Money and in-laws

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills

To lend brother-in-law money or not?

Lend BIL lump sum (i.e., $3,000).
4
4%
Lend BIL monthly amount (i.e., $900/mo for 2 mo., then $500/mo. until he finds job... which could be indefinitely).
2
2%
Don't lend anything.
82
80%
Move to another country.
3
3%
Fake our demise.
12
12%
 
Total votes: 103

bbrock
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Money and in-laws

Post by bbrock » Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:52 pm

Hey you all,

My wife and I have another family dilemma to handle. The brother in law (BIL) needs to borrow more money. He has a BS degree in poli sci, but is unable to find work, and has been out of work for over 1.5 yrs. He has returned to school to pursue a career in the health field. Originally, he was considering law school, but currently is not. My wife and I wrote a lengthy email to him this AM and one of our questions was about his change from law school. Anyhow, we have already lent him $5,500 and we have a signed loan agreement with him for this. While we are not charging him interest or anything, he does need more money. The latest thing is now $900/mo. for two months, then $500/mo. until he finds a job. My wife and I have stable professions and are the only ones in her family that he can turn to. She has two sisters that don't work and have no employable skills or degrees. His mother is unemployed and lives off the government. So, my wife is the anomaly with the Ph.D.

While we have helped him before, I just feel now this is getting ridiculous because it is an indefinite amount of time to help the BIL. So, can anyone offer input in this situation? Do we keep lending him what he needs, or do we lend less so as not to enable him? Or, do we just lend a lump sum (i.e., $3,000) and call it final? Mind you, we will write a new contract for this amount, but realistically we don't expect to get paid back for a very long time. The thing that makes us uncomfortable is the possibility that he will need more at some future date when (if we do the lump sum) the money runs out. What do we do/how do we handle that if it comes up?

Thanks for your input in this uncomfortable situation with the BIL.
bbrock

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Opponent Process
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by Opponent Process » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:12 pm

this is the age old question with no good answer. we're even now regularly going through this question at the national level every few months it seems. am I my brother's keeper? essentially, you are in a position to help and to some this is reason enough. others might argue that even with the best possible outcome you're promoting moral hazards. at any rate, I'd skip any facade of this being a loan; it's only going to make the situation more tense and probably more embarrassing for you when he doesn't pay you back. at least if you treat it as a gift you'll reap the moral superiority dividends.
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kiligi
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by kiligi » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:20 pm

I think lending money to family members only leads you down a slippery slope of hard feelings, and unpaid loans.

As I read your post, you've already lent $5,500 which to date is unpaid. BIL has changed plans on what he is going to do at least once already and now needs more money. He has no actual plan on how the money already lent will be repaid (regardless of a written agreement), nor one for the new loan.

Cut your losses now. Tell him you don't have money to lend him. At the same time (if you feel like you can), you could tell him that the money you have already lent should be considered a gift that does not need to be repaid, but is the only monetary gift he will be getting from you.

Good luck.

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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by PreserveCapital » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:26 pm

It's like investing in a dot com stock with no upside.

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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by awval999 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:42 pm

If you give money make it a gift. Not a loan.
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by Redbelly » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:48 pm

It seems like every family has one, the only variable is how long you give them money before you realize that you will never see it again.

You've already given him $5K (whether you know it or not), time to cut your losses.

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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by marylandcrab » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:39 pm

This is how I handle things. I give $x amount to charity, do you? However, I max out savings into ira's, kids college and an emergency fund. Some people put charity first. But in any case, the only circumstance I would do this would be if it was truly no sweat to me, that I believed bil was sincerely looking for income, and if that means p/t grunt work, that's what he needs to do. I would never lend, and only give and view it as my charitable contribution to society. If you give him this money every month will he work as hard at finding a job? I would never let family of mine go hungry or homeless, but I wouldn't necessarily fund a non-working lifestyle.

I don't believe people can't figure out how to make money. It may not be their dream job, but I don't believe anyone who wants a job simply can't figure out how to make money. Especially being a young, educated, assumingly healthy adult male.

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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by fishndoc » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:43 pm

Has BIL considered school loans? Maybe a part-time job to get through school?
You say he is looking at a career in health care. Some hospitals will help with expenses in certain programs if one will commit to work with them for a period of time.
A lot of us got thru many years of education without ever resorting to borrowing from family members.
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by mlebuf » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:55 pm

What a coincidence. Many of us have a very similar problem with an uncle. His name is Sam. :D
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by MWCA » Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:41 pm

If you want to loan them. Dont. Just give it as a gift. Way to many problems with family and friends in regards to money.
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by cheese_breath » Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:57 pm

jenny345 wrote:You know the old saying, If you give a man a fish he eats for a day, if you teach him to fish he eats for a lifetime.
Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you with fishing stories for the rest of your life.

You didn't really say what kind of a person BIL is. Is he basically a good person who is down on his luck and trying to get back on his feet, or is he just a bum. My brother-in-law is the latter. He lost his job over two years ago and spent the time since on unemployment mooching off the taxpayers instead of looking for another job. Now that the unemployment has run out he has finally started looking for a job.... so far without success. Of course his 87 year old mother who survives on social security feels sorry for him and deprives herself even more to give him money to keep him afloat.

If BIL is a good guy, I'd try to help him as much as I can. But if he's a bum I'd let him stew in his own mess.

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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by SGM » Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:03 pm

It is nearly impossible to not find some kind of work. You could give him a part time job working for you. He could work as a waiter, night watchman, unskilled laborer, taxi driver, burger flipper, short order cook, or whatever. You don't need experience to get some of these jobs. I cannot believe he does not have some experience working if he has been around long enough to get a degree.

It is great to get a pay check and pay your own way. Some people never graduate from these jobs and have meaningful lives. He needs to go to work. There is great pride in work.

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bbrock
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by bbrock » Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:35 pm

Thanks you all for the posts. Looks like the majority say don't lend anymore. That is what I say, but I think that perhaps my wife may feel slightly different. Whatever the case, despite having a contract, I have not felt comfortable knowing that the BIL has no job, has not had one for 1.5 yrs, wants to borrow more, and has no concrete plans to pay us back. I have felt that we won't see that money paid back.

Jenny345 I like your idea about perhaps helping with a CNA program, especially since the BIL is considering pursuing a RN degree. A CNA can definitely be a starting point and if he finds he can do and enjoy that work, then he can continue on for a RN degree. In some aspect, I have doubts about his fit for a CNA or RN position, especially after having majored in poli sci and wanting to pursue law. My gut says that it may not be a good fit. I have suggested volunteering in a hospital or shadowing me (an RN) to see what he thinks about nursing, but we shall see if he pursues that.

And then with regards to the posts about finding work, I agree and feel that if he has really wanted to work, there is a job, any job, that he can take/do for the time being. While I am not too close with him, I don't know how to tell him to stop being selective with his job prospects and just take/apply to any/everything.
bbrock

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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by Johm221122 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:47 pm

You can find a job in a year and a half,are you kidding he needs a job now

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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by White Coat Investor » Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:53 pm

I agree with the others that you ought to gift the money. Also, set the limits now. Make any further gifts conditional. Such as "I'll give you $500 this month if you enroll in CNA school and you quit smoking." Or whatever conditions you want to set. If you doesn't want to play by your rules (whatever they are) cut him off.
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by calcium » Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:25 pm

Is he just looking for a short-term job (several years) to ride out the bad economy or is he looking for something more long term? If he has a degree and is willing to spread his wings a bit, there are always companies looking for people to teach english abroad. I know that some of the jobs are met with their fair share of skepticism, but a few of my friends have had a lot of fun doing it and in the right country, he can make applicable or better money than what he could state side.

That said, I think others on the forum have said it best and I would suggest against lending more unless he can tie it to something tangible that'll give him a certificate or a guaranteed job in less than a year.

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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by XtremeSki2001 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:40 pm

IMHO, I wouldn't give him a dime. You've gave him enough to be successful and it hasn't work, now your only going to enable future reliance on your wallet.
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by TRC » Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:08 pm

Sorry you're in this predicament. Politely tell him that as much as you'd like to help him out, you can't. Steer him to places that can help him out....job counseling, help wanted signs, etc. I'd also ask him what his plan is to pay you back with the money he currently owes you.

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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by Dave C. » Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:17 pm

First choice, I'd wish him all the luck in the world, but could not loan him any more money. If my wife felt strongly that we needed to continue to help him I would get very, very specific on how I would help. Such as, "What is your rent, we'll pay half for 3 months.". Or, "we'll give you 250-bucks a month for groceries for 3 months". The details are for you and your wife to figure out. But I would never just hand over cash dollars for this guy to use for whatever he wanted at the moment.

Help this man grow up and rely on his college educated gray matter. He seems to be learning from his mom and other two sisters......it's a lot easier that way isn't it? :roll:
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by galectin » Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:49 pm

Since you say he has returned to school in the health field, perhaps an approach is to offer to pay his tuition/fees for his education. You can ask, certainly, for him to sign a repayment note, but if you link your money to his continuing education and not just give him an unrestricted lump sum, maybe it will encourage him to finish in an employable field.

I would be hesitant to just give him the cash. And, this might be a good compromise with your wife, who, after all, has to deal him and other with family members if you flatly turn him down. Also, he is her brother and she might have emotional feelings about "abandoning" him.

In any case, you and your wife need to be on the same page with your decision.

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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by Index Fan » Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:50 pm

Family, friends and money do not mix. I've seen this situation many times, and have been involved in it myself. Nothing good comes out of money coming between people.

Plus, the moral hazard of paying someone a monthly stipend 'until they get a job' is enormous. Think of how many unemployed people find work not long after their unemployment runs out.

I believe your brother in law will be much more focused on what he wants to do when he's paying for it and not you. It's simple human nature.

If he was working, even at a low-paying job, and struggling and needed help with education, that would be a somewhat different matter...but in general, money and family do not mix.
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by leonard » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:59 pm

I knew your post sounded familiar, something in your other postabout a MIL and confusion about a car as a gift or a loan or something.

if you lend your BIL money, you are making yourself a mark for your wife's family. You are going to be hit up constantly unless you send a clear, unequivocal message that you are not an ATM. If a loan must be given, then...

Also, you should consider setting up an agreement with your wife on a "life time loan limit" for both of you have for each of your families. $10k, $5k, $100k, whatever. Then stick to it. if it hasn't happened already, I think being hit up for cash constantly will take a toll on your relationship. You can only have that argument so many times before it is "one too many".

EDIT: just re-read the posting about the MIL fake $5k loan for a car. This group wakes up and thinks they deserve $5k. Run. Do not, under any circumstance, loan, give, or otherwise furnish funds to "Anything"-In-Law. And, you can pretty much cut/paste this response when sister's in law - who I bet are on deck - come knocking.
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by Jerilynn » Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:55 pm

bbrock wrote:Hey you all,

My wife and I have another family dilemma to handle. The brother in law (BIL) needs to borrow more money. He has a BS degree in poli sci, but is unable to find work, and has been out of work for over 1.5 yrs. He has returned to school to pursue a career in the health field. Originally, he was considering law school, but currently is not. My wife and I wrote a lengthy email to him this AM and one of our questions was about his change from law school. Anyhow, we have already lent him $5,500 and we have a signed loan agreement with him for this. While we are not charging him interest or anything, he does need more money. The latest thing is now $900/mo. for two months, then $500/mo. until he finds a job. My wife and I have stable professions and are the only ones in her family that he can turn to. She has two sisters that don't work and have no employable skills or degrees. His mother is unemployed and lives off the government. So, my wife is the anomaly with the Ph.D.

While we have helped him before, I just feel now this is getting ridiculous because it is an indefinite amount of time to help the BIL. So, can anyone offer input in this situation? Do we keep lending him what he needs, or do we lend less so as not to enable him? Or, do we just lend a lump sum (i.e., $3,000) and call it final? Mind you, we will write a new contract for this amount, but realistically we don't expect to get paid back for a very long time. The thing that makes us uncomfortable is the possibility that he will need more at some future date when (if we do the lump sum) the money runs out. What do we do/how do we handle that if it comes up?

Thanks for your input in this uncomfortable situation with the BIL.
I would say...

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bbrock
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by bbrock » Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:14 am

I am enjoying reading all the input/advice. Thanks.

Leonard, good memory, or at least re-reading of my other in-law post. Yes, this is unfortunate, and I hate to say it, but I expected this to start happening. To tell you the truth, I am dang sick of it b/c it has caused tension/arguments with the wife. I don't like knowing that we are being painted to look like the ATM for the in-laws. Personally, I want to cut the BIL off, but someone hit it on the head in that he is my wife's brother/the youngest and my wife doesn't want to feel like she is abandoning him, or she doesn't want to feel like the black sheep in the family. In some regards, I tell my wife that she may feel like the black sheep b/c she is not anything like her family members and is the only one that is educated to the extent of a Ph.D.

I know for marital bliss we need to be on the same page on this, but I would prefer it to be on the hard-ball side/tough love especially since this situation seems too indefinite for me. I like the idea of a lifetime loan limit idea as a way of sticking to an agreed upon amount that we can loan in our lives.
bbrock

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XtremeSki2001
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by XtremeSki2001 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:05 am

bbrock wrote:that he is my wife's brother/the youngest and my wife doesn't want to feel like she is abandoning him, or she doesn't want to feel like the black sheep in the family.
If you feel your wife is going to commit money regardless to the discussions you both have ... at least establish where she draws the line.

Where does she says "enough is enough" - $10k/year, $20k, etc. or is there no limit to what she would spend/give to help her BIL and/or family. I would also have you both identify what sacrifices she's comfortable with - no new car, live in the same house 5 extra years, put off kids for 2 years, reduce retirement savings, no vacation, etc.

I've always thought when people are challenged to draw a line and identify what they will give up it helps frame the argument. It also puts the scope of what you're both willing to do into perspective (e.g, 10k/year, 20k, etc).
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by scouter » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:37 am

I agree with the overall advice here. If he can't get a loan from a bank, he shouldn't be getting one from you and your wife. If you want to give him money for a short time (which you've already done) that's up to you, but it should be a gift, you shouldn't expect to ever get it back, and it should be a "one-time event" to help him through a crisis. Someone once said that a loan between family members makes the Thanksgiving turkey taste very different.

IMO, not finding a job in 1.5 years isn't a crisis, it's a sign of not being motivated to work because he's found another source of income.

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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by Dave C. » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:25 am

scouter wrote:I agree with the overall advice here. If he can't get a loan from a bank, he shouldn't be getting one from you and your wife. If you want to give him money for a short time (which you've already done) that's up to you, but it should be a gift, you shouldn't expect to ever get it back, and it should be a "one-time event" to help him through a crisis. Someone once said that a loan between family members makes the Thanksgiving turkey taste very different.

IMO, not finding a job in 1.5 years isn't a crisis, it's a sign of not being motivated to work because he's found another source of income.
Say no more. :wink:
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by greg24 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:34 am

I wouldn't give him another dime. He needs to learn to stand on his own.

What is his current part time job? Oh, he doesn't have one? Deadbeat. I'm serious.

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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by tuckeverlasting » Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:03 pm

Unless he is disabled, there is no reason he cannot find a job...any job. BIL is asking you to fund his present lifestyle, whatever it may be, instead of manning up and doing whatever it takes. I have no sympathy. People don't realize how absolute little they can live on until they have had to do it.

The most I would do, but only to keep peace with your wife, is short-term help on the CNA suggestion. The CNA certification would actually help get him into an RN program (which I doubt he is serious about). How is he going to pay for the RN program?

BIL is asking you for $ because it is easier than doing anything else. Also, if he is truly broke and without resources, he will qualify for Food Stamps and can go to food banks...no need to go hungry in the USA.
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by Index Fan » Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:00 pm

Incidentally, this situation- tension between a husband and wife over how to spend money- can be largely avoided by keeping finances separate. Each party has certain bills they are responsible for, and whatever they choose to do with the rest of their money is up to each person. For instance, if a wife wants to give money to her brother in law, it would be her money, not her husband's money too. This would limit money arguments. People will sometimes disagree on how their significant other spends money, but since it is not their money, the impact upon them personally is lessened. This assumes that both spouses have a certain minimum level of responsibility as far as saving and investing for the future, of course.
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by Atilla » Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:13 pm

Consider all past "lent" money as a gift. Moving forward decide how much additional you want to give him.

Do not under any circumstance "lend" him any more money. You're really just giving it to him anyway; and who needs the family stress of an unpaid "loan"?
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by leonard » Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:24 pm

Index Fan wrote:Incidentally, this situation- tension between a husband and wife over how to spend money- can be largely avoided by keeping finances separate. Each party has certain bills they are responsible for, and whatever they choose to do with the rest of their money is up to each person. For instance, if a wife wants to give money to her brother in law, it would be her money, not her husband's money too. This would limit money arguments. People will sometimes disagree on how their significant other spends money, but since it is not their money, the impact upon them personally is lessened. This assumes that both spouses have a certain minimum level of responsibility as far as saving and investing for the future, of course.
Given the OP's history (and future) with this entire set of in-laws - I think separate finances for the OP and his wife might be a very good solution in this case. Both fund shared goals - retirement, vacations, kids, etc - and then do whatever they want with what is left.
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by funnymoney » Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:41 pm

You might check out "The Millioonaire Next Door" and it's sequels. The author explains clearly how providing $$ to family member (he is usually talking about children, but this is the same) actually cripples them by not allowing them to learn to care for themselves. Those who receive the least tend to do the best in the long run unless there is really some sort of disability. IMHO you would be helping him the most by stopping the $$$ flow. Take him a bag of groceries if he's hungry, of course, but believe he CAN LIVE HIS OWN LIFE!

We had to do this to our youngest son. Toughest parenting moment of my life. Many tears. But he went on to save, plan ahead, think about his finances and he never asked for another dime. Not doing brilliantly, but doing just fine with his own home, decent marriage, great kid, and occasionally he even calls for advice about things -- but never cash.
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verbose
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by verbose » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:59 pm

Abraham Lincoln faced a similar dilemma. His letter is worth reading in its entirety, and still quite applicable today.

http://www.quotablelincoln.com/LincolnLetters.html

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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by DidItMyWay » Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:28 am

bbrock wrote:... Whatever the case, despite having a contract, I have not felt comfortable knowing that the BIL has no job, has not had one for 1.5 yrs, wants to borrow more, and has no concrete plans to pay us back. I have felt that we won't see that money paid back...
Exactly. There are good reasons that you are uncomfortable about it. As so many others have suggested here, please don't do it.

If my own brother were ill or diabled, or fell upon hard times, I would absolutely give (not loan) him the $. Under these circumstances, I absolutely wouldn't. I don't think that you would be really helping him, just enabling him. I would let him know that, unfortunately, you are not in a position to loan the $ right now, but that you are your wife would be happy help him in his job search (and then do just that.) IMHO he doesn't need to be going to school at all right now if he doesn't have $ for his basic living expenses. He needs a job. Or if he wants to go in debt to go to school, let that be on him and let him take a student loan out for his school and living expenses.

Good luck.

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Post by Curlyq » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:02 pm

.....
Last edited by Curlyq on Mon May 14, 2012 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by bbrock » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:28 pm

All good points being made here.

IndexFan & Leonard, the wife and I do have some separate accounts, and jt accounts for expenses, etc. The loan or gift would come out of her personal account, but the thing is that she/we make financial decisions together when it involves us. While this is with her brother, I am pretty certain that she feels like an ATM when she keeps lending to her family. She turns to me for advice on this and other financial matters. While I have shared that this situation with the BIL is not right, and he should be able to find a job w/ in 1.5 years, she gives him the benefit of the doubt. I, on the other hand, have tried to get her to open her eyes and realize that the BIL is not busting his tail off trying to get a job, and is not as motivated as we would be. Even if we talk about this, ultimately it comes down to her decision. That is the hard thing for me because even though we talk about it and she shares that she is tired of being the bank, she may lend/gift more. Call it me trying to have too much input, but I don't like to know we discussed it and then she may still help him out. I get affected knowing that she is letting herself being taken advantage of.

DidItMyWay, I feel the same way that he should be finding a job, rather than taking out more debt to return to school. Apparently, the latest thing he had said was that the community college (CC) turned him down for loans because he has a prior degree, and that is why he is turning to us for money. I don't know if I buy that. Despite having a degree, I had returned back to school awhile back and was still able to get a federal loan, albeit small but still helpful. I can't see how a CC could reject him when he has no money (if anything he is in debt due to his prior loans/degree) even though he has a degree.
bbrock

DidItMyWay
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by DidItMyWay » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:35 pm

bbrock wrote: That is the hard thing for me because even though we talk about it and she shares that she is tired of being the bank, she may lend/gift more. Call it me trying to have too much input, but I don't like to know we discussed it and then she may still help him out. I get affected knowing that she is letting herself being taken advantage of.
It's totally understandable that you feel that way. Hopefully, even if she insists on giving him the $ this time, you and she can agree to some kind of limit, like, "I can give you $900 more, but that's all I'm going to be able to do. You're going to need to find a job soon."
bbrock wrote: Apparently, the latest thing he had said was that the community college (CC) turned him down for loans because he has a prior degree, and that is why he is turning to us for money. I don't know if I buy that.
Yeah, that sounds very suspect to me as well.

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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by Dave C. » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:12 pm

[quote="bbrock"]All good points being made here.

IndexFan & Leonard, the wife and I do have some separate accounts, and jt accounts for expenses, etc. The loan or gift would come out of her personal account, but the thing is that she/we make financial decisions together when it involves us. While this is with her brother, I am pretty certain that she feels like an ATM when she keeps lending to her family. She turns to me for advice on this and other financial matters. While I have shared that this situation with the BIL is not right, and he should be able to find a job w/ in 1.5 years, she gives him the benefit of the doubt. I, on the other hand, have tried to get her to open her eyes and realize that the BIL is not busting his tail off trying to get a job, and is not as motivated as we would be. Even if we talk about this, ultimately it comes down to her decision.




Bbrock, it may be about time for you to pull the trigger and make a decision. We've all enjoyed the drama of BIL with his hand trying to get into your pocket, but how many times do we need to say pretty much the same thing. :peace
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by Abbey » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:43 pm

You have many good answers/reasons for each option but I'll add one more.
IF and only if your wife insists on giving him more money, make it a matching program. Match a percentage of each paycheck he shows you up to some amount/month and some total limit (your own little company 401 plan). Tie it to a written financial plan.

I'm curious why he's no longer in law school. Too expensive or just too hard to get up in the morning? That should make a difference in further funds.

You might also have several conversations with her about how she got through to her PhD, who funded it, how she knew what she wanted to do, etc. I'm pretty sure she was focused, frugal and dedicated. Is he the same? How would giving him money help him develop these characteristics? How often does he finish what he starts? Does he have a real plan with a budget or just another idea? Think of this as practice raising children. How will you help your children develop independence & self-reliance? How will you fund their education? At what point do you put yourself & your retirement ahead of their wants?

We all have opinions and advice but you need to be united with your wife.
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by xerty24 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:09 pm

bbrock wrote:[BIL] has two sisters that don't work and have no employable skills or degrees. His mother is unemployed and lives off the government.
Clearly he didn't learn enough from his family about living off the government to support his non-working lifestyle. Perhaps his mother can teach him the ropes for welfare, food stamps, etc. :annoyed
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by yobria » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:19 pm

Getting student loans for education in the health care field is a piece of cake.

Nick

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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by bbrock » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:07 pm

Good day Bogleheads. My wife and I have discussed this situation and have agreed that the best thing to do is to help the BIL by teaching him to fish, so to speak, by paying his way through a CNA program. Since he is interested in entering healthcare and has no experience with patients, I feel that this is a good entry point for him. Plus, he will be able to get certified and will have an employable skill set in which he can find work.

But, there is another twist that my wife shared with me yesterday. The BIL was considering student loan debt consolidation, but he was told that it is not possible since he has no income or savings. Therefore, he is considering filing bankruptcy due to student loan and credit card debt. The mother-in-law (MIL) is now involved because she is wanting us to help out the BIL so that he doesn't have to file bankruptcy.

My opinion and offer to help stays the same regardless of this situation. When we spoke last night, my wife shared with me that she feels helping him to become a CNA could be the best thing for him, but she also feels that if she doesn't help out now she will be looked at negatively from the family. I told her that it was not us who got in over our heads with credit card debt and purchased material possessions when we could not even afford them. My wife just feels that if the BIL files bankruptcy then it will be that much more difficult for the him to find a job, employment, or secure loans for the next 5-7 years (or however long it stays on the record).

As it stands now, we are still going to go ahead with our offer for the CNA program. I just wanted your opinions if you would offer more help (gift, lump sum, loan, or no change) knowing that he is on the brink of bankruptcy.

Thanks for all your input thus far.
bbrock

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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by XtremeSki2001 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:18 pm

I think it's a pretty nice gesture to assist him with the CNA, but family pressuring you to do even more to help pay off his debts would send a signal to me that I'm being used rather than appreciated for what I'm already doing.

I mentioned this earlier, but there must be boundaries. How far do you take things? At this point, why not let him move in rent free and pay for his expenses? That sounds like the conclusion to this drama - you give an inch and they take a mile.

IMHO $.02

Btw, bankruptcy won't rid your BIL of student loan debt.
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by greg24 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:34 pm

bbrock wrote:The BIL was considering student loan debt consolidation, but he was told that it is not possible since he has no income or savings.
There is an easier solution to this problem.

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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by HomerJ » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:40 pm

Student loans will not disappear via bankruptcy. He can only get rid of his CC debt (Heh, and technically he can get rid of his debt to you too)

How long does it take to a get a CNA?

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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by bbrock » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:43 pm

Xtremeski2001, that is good to know that bankruptcy will not erase the BIL's student loan debt. He got an education out of it, he needs to pay for it.

The BIL moving in with us is one limit that my wife and I will not break. You must be clairvoyant :shock: b/c that situation came up last Feb. The MIL was pressuring us to let him move in rent free, etc. In not these exact words, I said hell no. I told her to let him move in to her place, which didn't sit well with her. Just goes to show you she doesn't want the burden either.
bbrock

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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by bbrock » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:45 pm

rrosenkoetter, from the little bit of research I did, it looks like it averages about 9 weeks.
bbrock

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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by tludwig23 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:55 pm

bbrock wrote:I just wanted your opinions if you would offer more help (gift, lump sum, loan, or no change) knowing that he is on the brink of bankruptcy.

Thanks for all your input thus far.
I think it is already extremely generous to pay fo rthe CNA program. Many people do CNA training while working full-time jobs, usually really crappy full-time jobs. You can't, and shouldn't, try to solve all his problems. You didn't get him into this state.
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Re: Money and in-laws

Post by DidItMyWay » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:09 pm

It sounds like you are getting in deeper instead of setting any boundaries. You and your wife sound like very generous people, and I feel that you will be taken advantage of further. At some point, you will need to say, "no more". Do yourselves a favor and make it sooner than later so you are not out a lot more $. (I know that can be easier said than done, though, when dealing with family, so I wish you good luck!)

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