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Hi guys!

Haven't been here in ages, but had a question that I'm sure you guys can help me with. *bows to all knowledgeble Fools*

A few years ago, despite my "screaming" protests my dad got a Citi credit card with my *idiot* brother on it. (in future to be identified "IB")

Dad is almost 89 now and I really need to get him off this credit card. My dad no longer receives a printed statement on the account as my IB went online and set it up for online statements only. IB also has the card charged up to the limit most of the time which is screwing up Dad's credit score. At this point in time, my parents need to sell their big house, and buy something cheaper and smaller and dad's ready for Assisted Living even if Mom is not.

What's the best way of getting either my IB or my Dad's name off the account? I have POA and have been dealing with Dad's finances for almost 10 years now. If I just outright close the card, my IB will never pay it off, and Dad will be stuck with "another" debt of my IB's.

Background info: My IB has a lien on his rental prop in my dad's name to the tune of 10K. He's also paying on a personal loan in my dad's name and has a debt on another credit card. While at this point in time, he is paying on all these items, (except the lien) p/off IB isn't gonna help.

Is there some legal way I can separate the credit card account? (I haven't called Citi yet as I don't want to alert IB to my plans.) Although, I repeatedly have asked him to pay off the card and get one in his own name he hasn't done so. (and we won't get into the "IB hasn't paid income taxes in many years" issue.)


Any constructive advice would be helpful. (please don't go into coulda woulda shoulda, cause that's in the past and can't be changed now.)

Help me O' Knowledgeble Fools! You're my only hope!

Ianna
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No. of Recommendations: 3
I'm not sure you can do much of anything. If your father opened a CC and put IB on it, your father is responsible for the debt, regardless of whether he or IB ran up the balance. It's difficult to separate joint credit unless the party you wish to take on the debt (IB) is willing to open a new line of credit, or in the case of a court order - like in a divorce settlement.

When you mention the lien and personal loan in your father's name, it's not clear if your father willingly entered into these. If he did, he's liable for those obligations, whether they were for his benefit or IB's.

Basically there are three possible outcomes.

1) IB does nothing, and leaves your dad saddled with these debts.

2) IB agrees to borrow money (if anyone will loan him) and uses that money to satisfy/transfer these debts.

3) Nuclear option: Claim that IB fraudulently borrowed against your father's credit, and try to find a legal solution to get your father off the hook. (Based on what you've shared, it sounds like your father entered into at least some of these deals willingly, and this would probably not be successful)
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What's the best way of getting either my IB or my Dad's name off the account? I have POA and have been dealing with Dad's finances for almost 10 years now. If I just outright close the card, my IB will never pay it off, and Dad will be stuck with "another" debt of my IB's.

Is IB an authorized user or a joint owner? If he's an authorized user, it's your Dad's debt in either case, so it's probably best to just shut down the card.

If IB is a joint owner, you can call and see if the credit card company will re-issue the card with IB as the only owner. However, technically, as a joint owner, the debt is still totally Dad's debt, and the credit card company is unlikely to do so.

That said.....

Background info: My IB has a lien on his rental prop in my dad's name to the tune of 10K. He's also paying on a personal loan in my dad's name and has a debt on another credit card. While at this point in time, he is paying on all these items, (except the lien) p/off IB isn't gonna help.

Is there some legal way I can separate the credit card account? (I haven't called Citi yet as I don't want to alert IB to my plans.) Although, I repeatedly have asked him to pay off the card and get one in his own name he hasn't done so. (and we won't get into the "IB hasn't paid income taxes in many years" issue.)


You might want to consult an elder care attorney in your state, and ask them if IB's actions constitute elder abuse. If they do, then it may be possible to get Dad's name off of the debts. (If Dad's going into Assisted Living, it would probably be a good idea to consult an elder care attorney anyway.)

AJ
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Here's a website that has some information on financial Elder Abuse that might be helpful: http://www.preventelderabuse.org/elderabuse/fin_abuse.html I'm sure you can google for more sources of information.

AJ
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No. of Recommendations: 4
If I just outright close the card, my IB will never pay it off, and Dad will be stuck with "another" debt of my IB's.

True, but it would be the last debt. Your IB would not be able to saddle your Dad with additional charges.

Good luck.
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Your father applied for the card and is responsible for the balance. The Credit Card company has no reason to remove your father from the card. Closing the account will up the interest rate, but is really the only way to stop future charges.
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Rather than closing the account outright (with the possibility of the interest rate being jacked), why not report your dad's card as lost and let IB know, then "forget" to give IB the replacement card while the balance is paid down?
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<Rather than closing the account outright (with the possibility of the interest rate being jacked), why not report your dad's card as lost and let IB know, then "forget" to give IB the replacement card while the balance is paid down?>

Nice idea but IB is living with dad and mom right now.

I suppose I could call Citi bank and tell them we aren't receiving statements and that they need to be sent. Then Dad will see the bill and blow a gasket..and nag my IB to death.

I dunno. I will have to figure something out.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Lady I.
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repo his stuff he bought with the credit card and make IB sell it at on craigslist.
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Just some thought from a random internet stranger.... take them for what they are worth!

Why are you concerned about not letting IB know that you are cutting him off? A frank conversation with him may be difficult, but at some point this mooching off mom and dad is going to stop.

I think that if I were in your shoes, I would contact the credit card company and ask them what options are available. You can probably stop new charges to the account, and I'm assuming if it's maxed out, then there are no new charges? Who is paying the account right now? Is IB paying if he is the one receiving the statements?

Most important is no new debt in your dad's name, and not allowing IB to commit identity theft if that's the direction he's heading in.

Do you have access to the statements or is IB keeping this a secret? You may need to let the CC company know you are POA and send in documents, etc. to show that.

I am not sure that an 89 year old needs a credit rating to borrow additional money. If they are downsizing, is there enough equity in the property to pay for a smaller place? Would renting be more convenient at this life stage? How are mom and dad feeling about selling their home? What is their income, expenses and net worth at this point and how will they handle their money going forward?

This is complicated stuff and I am sorry you are going through it. There are many people who have done this and I hope you get the advice you need. I like Dave Ramsey for some of these kinds of things, and he recommends a book called Boundaries for rough family members. If you have true financial control, then honestly, work with your mom and dad to set some boundaries so they are protected from being taken advantage of.

The money already loaned and gone may be gone. If that is the case, then make your best plan to protect them from financial harm going forward.

Good luck with it all!
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It seems that transitioning your mom and dad into a new living situation that is more appropriate for them is the biggest task at hand, and if your brother is paying on his debts that is great. Perhaps you can take the team approach to finding a good assisted living / senior apartment kind of place where mom and dad can live happily and at the same time, address this credit card issue with IB. I think a conversation with your brother is important, try to be calm. Obviously IB is very aware of the debt, and very aware of mom and dad's needs to be in appropriate housing. Perhaps by focusing on the housing transition as the main issue with this cc as only a sidebar topic will make it more approachable.

Good luck!!

Best wishes for going through everything. It's a big project! Your parents are lucky to have you to help them through this important time.
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Lastly, as your dad's power of attorney, I think you have a responsibility to let Dad know the state of his affairs with this credit card. If you were him, wouldn't you want to know? It is not right to leave him in the dark and let IB get away with deceit. Handle it gently but everything should be out in the open, IMO. Financial secrets are icky.
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Just to clarify:

...you are POA ... If you have true financial control...

I have POA for my (92-y-o) father (I'm also a co-trustee of his Trust, which owns his house and most of his accounts). So, I can do stuff (mainly, pay his bills) on his behalf. I can NOT stop him from unilaterally spending/donating his money foolishly.

The POA enables me to help out, not to control. Unless OP's father is declared incompetent (a complicated process), I'm not seeing how she can control anything. If, for example, she does succeed in closing IB's CC, then her father can just get another CC for IB. And, given that IB lives with the parents, it would be very easy for him to do.

Echoing others suggestions, I'd recommend consulting a geriatric care manager or the father's physician. "Abuse, neglect, and exploitation" of elderly are illegal, and any medical or social worker who observes evidence of any is required to report it. Not sure to whom. IB appears to be committing exploitation, so if OP can find out whom to report that to, that would be the path that might rein him in.
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Well i thought this thread was well and done but guess not.

Dad is "most likely" in the beginning stages of Alzhiemers. (sp?) He does not remember things 5 minutes after you tell him. He set this card up with my brother's name on it 5 yrs ago? This was approximately the same time he was loaning my IB 2k a month and not remembering that he did it.

My IB is well aware of the situation. I've had several conversations with him regarding paying off the debt. He has recently told me that he is making multiple loans and paying them off to improve his credit score. Unfortunately, while he is paying on the card, he has no intention of paying it off to get his own card. We do not get any statements on the card, nor do I have online access to it. We do not even have a physical card in Dad's name. (I'm guessing because my brother absconded with it.)

I do know that my brother has been allowing his GF to use the account since it was opened. She is completely clueless when it comes to finances. AS long as she has a credit card she will use it, regardless of the consequences. IB is stupid enough to allow her to do so and pay the bills for her. (would that I could find a man so dumb!)

I am going to my parents this weekend. I will try and get Dad on the phone with Citi and see if we can at least get copies of the statements. (Difficult at best; worse when dad can't hear and can't remember anything 2 min later.)

As for assisted living and mom and dad. Dad will most likely go into assisted living. Mom doesn't like dad, and despite them still being married, will never move to the same place he is. (Very long complicated story.) She is currently living in the same house with him but refuses to be in anyway responsible for him or to take care of him in anyway.

I was originally living with my Dad ..then mom moved back in...then Dad opened credit card with IB..and I moved out. My Siblings are supposed to be taking care of mom and dad as I'd done it for 20+ years, and felt it was time for them to do their part. (i'm the youngest) My eldest brother died suddenly in a skiing accident, and was helping out, but other siblings are worse than useless.

So here I am in PA and they are in central NY state, and I'm trying to get them moved closer to me.
IB technically lives in SC. (has a rent to own property there) Also has a house he owns in CNY that he rents out.(this property has my mother's name on it and also has the 10k lien in my dad's name.My mother also has an equity loan on this house that she is paying on.)
Got another brother in CO that we never see. Sister in CNY who spends more of her time and money giving to her church, than her own family.

Hope that answers some of the questions y'all had. There is a _LOT_ more plot twists in all of this, but I'm sure that posts the length of "War and Peace" would be most tedious.

and please don't remind me that hind site is 20/20 because I already know that. I need to focus on moving forward.

Lady I.
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oh did I forget to mention that my IB wants my dad to come to NC to live with him?

Over my dead body.
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Hi Ianna!

I was certain I knew the answer to this, but to be sure, I went ahead and called a credit card company to verify what I was thinking and they told me I was correct. So here is what seems to be a simple answer:

You stated that it was your dad who opened the account, and IB is an authorized user. This being the case, your dad has full authority to inform the bank that he wants the authorized user removed. It's that simple. He will no longer be able to use it. An authorized user is authorized by the account holder, and in effect, is no more than a guest. He has no control over the account.

Now, reading between the lines, it seems like it's not an easy thing for you to do to get Dad to make the call. However, this is solved because you are POA. As power of attorney, this gives you the right to act on Dad's behalf. I'd advise that you simply call Citi and tell them what you need to happen. They most likely will need proof of your being POA, but that's simple enough to provide.

Hope this helps!

Best,
Tony
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So sorry to hear about the likelihood of Alzheimer's. It's a hard disease. My mom had it, and in the beginning I was in denial about it, didn't want to believe it. But things happened like, her checking out at the grocery store and having no idea how to do the transaction, and getting in a (thankfully minor) fender bender, and it became clearer that she was struggling.

You have a lot on your plate. It is important that you and your dad work with his doctor, and that if your dad will need more help then maybe you expand your role as the one that totally manages your dad's finances. It seems like no one else in your family is up to the job.

I would also ask if your dad has made a will. What are his wishes? If you know those wishes, that's great, it is important to get those things nailed down if he still has acuity. He may want it all to go to your mom. (It may do that automatically). It is also important for your mom to have a will made. What are her thoughts and wishes? How is her health?

How does your mom feel about relocating to PA with you?

It's complicated and you sound stressed and also mad at your family. Do your best to breathe and take care of yourself through this process. Enjoy what you can with your parents and take breaks from the business end of it when you can / when you need to.

Hugs and best wishes.
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YewGuise,

You wrote, The POA enables me to help out, not to control. Unless OP's father is declared incompetent (a complicated process), I'm not seeing how she can control anything. If, for example, she does succeed in closing IB's CC, then her father can just get another CC for IB. And, given that IB lives with the parents, it would be very easy for him to do.

FWIW, I'm in a similar situation, but worse. Kind of. My father has dementia, but it's my mother that panders to my IB. My father never signed a POA and put few of the communal assets in my mother's name. It took me years to convince my mother to have my father placed in a nursing home, retain a lawyer and sue for guardianship. She nearly ran out of money she could access before that happened.

The Guardianship order restricts my father's ability to drive, vote and engage in any legally binding contracts. The court granted the order based on a medical evaluation of his mental condition. A general durable POA allows you to act on that person's behalf too, so it is possible for you to intervene. The problem is you have no grounds to repudiate a contract. The Guardianship order makes any contracts my father attempts to personally engage in invalid from the start, so even if someone got him to sign something now it wouldn't be legally binding and my mother has a court order to prove it.

In my case because my mother panders to my IB and because my mother isn't senile, there's really not too much I can do there. Besides it's my mother that has the Guardianship and control over the finances. It's just frustrating that she usually plays dumb about money and won't cut off my IB. But at least I'm no longer worried about my *father* squandering what money they have left. I'm just stuck on the sidelines pushing my mother as much as I can along a path I hope will still leave her with enough money to live on without becoming financially dependent on one of her kids - which probably wouldn't be my IB.

- Joel
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I'm feeling very lucky. My mother's deceased, and my IB is in prison. Heroin addict, stole (from everyone he could, including our parents) to buy drugs as most addicts do, eventually convicted of armed robbery. When he gets out in 2 years, things will get complicated, but until then, it's just Dad to deal with.
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Tony - thanks for your response. How's Aruba these days? :D

I did end up calling Citi with my dad and got to talk to them and explained what happened. While on the phone with the customer rep we talked to the Fraud dept, because they wanted to know what the password was. I had no idea. My dad didn't set it up. I told them that the card was in my father's name and that we needed to get a paper statement from them. I also gave them my father's email address which I take care of. My brother had set it up as online statements, and the rep told me that at this point he had the ability to go back and change it back to online at any point because he has access to the account. So we will at least get one statement before he realizes and shuts it down again. IB is back from NC tonight, and I have to be back to my parents tonight. (family gathering for m&d to see great grandson) I will speak with IB about getting the balance paid off or transferred to him. I'm giving him a time limit. If he doesn't get it done by then. I will take his name off as authorized, and if he doesn't pay it off after that. well..i guess dad is SOL.

Last week I set dad up a new checking at the credit union with the eventual intent to close his Key Bank accounts. (I hate hate hate Key Bank. think they are crooked. IMHO) sis and I stopped at Key to remove her from dad's checking as a co-owner and put me on as authorized signer. Although they said they don't allow authorized signers. Gave them a copy of the POA that myself and sis are on. (which I'd given them before but they didn't have it listed.) Was told that with POA we can both write checks if need be. Hopefully this is all a step in the right direction.

Need to talk to IB about getting my mother off his house in Syr. and paying off or transferring the equity loan that he talked my mother into signing. My sister suggested waiving the 10k lien that my dad has on the property if he will refinance it. Dad's not likely to ever see the money anyway. That will free up mom to find a place of her own, be it apt, assisted living, or small house.

Then we work on getting dad into assisted living. (sis is balking at bringing him down here because it's 3 hrs away from her, but since she doesn't help him out much anyway, I don't think it really matters.) Asst L. down here is about 5 blocks from my house. There's a couple houses within the block that could suit mom, so that would make things easier for me. Hard part is going to be selling their house.

"slowly I turned..step by step.." :D

I'll keep you updated when I can

Lady I.
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I will take his name off as authorized

Maybe you already discussed this with the fraud rep, but be sure to get a new account number issued when you take him off the account, and confirm that Citi won't allow any charges from the old account number to roll over to the new account number, since IB actually has at least one card (and maybe both, if he's been getting the information on the account) with the account number on it.

AJ
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You will be able to recommend 6 more posts today. (explain this) - TMFServer

Recc'ed 24 posts so far today. Date: 24 07 2017; Time: 13:55 HST

WHOVPLLC
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