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Author: SeeFoolRun Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308225  
Subject: Re: Helping family member? Date: 5/27/2007 3:33 AM
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The brother has been doing a good job of keeping his act together so far. We'll see how long it lasts, but maybe a little time in county was a good wakeup call? Hard to find any kind of steady work being about 30, criminal record, & no education or job experience to speak of. His kids are there part time & with their mother the other part. They're good kids & it's a shame they have to live like they do. We buy them clothes & kids stuff - usually just before school starts & around the holidays. DF & I both grew up poor so we know what it's like being a kid in that situation.

We've been together over 5 yrs & living together for over 4. I avoid that particular household & might end up spending a day per year with them. We live too far away for them to visit us. The money last month was not asked for. I gave it to DF to give to STB-MIL so she knew about it. From the financial rundown we got this month it sounds like all that went to getting checks back from payday loan shops, so as far as we can tell it was used the best way possible. It's not like she blows money of frivolous junk or has wasteful spending habits (other than the smokes) it's just that she chooses the most horrible options to make ends meet.

If she does go thru with BK, what happens to all her furniture (or whatever she listed as collateral) to all the little loan shops? Cars getting repo'd would be a blessing - one is junked and i'm surprised they let her take a loan against it & the other is a series of $500+ unexpected repair bills waiting to happen. She'd be better of w/o them but would need something inexpensive & reliable to go to work. There is no public transportation in the area.

I would predict that after BK, she'd be left with nothing (assuming creditors get furniture & any other possessions w/ any value). Credit is already shot so it's not going to get any worse & a 400ish FICO for a while would also be a blessing - would keep her off CCs & out of loan shops. But there's still all those payday loan/check cashers. I'd think the day after everything was gone, she'd hit them all up just to have funds to replace necessary household items. The next stop would be a "buy here pay here" used car lot where she'd pay 3x what a junk car is worth + excessive interest + full coverage insurance. So while all the debt may have been wiped away w/ BK, within a few days she could still be looking at $1300 in vs $2000 out.

It's really sad there are so many businesses that serve no purpose but to keep poor people poor. If I were king for a day.......

It sounds like the general idea here is to just let her do what she does and live with the consequences of her choices - nothing I do or don't do will change that. Reading back through this pretending it's about some stranger, I'd have to agree. Part of me feels bad b/c I know we have the money to "help" while the other part knows that any "help" will just be temporary and next time around will be worse b/c she'll see us as a safety net.

BTW - DF is great. When i met her, she was a young single mom working 2 jobs. She was renting a small house and providing a good home for her son with no debt (& no child support). She continues to work even though it isn't necessary and is very frugal with money. She doesn't really save much, but that's my only complaint (she does pay a lot of the household bills which lets me save more, so i guess it's a wash). She uses her CCs and will occasionally carry a balance for a couple months, but generally pays them in full.
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