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should I give money to my parents AGAIN or let them rot?

34 replies

Flocci · 09/09/2007 11:56

Very long - please bear with me......

5 years ago my mum suddenly broke down and told me her and dad were having financial probs. Was total shock as I always thought they were very comfortable. Mum never worked so all down to dad. He was a bit sheepish and vague but said things on top of him and needed £15k to sort it all out. At that time me and dh both on good money and no kids said we would remortgage to help.

Starting giving him bits here and there and before we knew it I had handed over £30k but all seemed ok and everyone happy.

6 mths later i got a phone call from a family fund worried about dad and money. this friend said he had given dad £15k in the last 6 mths and could give no more but apparently dad in probs again.

I confronted dad who admitted it and all in said probs added up to £100 mortgage and £50k other debt. Things so bad he was about to have house repossessed. My brother gave him £10k to stop that.

I got a mortgage and bought m & d's house so they could stay there. This paid off their mortgage and all debt and in return m & d were going to cover the monthly mortgage repayment. All finally seemed ok and secure.

3mths later dad announces that actually there was still a BIT of debt he hadn't told me about ....... £40k....... so i remortgaged again and paid it off and he promised to cut up all cards and start afresh.

6 mths ago dad started being a bit late with monthly payments but insisted things were tight but ok. then it turned out he hadn't cut his cards up and now owed £6k. Later mum let slip that he had used her card too and now owed £7k on there. Final straw last week a different family friend called and said he had given dad £10k in last 12 mths and was worried.

My brother took over and had a word but didn't mention family friend. Dad only admitted to £5k debt on his cards and nothing else and said he could do with £3k desperately but not to tell me or mum. I went nuts and confronted him in front of mum and dad denied everything and said all was ok and has now told brother he doens't want any moeny and will never speak to him again for betraying him like that.

So waht do i do? TBH i am tempted to let him rot because he is just letting us all down time after time by spending and lying - he obviously has a problem - throughout all of this he won't actually say where the money os going, just that it has built up on little expenses here and there - but how can that be? he goes nowhere and does nothing but sit at home and watch TV. He can't drink or smoke due to health - that only leaves women and gambling. I can't believe that he is now in trouble again and that he is turning down money to save face in front of mum, and making my brother into a villain. Brother wants me to force the money on him to avert disaster - dad talked about going to a money lender. how can I get him to wake up and take responsibility?

Any thoughts?

OP posts:
mumblechum · 09/09/2007 11:59

You'd just be throwing good money after bad. There's clearly some major problem here, I suspect gambling.

He should go the CAB and try and make an arrangement with his creditors.

Glad the house is in your name now, at least if he goes bankrupt they won't be homeless.

WideWebWitch · 09/09/2007 12:00

Gambling problem?
Or something?
this isn't normal.

WideWebWitch · 09/09/2007 12:01

I'd let them rot tbh.

NurseyJo · 09/09/2007 12:06

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

Flocci · 09/09/2007 12:07

It has to be doesn't it? you can't spend that much on everyday bits and bobs, surely?
The thing is though that basically they will be homeless because I think I will end up selling the house to pay off the debts and and myself and my brother and the family friends and after all of that there won't be anything left. FFS they are in their 60s and if we are lucky they will have zero and have to find somewhere to rent - if we are unlucky there will still be debt left.

What gets me most is that after all the help he has had and we are still trying to help he is still lying and spending ..... and he earns £50k doing a nice respectable job too - it's mad.

OP posts:
Joash · 09/09/2007 12:11

To be honest, you're not doing them any favours by bailing them out. They have to deal with this themselves (and that includes letting them make their oen mistakes) or they are never going to be able to deal with their finances.
.I had a similar situation with my mother and a couple of her husbands. I gave them money twice and the third time made it clear that it was a loan. Technically, they were in a much better postion financially than we were.
It took five years for us to get the money back and during that time, they moved house twice, decorating and refurnishing each time and continued to run up huge debts in various ways.

Flocci · 09/09/2007 12:20

I just can't get my head around it - he is now denying there is any problem asa though it is a really scandalous suggestion, so i can't force him to take action because he is saying ther eis nothing to worry about.

I actually feel really sorry for my mum who is really old fashioned and has always trusted him - she only know about half of all that has happened. She has been given monthly housekeeping for 40 years and just got by on that and assumed dad was dealing with everything else. Now she is reaching an age where she had hoped to enjoy dad being retired next year, sppending time in their lovely home and with the kids and grand-kids ..... but that is all about to explode and leave her with a stressed husband, a family in crisis, possibly sell the house and just nothing left.

OP posts:
Joash · 09/09/2007 12:25

Even if your mum isn't aware of whats happening, you have to let her deal with it in her own way. If she chooses to stand by him and deal with any aftermath, then thats up to her. I obviously dont know your parents, but I would be very surprised if she doesn't have an idea of whats going on.

I recently found out that my mother & current hubby have sold their house, paid off all the debts they had, split the £80,000 that was left. He immediately went out and bought a car costing £35,000 and she's blown hers on other stupid things. They now live in a council bungalow and are currently running up debts again .. some people never learn.

JillJ72 · 09/09/2007 12:26

I sympathise, similar situation with ILs. They're in rented, coming up for retirement, no way they can get a mortgage. We aren't in a position to 'bail them out' and so SIL and BIL are looking for a property to purchase for them. MIL's hand was forced - she had to go back to work instead of being at home dreaming of a life beyond their means. They're lovely people, just seriously got their heads in the clouds. All I can say is they're an example to us of how NOT to be financially.

The only advice I can give is that bailing your parents out isn't making them grow up and deal with their problems. Debt counselling, CAB, the grown ups way. You and those around you have given far more than most. Enough is enough.

Flocci · 09/09/2007 12:30

Mmmmm I think you are right - i have always had this little niggle that surely she must know .... or at least after I bought the house she should have made it her business to know what was going on shoudln't she? My brother says that up to then she knew nothing so can;t be blamed but since then she is just as guilty for burying her head in the sand.

But your mum's money has at least gone on a car and other stuff you can - there is nothing to show for my dad's spending, that's what baffles me - there is nothing. He never goes out, mum buys clothes from charity shop, never go on holiday except to visit us or my brother, never see any friends or have anyone to visit, don't buy gadgets or lavish presents etc - they don't even own a car, just go around on foot or by bus.

OP posts:
Joash · 09/09/2007 12:38

Perhaps I should have added he has crashed every single car he has ever owned - within the first year of ownership. She completely replaces the furniture throughout the house every year without fail. They have holidays abroad two or three times a year - all paid for by loans. They are both in their late 60's now and cannot give up work as they owe so much money out. They run up debts in one place and then move to another - managing to avoid paying for a few years until their debtors catch up with them.

My DH got into a similar situation a couple of years ago - he blew every penny we had (around £70,000 over a few months - not years) and had absolutely nothing to show for it - you dont have to have physical objects to spend the money. We went through the bank statements and although it took time, we did manage to (loosely) trace the money. And you wouldnt believe how easy it is to spend without having anything to show for it. We seperated for 8 months and although we are back together now - I handle the finances and he has to account for every penny

Flocci · 09/09/2007 12:42

WOW Joash that is pretty amazing spending - I guess it is almost like an addiction of sorts, isn't it?

OP posts:
ruddynorah · 09/09/2007 12:45

if you're going to help them again, which personally i wouldn't, the you should ask to see their credit card statements for the last 6 months as well as bank statements and payslips. of course, they will not show you all that they have. your mum, i suspect, does know what's going on, after all she did run up a credit card bill herself didn't she? have they no shame? you have bailed them out far too many times already while they continue to keep secrets from you. that is entirely disrespectful. like i say, if you are going to help then get them to do an income expenditure plan, just as if you were a bank going to lend them some money.

or, let them rot...

charliecat · 09/09/2007 12:47

Possibly expensive phone lines? Those quizzes in the middle of the night. 75p a call? x a few years and then gambling to hopefully pay off the bill, gambling more...
Your dad needs help and your mum needs to know.

lulumama · 09/09/2007 12:48

no more money

the more you give them, the more chance of it being, for want of a better phrase, p*ssed up the wall

a bit of debt is £2000, for example, not £40 000!
you and your brother have given your parents somewhere in the region of £100 000 , not including the mortgage you took out

that is serious money

and what is there to show for it? nothing, except your worry and stress

they need debt counselling and help with their compulsive spending

you cannot do that for them

the more you bail them out, the less reason they have to learn and change their habits

maybe having their house repossessed will demonstrate how out of control they are.

Joash · 09/09/2007 12:54

I think that its less of an addiction and more of total irresponsibility to be honest.

malfoy · 09/09/2007 12:58

I agree re the no more money.

My parents are in a similar situation & I also don't trust my mother not to keep cerain credit cards secret.

I got her to order an Experian report so that I could be satisfied nothing was missing.

debgronow · 09/09/2007 13:10

You could get an experian report, at least this might show what cards they have.

To be unable to manage on a salary of £50k and run up over £100k of debt (ie borrowings from you, other family and friends) means there is a serious problem.

The longer you bail them out the less likely he is to take reponsibilty for his actions.

I assume that you havent got unlimited funds. the risk is that you could jeapordise your family finances by doing this and their failure to repay you. If they dont they risk losing their home.

They need to wake up face reality and take action before its too late.

Joash · 09/09/2007 16:39

It is actually illegal for you to get an Experian report on anyone else - they have to do it themselves.

Flocci · 09/09/2007 16:45

No I most certainly haven't got unlimited funds - I have had twins and given up work since getting involved in this mess so our income has halved and we also now have two los to bring up, plus dd is disabled so frankly I have enough on my plate to worry about and plenty more to spend our limited finances on than throwing it into a bottomless pit.

Evry bone in my body and every brain cell is telling me to have one last talk with them both to try and thrash it out, and get them to think about what they are doing and then walk away, but no more money - it's gone too far. I just can't believe it has come to this. I thought we were just a normal family and now this has blown us apart and there is ruin on the horizon. And I don't think we'll ever know where the money has gone.

OP posts:
Blandmum · 09/09/2007 16:46

That is an awful lot of money to have taken from your family, and still to have moeny probelms. Very scary.

I would feel that it is time to stop bailing them out. Everytime you do, it seems as if your dad gets into more debt.

You need to try to get them to go to see the CAB, they can give them independent financial advice about their debts and can help them set up methods of clearning it for them selves.

If he has a gambling problem, you will never sort out his problems by bailing him out. He needs specialist help for that from people like GA

Flocci · 09/09/2007 16:52

BTW before I became a SAHM I was a bloody financial advisor and Risk Managaer - that is why each time I have known about a problem I have been able to sort it out fairly quickly and efficiently - if he could only tell me what is goin on then it could be resolved, but his stupied pride means he won't talk to me honestly and let me sort it out and now he just denies everything. It's laughable - I mean, where was his pride when he took money off both his kids and then two different family friends? And it makes me wonder how many other people out there he has hit on.

OP posts:
Blandmum · 09/09/2007 16:55

In the end his underlying problem will only be solved (whatever it is) when he accepts that it is a problem and decides to do something about it. (psycho babble I know but I do think it is true)

If he is bailed out by his family (and can I say here he is damn lucky to have such understanding children) every time he messes up, he will never need to face his do the facing of the problem for him.

Flocci · 09/09/2007 16:58

You're right - he has to do this for himself now and face the consequences if he ignores it. Maybe me saying that i wash my hands of it now finally will shake him up enough to deal with the situation before it gets completely out of control. I just don't want to have to worry about this anymore.

OP posts:
NannyL · 09/09/2007 17:04

he needs to learn from his own mistakes and you keep nailing him out he will never learn

he should be greatful for all your help, and not cross with you for not helping this time

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