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Regarding a loan, many decades ago my parents lent DH & me money for the down payment for our first house. They filled out a gift letter, and we called it a gift. I decided it wasn't fraud ...

Two comments.
1. This experience was a long time ago. A lot of laws and regulations have changed over these many decades, as has their enforcement. What was OK in the 1960s or 1970s might not be OK in 2015.
2. You don't get to decide if it is fraud or not. You might not have intended to commit fraud, but that doesn't keep it from being fraud. Getting a gift letter and then repaying it as a loan is not something I would consider in today's legal environment.

Thank you for putting it so nicely. You're a lot kinder than Phil (whom I loved and miss terribly) would have been.
It's not a position I'd put my own kids in. If I give them money for a down payment, it will be a real gift, not a "wink wink" gift.
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