly overpaying our mortgage to get security for our children's future. Our clothes and books come from Oxfam or Ebay and we certainly don't go on fancy holidays - DH hasn't been on a plane for 7 years and the children never have!
I was thinking of saying I'd lend him the money on the condition he lets me see his credit report and we both meet with an IFA to go through his finances and get him on a budget where he can clear his debts (overdraft, catalogue, credit card I think but I'm not sure exactly what) and where his outgoings match his income. Is that a stupid idea? I should run a mile but I live in hope he can sort this out and I would love to be able to help.
Massive post, sorry, but I think you need all the details (and I've still probably missed some out!)

usual Fri 29-Jan-16 16:48:04

Is there any chance the council could help with housing?

MumsKnitter Fri 29-Jan-16 16:49:58

You can't make him responsible with money - a meeting with an IFA won't achieve that. I wouldn't lend him the money. He needs to sell the Mercedes and the boat. Don't feel bad.

Akire Fri 29-Jan-16 16:52:14

Ask to speak to hospital social worker, the hospital can't discharge her unless has suitable place to go so in their interests to help sort it out.
If they can't provide adapted place they may well be able to help with a secure deposit given they are on benefits. Don't blame you for not helping if they are on small income it's unlikely they would be able to pay you back even if they wanted too.

Stormtreader Fri 29-Jan-16 16:53:13

I have a friend who is similarly awful with money. His friends had a bit of an intervention visit and went through his finances with him, just as you've suggested, income, outgoings, budget, everything.
The end result was that he made all the right noises and ...changed nothing.

Its not that your dad doesnt know that he could sell the boat for money, its that he doesnt want to, and hasnt reached the rock-bottom point where he must. If he comes to you begging for help, offer to help with his budgeting and finances then if you want to, but dont keep pouring money into the endless black hole of their spending, you'll only make your family poorer for it.

Its heartbreaking, but you have to just let go until they are ready to accept financial help to really change.

LaurieFairyCake Fri 29-Jan-16 16:54:45

I think you should never lend him one penny ever.

thanks for you.

mayhew Fri 29-Jan-16 16:55:14

No. He can sell the boat and the car as you have reasonably suggested.

Do not enter into discussions about what you can and cannot afford. HE can afford it!

There will be discharge planning meetings for your mother involving ward staff, occupational therapy and social services. Make sure the ward knows you want to be invited. Speak to the occupational therapist if you can outlining the house issue. She will do at least one home visit.

usual Fri 29-Jan-16 16:58:24

I'd be wanting to make sure my mum had suitable housing to live in. So I would speak to SS and the relevant people at the hospital.

Labracadabra Fri 29-Jan-16 17:02:24

Yes usual, he is on the council list but he doesn't think their houses are very nice and he wants to live somewhere nice not just "anywhere they put us". He really is impossible.

suzannecaravaggio Fri 29-Jan-16 17:06:22

if you lend them money they will be even more reckless with that than they are with their own money
As terrible as it must be for you I think you have to stand back, if they want to drown themselves there's nothing you can do
jump in and save them and they will take you down with themsad

Stormtreader Fri 29-Jan-16 17:07:38

Giving them money is like giving an alcoholic alcohol, it really is sad

FetchezLaVache Fri 29-Jan-16 17:09:35

No. He can sell the boat and the car as you have reasonably suggested.

Do not enter into discussions about what you can and cannot afford. HE can afford it!

This. Given their limited income stream, selling the boat and the car is the only realistic way he will ever be able to afford to repay you, so unless (cough cough) he is asking you for a loan with no intention of ever paying it back, he'll have to sell them at some point anyway, so it may as well be now.

flowers I think it must be very difficult to be so strong, but you are so, so in the right here.

Labracadabra Fri 29-Jan-16 17:13:30

I totally agree. He says it's the "wrong time of year" to sell a boat and the car needs a "few bits" doing before he can sell it. I guess he'd better get on and do them then.

cozietoesie Fri 29-Jan-16 17:17:58

He won't change as long as he has something to fall back on so if you lend them money, you'll lose it - and there will be a 'next time' as well.

Horrible for you, but I think you have to say no to actual cash, although you may wish to help with planning/budgeting etc if asked. (And see what you can do to help your Mum as PPs have said.) In the circumstances, I'd also keep a fairly close eye on your credit history, I'm afraid.

suzannecaravaggio Fri 29-Jan-16 17:21:15

agree, dont engage on any discussions about money
infuriating when people don't make rational decisions about money and then other people have to pick up the pieces

he sounds borderline manic when you give his history of debts and impulse spending, or as if he has no impulse control?

silverduck Fri 29-Jan-16 17:25:09

Given that your mum needs adapted accommodation and they are on benefits the council is going to be best placed to house them. That's a good reason not to lend money.

It's obvious he won't ever pay back money so that's a good reason too.

You could give them money though if you wanted to, you just don't want to. At least be honest about that. That's fine but own your choice. It's disingenuous to suggest you couldn't afford to when you are "madly overpaying" your mortgage. It's a bit like the people who say they 'have' to go back to work and when you suggest they could manage with one car, downsize or holiday in the UK they look uncomfortable. I have no bones with people making their own choices but don't lie about it!

Labracadabra Fri 29-Jan-16 17:39:39

Silverduck, I never suggested I didn't have the money (I wouldn't be considering lending it if I didn't) but I have plenty of (sensible) plans for that money. One good thing to come out of his recklessness is that I am a saver and naturally (over)cautious. Main reason is I never want my children to be put in the position he's putting me in now. It was the insinuation from DF that I can afford it so what's the problem that irked me. He sees anyone with a good job or pension or nice house as "lucky". Doesn't feel like luck to me, just like bloody hard work and difficult choices.

Borninthe60s Fri 29-Jan-16 17:46:45

Please don't enable his behaviour by lending him anything.

cozietoesie Fri 29-Jan-16 17:56:10

Some people see their children almost as extensions of themselves - and that can include their money and possessions. Hold fast on this one.

Corygal1 Fri 29-Jan-16 18:01:35

No. He won't change. And keeping pricy luxuries while begging vigorously from your nearest and dearest is not attractive. You're being manipulated - stop listening. 'You've got the money' - bloody cheek.

More to the point, your DM's health will kick the welfare state and the council into sorting both your parents out, handsomely. Much easier when they have no assets - people get some really nice homes and places on the priority list.

Woodenmouse Fri 29-Jan-16 18:04:56

I feel really sorry for you op. My PIL are crap with money (I've posted about it before) . The only way your DF will change is if you keep saying no. If he has you to turn to every time he needs money he won't have to change his habits. Stay strong!!

RandomMess Fri 29-Jan-16 18:12:42

Don't lend him the money but offer to buy his nice car off him for a reasonable rate instead with the option to buy it back at the future market rate less what he owes you???

Labracadabra Fri 29-Jan-16 18:15:14

I did think of that random but it's a saloon and I use an estate (2 children and 2 Labradors)

expatinscotland Fri 29-Jan-16 18:16:38

'I have suggested he sells the boat and one car (they have two and my mum won't be driving again) and raises the money that way. He's not keen - thinks mum deserves to have something nice like a boat with all she's been through (at the moment, she can't walk, speak or swallow) and he rather likes his Mercedes!'

You give him nothing. Not a bean. Because he's not asking for loan and you know that. And if your money is joint, it's not fair on your husband, either.

'Yes usual, he is on the council list but he doesn't think their houses are very nice and he wants to live somewhere nice not just "anywhere they put us". He really is impossible.'

He's only impossible as long as someone enables him by giving him money. So stop.

'I'm not speaking to you about money anymore. I have none to loan or give you. You need to make other arrangements.'

OVER and over.

Oh, and look up 'FOG' - fear, obligation, guilt. It's common in children of people like your parents.

Your father is effectively a thief. He runs up debts with no intention of repaying anything. Start seeing him for what he is.

Labracadabra Fri 29-Jan-16 18:22:46

When I say he's got a nice Mercedes, it's about 10 years old (which to me is practically new wink) and probably worth £4-5k so not really a luxury car but would definitely cover most, if not all, of the money he needs for the house

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