What would you do? Family/Money issues.

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Old 04-26-2014, 12:04 AM   #1
Trevytrev11's Arena
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What would you do? Family/Money issues.

I'll try to make this as short and to the point as possible.

Back story:
About 3 years ago we found out that these family members of our had been using prescription drugs and had found themselves in a huge mountain of debt. They were late on every bill and had resorted to taking out those payday loans that charge extreme amounts of interest. The fessed up to everyone. They say they were sick of lying to everyone. I believe a big part was they just needed money to help with their debt. They promised they would never use again. One of their mothers let them borrow like $10k to pay off their payday loans and took over their finances to help them regain control. After a while they were doing better and were able to pay back about half of what they borrowed.

We had lent them a little bit of cash and got about half back.

They had two kids at the time.

About a year later, all of a sudden they couldn't come up with the money to continue their repayment. Turns out they were using again. Took out more payday loans and were on the brink of losing their house. One of them even "borrowed" money from work. They were going to repay this of course. Their work found out and they were fired. Again in need of money. This time they leaned on a different parent and borrowed more money. This has never been paid back.

As far as we know they have been clean since then. About a year and a half or so.

The fired one found a new job, but is not making as much as they used to and they have been struggling ever since. They have picked a second job to bring in some extra cash and the other one works when possible.

About a year ago they got pregnant with number 3. Couldn't afford two, but decided to have number three. Right as number three was being born, number two was hospitalized with a very serious and life changing disease.

So here they are about 6 month later and they are struggling beyond belief. They have three kids. The sick one requires semi-expensive medical bills. They rent a house, can't afford barely anything.

Recently they started a drive online to raise money for their sick daughter. They probably raised about $4k.

Last week one of their two cars was repossessed. Turns out they were late on their payments and didn't tell anyone to help out. Now they have to pay about $5k to get the car back and get caught up on payments. If they don't pay it off in the next 30 days they basically lose it. It will go to auction and whatever it goes for goes against what they owe. If it sells for ore than they owe, they get cash and if it is less they are on the hook for it. They would never pay.

These people are in their mid 30's and have zero sense of responsibilities. Credit is a joke to them. Outstanding bills don't mean a thing. They treat other peoples stuff like crap and their own even worse. I let them borrow my truck once and asked them not to smoke in it. When I got it back their was ash in it and a burn mark on a piece of paper. When asked about it, they let someone else borrow it to run to the store and they must have smoked in it. Who the hell lets someone else drive a car they are borrowing to begin with? To me that is worse than the smoking.

A few other things. These are people that can't pay their bills, but had HBO until recently. Gave the excuse that they would go crazy without it. They rack up huge cell phone bills, etc. just recently they bought a new tablet. He's been on Facebook asking who is going to go with him to ACL for $250 a ticket. They racked up multiple tickets for a few hundred bucks for not wearing a stupid seatbelt. They have three kids and they don't put them in any kind of sport or activity at all....they keep talking about it, but hey...gotta buy cigarettes and tablets.

So my predicament is do I lend them money to get their car back. It would be a little over $5k. They are too proud to ask...at least so far.

As of now, they are probably going to use the money they raised for their daughter to pay the car. They say they will repay this. I doubt it. The thought of them even considering using that money makes me sick. People donated this money for their sick kid and they are going to use it to bail themselves out of their own stupid mistakes.

Should I lend them the money? If so there is a solid chance I do not get repaid. They are supposed to get a large bonus check in September ($15k). I would request payment then. I told my wife that I am willing to lend the money, but if it is not repaid, I am done with them. Their daughters would always be welcome at our house, but they likely would not. It would be an either them or me type of thing. They've lied, cheated and stole. They've borrowed money from us and others without repayment and those actions just kill me, especially when they continue to spend money on themselves. They are the definition of selfish people. Always looking for a handout, always the world is against us mentality and very rarely able to admit they are the reason they are where they are.

On the other side...the kids. They have a sick kid. One car would be a tough situation for any family, especially with three kids and a job in sales that require a ton of driving. They are going to take the money for their daughter and use it for the car.

We are financially stable. The money we would lend them is currently planned to go towards our backyard to landscape after we put in a pool this summer. The point being, it is not for anything major or critical, but we have plans for it. My wife and I make good money, live honest lives and have been responsible with our finances. Besides a mortgage and a car payment, we have no other debt and are at the point we can start sticking away savings.

My wife and I both hate the idea of being able to help and being stingy. If this was the first time, I would help out with no questions asked. If it was a different set of family members we would help out immediately, but we've been burned here. These people are full of bad decisions and selfish acts. I feel like another bail out would just further prove to them that they don't need to be responsible for their actions and that rock bottom may not be the worst thing for them....but they are family and there are kids. They make decent money and we all wonder where it is going. Seems like they should be able to get by with what they have. Could be paying off bills. They swear they are clean and as of now there is no reason to doubt them.

Any advice would be appreciated.


Last edited by Trevytrev11; 04-26-2014 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:24 AM   #2
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Re: What would you do? Family/Money issues.

It's a tough situation, Trev.

I totally understand you wanting to help family and feel since your are able to give, you should. I've dealt with a similar situation with my brother. He's irresponsible, can't hold a job, has no respect for others' money once loaned to him, never pays back or even cares to pay back etc. It's okay to give, but at some point, you're just enabling them. They have to figure out how to get out of the hole themselves.

Incessant bad decision making has gotten them to where they are. It's not your burden and you can't feel guilty about not giving even when you have it. It's not stinginess, but hopefully a much needed reality check for them to get their acts together. $5k is a good chunk of change, but since you're just handing it over to them they won't receive it as such. It's just another bailout to them.

I know it's hard and it definitely sucks for the children, but I'd stay away man. It's not really helping them. What would stop them from another bad decision, car on the line again and coming to you for help? Gotta break the cycle.
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:48 AM   #3
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Re: What would you do? Family/Money issues.

Do not enable them further. They will not change if someone is around to bail them out of their obscene stupidity.

Edit: Rant... I'll never understand piss-poor people carrying car payments. There are a bazillion cheap, used vehicles out there that can be had for a few thousand bucks that will serve their needs just fine, without the needless flushing of money down the toilet.
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:49 AM   #4
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Re: What would you do? Family/Money issues.

Cut them off.......I have some horror stories of relatives that was like that. They will never learn as long as people come bail them out. Save yourself some cash and head ache, cut them off. Family would bring you down with them if you don't learn to say no and cut them off.
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Old 04-26-2014, 01:03 AM   #5
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Re: What would you do? Family/Money issues.

It's hard to watch people make bad choices and hurt themselves and their children, but if you give them money, you're not helping them. You're actually doing great damage to them by reinforcing the idea that their choices don't have real consequences. As others have said, you'd be enabling them.

If you insist on helping the kids out, take care of the kid's doctor bills by writing a check directly to the hospital or whatever. However, any money you pay on their behalf should be considered a gift when you make the decision to do so. As you're aware, they're not going to be able to pay you back, and calling it a 'loan' will only lead you to more hard feelings further down the road when they can't.
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Old 04-26-2014, 01:07 AM   #6
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Re: What would you do? Family/Money issues.

To add something at least a little constructive, help them with something if they're willing to help themselves. Offer to sign them up to attend a financial management program of some kind (Dave Ramsey's program, etc).

If they're truly serious about getting out of the hole they've dug for themselves, this is the kind of thing that could actually make a difference, not someone bailing them out yet again.
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Old 04-26-2014, 02:00 AM   #7
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Re: What would you do? Family/Money issues.

I would not give them a dime. They have shown they can't be responsible and not to be dick, but if you did give them money and actually expected them to pay you back at this point then you're nuts.

I speak from experience here. My wife's brother is a recovering heroin and God knows what else addict. We let him borrow our car one time, for one day mind you, and when he brought it back it had all kinds of trash in it, cigarette butts and ash, and a pool of vomit in the back seat.

We also loaned him $50 to get groceries and he proceeded to buy drugs with it. (Which I knew he would) Supposedly he is clean now, but I still have my doubts as he still can't hold a job and his mom pays all his bills. He is 43.

I know its tough, but I had to finally tell my wife we were done "helping" him. We don't even have the means to help him anyway. We bent over backwards for him and he just continued to use. He ended up in jail for a while too. That's what supposedly got him to get his act together.

I hope whatever you do things get better for them somehow. If you can help the kids directly I would do that. But I wouldn't just hand them money. Good luck man.

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Old 04-26-2014, 02:10 AM   #8
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Re: What would you do? Family/Money issues.

I agree with those saying to cut financial ties. It just seems like they feed off of the help from others and won't change.

As for the kids, if you feel they aren't being properly cared for, you need to contact social services.
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