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Old November 5th, 2016, 12:25 PM
Taramore Taramore is offline
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Lent money to family - regretting it big time.

Sometimes when something eats away at us we can't think straight and may end up doing the wrong thing - so I am here to ask for any advice any of you may wish to give!
Three years ago my son-in-law suffered an injury, it meant that for a few months the family finances were disastrous. I offered to help out, having been told a lump-sum compensation to my son-in-law was due and that I would then have my money back. When the compensation came through, he didn't pay me, he bought guns! I pointed out that the money had been only a temporary loan and that I needed it for an upcoming trip as well as much-needed dental work. Promises were made, and I foolishly believed them, re-making my plans for the trip three times before giving up. The trip was crucial, not only to my work but personal life, so I have lost out on money-making opportunities, plus seeing very dear old friends.
My daughter has been giving me small amounts out of the child benefit payments she gets, and my son-in-law did give me two cheques over a two-year period totalling $250 - not much when they owe $10,000. I feel insulted, as I feel that he just doesn't care and probably hopes I'll stop asking. My daughter says they use up all his paycheque in rent and food, but he always has money for expensive booze, I notice. I seriously need dental work, so going for job interviews are a nightmare, and dating is just not possible. My income doesn't meet basic necessities.
I feel so stupid, and hurt that a gesture I thought would help my daughter's family has turned out to have adversely affected my life. I want to write a letter to my son-in-law, as I am now too emotional to speak to him, and tell him how devastating this has been for me - so any hints on what to say, and perhaps what NOT to say, would be appreciated.
Thank you for reading this.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 01:58 PM
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Re: Lent money to family - regretting it big time.

Welcome to the forum.

I'm sorry you are struggling through this.

The first question I have is this: are you willing to lose the relationship with your daughter over this money? While it's true that they owe and it seems that they are not going to pay, if you pursue the money, you will lose the relationship.

Of course, your relationship may be irrevocably damaged anyway.

If you really need that money, and you are okay with the broken relationship, then make an appointment with a lawyer and get his professional advice. If you have an agreement in writing, your chances of having the money awarded to you are higher than just a verbal agreement, but verbal agreements are also legally binding in some states. Having documentation like payments listed is helpful to your case. Perhaps if the lawyer writes them the letter, you'll get your money without any further issues.

Good luck. What they're doing is lousy and you should be paid back in full.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 04:47 PM
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Re: Lent money to family - regretting it big time.

Ugh. So sorry to hear this, Taramore, it is wrong for them to do this to you! And that is quite a sum. I have to agree with what Lucy said about your relationship with your daughter.

My FiL once told me to never lend money to a family member or friend *unless* I was pretty sure I'd would be OK if they never paid it back. He was so right. There have been people we've loaned to that have paid back and people who haven't, and even though it has been so hurtful and disappointing to not be paid back, recalling this lesson from FiL has helped somewhat. I sort of went into it knowing.

If your son-in-law would agree to regular payments, even modest ones, I'm sure it would go a long way toward making you feel better. Can you ask if they'd agree to $50.00 per month?
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Old November 5th, 2016, 06:18 PM
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Re: Lent money to family - regretting it big time.

I would not suggest a letter. If you need to write down what you want to say and read it to him, that's okay, but do NOT give him a letter and let him read it. So much gets lost with tone of voice, missing punctuation, etc.

I would include your daughter in the discussion, and focus solely on how them not repaying the loan has affected the quality of your life. Do not mention how he has money for booze. Do not mention the guns. Ask them to help you figure out a way that they can repay you in a way that works for both of you. Ask them if they'd be willing to pay the dental office for the work that needs to be done.

Truthfully, your son-in-law sounds tremendously selfish and I wouldn't expect him to make good on any of his promises. But you can try. If he does make a promise, get it in writing.

Is your son-in-law working now?
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Old November 6th, 2016, 10:43 PM
Taramore Taramore is offline
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Re: Lent money to family - regretting it big time.

Thank you all for your kind replies. Yes, my son-in-law is working and earning good money but he doesn't seem to be good at managing it - they have three small children so my daughter's income is child tax credit (not sure what it's called in the States) plus a small amount from a little sideline in baking. I'm now 63, and can't wait several more years for them to dribble a small amount now and then. I don't want to lose the relationship with my daughter, and of course the three small grandchildren, there's a new baby and two small girls who tell their mother they love me more than anyone else!
I had asked if they could borrow my son-in-law's parents, as they are no longer expensing their daughter at college, and both earning a lot of money, but they just said they couldn't do that and clammed up. I think they may be scared I'll go to the in-laws myself out of desperation!
Thank you again for "listening" - it actually felt good to be able to get this out, and to get non-judgemental kind responses.
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Old November 7th, 2016, 05:04 AM
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Re: Lent money to family - regretting it big time.

About the only thing you can do is take them to court. You'll probably recoup some, but I doubt all of it. The only thing that is written in stone is the fact you'll never give them money again.

That seems to be true about family members. We've loaned money out to BIL's/SIL's and never got a dime back.
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Old November 7th, 2016, 05:26 AM
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Re: Lent money to family - regretting it big time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taramore View Post
T
I had asked if they could borrow my son-in-law's parents, as they are no longer expensing their daughter at college, and both earning a lot of money, but they just said they couldn't do that and clammed up. I think they may be scared I'll go to the in-laws myself out of desperation!
Thank you again for "listening" - it actually felt good to be able to get this out, and to get non-judgemental kind responses.
Or you might learn that they already borrowed from the IL's, too, and haven't paid them back, either.

You know you can't go to the ILs for the money; this isn't their bill to pay.

You don't want to lose the relationship you have, so you have no stomach for a lawsuit, which may or may not be successful.

Although you can't afford to lose the money, the money is already lost. They won't change, but you can. Don't lend them any more money. Change your mindset about the money you gave them. Rather than continuing to think of this as a lost loan, reprogram yourself to say it was a very generous gift (can you get a tax deduction for gifts?) and consider any payment a gift to you.

Honestly, while $10,000 is a lot of money to lose, it's nothing compared to the joy of grandchildren.
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Old November 7th, 2016, 07:33 AM
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Re: Lent money to family - regretting it big time.

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Originally Posted by LucyVanPelt View Post
Honestly, while $10,000 is a lot of money to lose, it's nothing compared to the joy of grandchildren.
So true!
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