Author Topic: My Parents Are In Foreclosure  (Read 4028 times)

NinjaSalad

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Location: Virginia
My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« on: March 30, 2017, 01:55:48 PM »
I just found out that my parents home has been in foreclosure since October 2016 and I really don't know what to do.

A little backstory...
My parents have been in debt ever since I can remember. I have not-so-fond memories of having to answer the phone as a child so they wouldn't have to speak to debt collectors. Everything was bought on credit cards and my dads paycheck was spent before he ever brought it home. As a result, they have filed bankruptcy twice (that I know of) and they have ZERO in savings. They live off SS and a small union pension.

Every time I've ever tried to talk to them about cutting their expenses it ends up in an argument so I eventually gave up. As far as I know, they still have cable, they still have a cell phone, they owe money on their only vehicle (had to borrow against it to fix the transmission), they have a crap-ton of medical debt (both are in horrible physical shape), buy stuff they don't need, and who knows what else. I've begged them to downsize but my mom has issues with hoarding and refuses to give up her things. 

And here's the kicker - they bought the home in 1984! They have refinanced so many times that they owe way more than it is worth.

They live out of state. They are 80 and 68 years old - neither one can work. Oh, and I'm the only child out of 4 that still speaks to them so it's all falling on me. And we just downsized our own home (to cut our expenses) and have no room for them.

I don't want to sound like a bad person, but I feel like this could have been avoided if they would have made changes years ago. How is this now my problem??  Maybe I would feel different about this if they had made an actual effort to change their financial situation, but they refused because material things were more important to them than saving for the future.

Sorry for the bummer of a first post but I appreciate any advice you can give.

Malum Prohibitum

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 677
Re: My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2017, 01:58:30 PM »
I do not understand why it necessarily is your problem.  It sounds like they need to get a one bedroom apartment.  Since they have been living rent free from October (Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, March) there is half a year of no mortgage payments or rent for them to have saved up a deposit on a small apartment.  They have income.  What is the issue?

Vindicated

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1111
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Indianapolis
Re: My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2017, 02:15:56 PM »
Yep, I agree with Malum.

Tell them to go get a 1br apartment, take whatever they can fit in it, and sell the rest.  Let the car and house both go.  Hopefully they can find a 1br apartment near some amenities that they can walk to.  No reason why they can't start over when they have SS.

Sorry this has fallen upon your shoulders.  I expect to be in your position some day.  My parents are 59 / 56, and I am working hard now to change their habits.  So far, no luck.

gatorNic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 46
  • Age: 40
  • Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2017, 02:22:07 PM »
They have refinanced so many times that they owe way more than it is worth.

Well then their house needs to be foreclosed on, they have to consolidate and move into a small apt.  Probably bankruptcy again.

Sounds like you have tried and they didn't listen.  Obviously trying to financially help them isn't going to do a damn thing, but subsidize their current life style of making bad decisions.  So that is certainly a no.  Essentially they have made their bed and they have to lie in it.  I would at least offer any physical help you can, such as helping move out, garage sale, etc. (Obviously that would cost you money to travel, but atleast it's a good will gesture).  I have a feeling though, from the sounds of it that would turn into a fight itself just from the hording alone.  Think tough love is all you got in this situation.

hoping2retire35

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1401
  • Location: UPCOUNTRY CAROLINA
  • just want to see where this appears
Re: My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2017, 02:24:39 PM »
Can't change 'em.

If you have the financial resources or maybe your siblings will take pity, you can all pool some money together and get them a place to rent. They won't be accepting of it, just find out their final date in their house and be sure it is availble a few days before that; they won't move until the utter last moment. Be sure you are not financially responsible for any damage they do; hoarding can lead to mold and other damage.

marty998

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6317
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Re: My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2017, 02:27:00 PM »
Is there any chance of you winning the fight?

Easy response is to throw your hands up let the cards fall where they do, resulting in your parents being homeless. But nobody wants that.

They need to see the consequences of their actions and change.

Change happens whether people like it or not. Generally speaking, it's a person's choices* that determine whether that change is good or bad.

* except for the bad-luck type health issues etc

Catbert

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1686
  • Location: Southern California
Re: My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2017, 03:59:27 PM »
Yep, they need to get a one-bedroom apartment.  As someone suggested early volunteer to help with moving, garage sale, etc.  Investigate low income senior housing in their area.  (Maybe the line won't be as long as the years long line where I am). Maybe if you can afford it, help with deposit on apartment.  Whatever you do, don't co-sign for them.

Laura33

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2275
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
Re: My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2017, 06:51:20 PM »
Repeat after me:  "I'm so sorry to hear that.  That sounds very sad/difficult/stressful.  So what are you planning to do about it?"

Of course you love your parents.  That doesn't mean that you have to take on their problems as your own -- you don't jump in to save someone who is drowning, or they will likely pull you down with them.  The best thing you can do is try to hook them up with objective outside resources that might be able to help them -- local social service agencies, nonprofit credit counselors, therapists for the hoarding (you can't fix compulsive behavior by nagging or willpower), etc.

NinjaSalad

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Location: Virginia
Re: My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2017, 07:02:04 PM »
Thanks to everyone for your insight, this is going to definitely be a tough love situation. Unfortunately I think it's going to take them actually being kicked out of their home before they will make any changes.

I just got off the phone with my mom - I suggested that they need to move to an apartment. Not just for financial reasons but for lifestyle reasons too. I explained that they wouldn't have yard/home maintenance to worry about and that life would generally be much easier for them. I was countered with the following responses:

"apartments aren't built very well and are too noisy"
"apartments catch on fire all the time"
"I would have to get rid of all my things and I can't do that"

On a positive note she did say that they are "cancelling" things - hopefully she is referring to cable and other unnecessary stuff. They are also looking into bankruptcy again.

Sometimes I wonder if I was adopted...

Mezzie

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 818
    • Mezzie Learns
Re: My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2017, 07:13:36 PM »
Hoarding is usually coupled with a variety of mental health issues, so the whole thing could be really hard on your mom especially since it sounds like she hasn't gotten any help with that. My mom has a hoarding disorder among other things, so I'm familiar with the kind of stress that causes for the children involved.

We actually have a lot in common. There are four of us kids, too, and my parents were always fighting debt (and usually losing). The difference is, my family is super close, so when any one of us is in trouble, one or more of us is there to help. With everything falling on your shoulders, this sounds particularly hard to navigate.

If traveling there to help with the move as others have suggested isn't realistic, then maybe an affordable gesture would be paying (some or all of) the security deposit on a reasonably-priced apartment as a transition gift. I also know there are services out there that help people get rid of their stuff in one fell swoop. Maybe if your mom is unable to get rid of things on her own or can't be present while it is gotten rid of, you can pay for such a service (I have no idea how much such a service costs). Either or both of these financial gestures are one-time things that can help them feel supported while providing a needed service.

***
You replied before I hit post. It sounds like based on their response, you may be able to get away with just being a sounding board for their complaints. Whatever happens, I wish them, and you, well.

frugal_c

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 194
Re: My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2017, 08:30:39 PM »
You have to be firm but fair here.  It is not your fault and it is not your responsibility to solve this.  I would offer to help with moving but otherwise avoid any leads / hints for financial assistance.

Linea_Norway

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5209
  • Location: Norway
Re: My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2017, 06:30:29 AM »
About the fire in apartments, you could give them a smoke detector for their apartment. Those are quite cheap.

About not wanting to move to an apartment, what is your mom's plan then? It seems that they doesn't oversee reality. The house is foreclosed and they will have to move out. It is better to move out in a controlled way than being kicked out overnight and stand on the street. Try to tell them this in a kind, but clear way. Your house is not an option, because you have downsized and because their behaviour is not your responsibility to solve.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 09:37:30 AM by Linda_Norway »

researcher1

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 158
Re: My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2017, 07:56:36 AM »
Thanks to everyone for your insight, this is going to definitely be a tough love situation. Unfortunately I think it's going to take them actually being kicked out of their home before they will make any changes.

I just got off the phone with my mom - I suggested that they need to move to an apartment.

What exactly do your parents think is going to happen?

Their house is currently in foreclosure.  They have no hope of catching back up on the mortgage.  They will eventually be forced out of their home.

Do they realize these things?  Or do they just think that they can magically stay in their current house forever?

plog

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 212
Re: My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2017, 08:07:19 AM »
Quote
Repeat after me:  "I'm so sorry to hear that.  That sounds very sad/difficult/stressful.  So what are you planning to do about it?"

Of course you love your parents.  That doesn't mean that you have to take on their problems as your own -- you don't jump in to save someone who is drowning, or they will likely pull you down with them.  The best thing you can do is try to hook them up with objective outside resources that might be able to help them -- local social service agencies, nonprofit credit counselors, therapists for the hoarding (you can't fix compulsive behavior by nagging or willpower), etc.

I think Laura is the only one who got it right.  You don't need advice for your parents, you need advice for you.

You need to accept the situation.  You need to realize you have no real decision making power in this.  You cannot initiate or be in charge of fixing this situation.  You need to understand you are not responsible for this.  You need to not feel guilty for their  past, present nor future.  You need to feel good about the effort and opportunities you have provided to them no matter the actual outcome. 


Kapiira

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 148
  • Location: Albuquerque, NM
Re: My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2017, 11:22:19 AM »
You've got my sympathies.  It's a hard situation to be in.

MsPeacock

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1530
  • Location: High COL
Re: My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2017, 01:46:58 PM »
Repeat after me:  "I'm so sorry to hear that.  That sounds very sad/difficult/stressful.  So what are you planning to do about it?"

Of course you love your parents.  That doesn't mean that you have to take on their problems as your own -- you don't jump in to save someone who is drowning, or they will likely pull you down with them.  The best thing you can do is try to hook them up with objective outside resources that might be able to help them -- local social service agencies, nonprofit credit counselors, therapists for the hoarding (you can't fix compulsive behavior by nagging or willpower), etc.

This. Your parents sound a bit like what I call "help-rejecting complainers."  What your parents need to do, and their available options, are abundantly apparent to everyone. However, by rejecting all ideas they can draw someone in (you!) to solve the problem, absolve them of responsibility, prove that you care for them, continue to interact with them. Etc.

Continue to put the problem back on them, rather than offering solutions. Don't look for apartments for them. Don't make suggestions, etc. Just ask, repeatedly, "what are your ideas for fixing that?" At some point the issue will be forced, possibly by the sheriff putting their things on the curb, and then they will figure out what to do. Hopefully they will make some decisions before it comes to that.

ChpBstrd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1387
Re: My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2017, 01:48:06 PM »
My parents are the same way.

The compulsion for more stuff is an epidemic for the baby boomer generation. Theirs was the first generation to be showered with plentiful manufactured toys as young children. As teens, their culture taught them to value cars and TVsp. Their adult experience has been a story of steady GDP growth, rising wages, falling taxes / rising national debt, and conspicuous consumption. Unlike those who lived through the depression, most (white) boomers have never had to deal with deprivation or hunger. However, they were told by their Great Depression generation parents that spending is how one obtains happiness.

Now their income producing years have ended. Options for digging out of consumer debt have narrowed. Many are stuck with expectations for housing, cars, and dining that don't match their SS incomes. Most saved nothing for this phase of their lives - because it would have cost them happiness, of course.

As others have noted, your options (and my options) are pretty sparse. Getting young people to change is hard enough, but the over-65 crowd is rather set in their ways.

I've lost hope that my parents will ever own a dollar they don't immediately spend. I'm torn though, about what I will do if they become homeless or need medical care that isn't covered. Will I give up my savings and dreams of FIRE? Will they move in (shudders)?

My plan is:

-Offer many hours of help with things like managing credit card debt, taxes, eliminating subscriptions, help with tasks they would otherwise hire out like home repairs. That is, provide nonfinancial help with hair-on-fire situations like late fees, overdue taxes, etc.

-Recommend selling unneeded stuff, like the boat that hasn't floated in 8 years and woodland real estate they've never visited, but don't be annoying about it.

-No loans or gifts.

-No moving in. They have income (SS and pension).

-Periodically ask if they are still enrolled in Medicare. Fix it if not.

-Look into options and programs like Section 8 housing, food stamps, or senior care, if needed.

Other than that, their choosing to live a stressful hand-to-mouth spendthrift existence and refusing advice is outside my realm of control.

For your parents, the homelessness situation with no awareness of how to cope is a big problem, because they are about to lose any home equity plus their personal property that could have been sold on an estate sale for a few grand or might have to be replaced. They'll probably pay a hotel night-to-night after the sheriff evicts them, and maybe rent a storage unit or three. They'll probably lose track of their bills and paper in the chaos, leading to late fees. They'll probably fail to cancel utilities and telecom after they are evicted. A lot of their NW is about to evaporate because they can't emotionally cope with the loss of merchandise.

Yet, you can bet they will buy more unnecessary crap even in their hotel room. How else could they restore their happiness?

Laura33

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2275
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
Re: My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2017, 02:07:53 PM »
Repeat after me:  "I'm so sorry to hear that.  That sounds very sad/difficult/stressful.  So what are you planning to do about it?"

Of course you love your parents.  That doesn't mean that you have to take on their problems as your own -- you don't jump in to save someone who is drowning, or they will likely pull you down with them.  The best thing you can do is try to hook them up with objective outside resources that might be able to help them -- local social service agencies, nonprofit credit counselors, therapists for the hoarding (you can't fix compulsive behavior by nagging or willpower), etc.

This. Your parents sound a bit like what I call "help-rejecting complainers."  What your parents need to do, and their available options, are abundantly apparent to everyone. However, by rejecting all ideas they can draw someone in (you!) to solve the problem, absolve them of responsibility, prove that you care for them, continue to interact with them, and blame when their problems don't magically disappear. Etc.

Continue to put the problem back on them, rather than offering solutions. Don't look for apartments for them. Don't make suggestions, etc. Just ask, repeatedly, "what are your ideas for fixing that?" At some point the issue will be forced, possibly by the sheriff putting their things on the curb, and then they will figure out what to do. Hopefully they will make some decisions before it comes to that.

Fixed that for you.  :-)

powskier

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 348
Re: My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2017, 11:50:48 PM »
You can't choose your family but you can choose how much they affect your life. Help them as you wish but do not allow them to affect your life in a negative way.

chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3035
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Texas
    • Years in the making, I created a journal!
Re: My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2017, 05:22:03 AM »
I agree with the other posters:

"I will help you move into an apartment".

They have social security, they have stuff that could be purged/removed, it eliminates expensive maintenance.  You can then decide what level of help you can provide for the apartment.  I have a similar situation in my family, I will help with an apartment.

KBecks

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1692
Re: My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2017, 05:52:15 AM »
Does your mom and dad understand that their home will get taken and they will get kicked out?   It's not go to an apartment because the lawn care is easier -- it's go to an apartment because you are BROKE and you are LOSING YOUR HOUSE.   Be honest with them.  They are losing their house.  They are gong to be evicted if things don't change.  Are they going to be homeless?   They need a fucking cheap apartment.   

You should be honest.  If they stop talking to you, then so be it.   They cannot move in with you or get financial help from you.   It sounds like they want to try bankruptcy and perhaps that will let them say in the house.  I don't know.  Tell them to listen to Dave Ramsey.  LOL

I am sorry you are dealing with this.   Give yourself some space and don't get dragged in too much.  Maybe research some apartments and see what the costs are just so you know. 

Lookng at some internet searches, it looks like they will have 5 to 30 days to vacate the property and they will get a notice of this.   If your parents tell you they have this notice to vacate, then I'd be willing to help them quickly get into a cheap apartment, (gift the deposit quietly) and move as much stuff as you can in the time you are able to give.  Absolutely do not let them get a storage unit.  If they want to do that they can set it up and move their stuff on their own.

So your max output is maybe an apartment deposit a truck and some labor.  Let your siblings know and ask them to contribute a bit so your parents don't go homeless.

Most apartments need a credit check.  I don't even know if your parents will qualify.  What a hard situation.  Don't put yourself on the hook for them, you can't sign on to anything since they've been so irresponsible.

Another Reader

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4976
Re: My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2017, 05:55:15 AM »
"The compulsion for more stuff is an epidemic for the baby boomer generation. Theirs was the first generation to be showered with plentiful manufactured toys as young children. As teens, their culture taught them to value cars and TVsp. Their adult experience has been a story of steady GDP growth, rising wages, falling taxes / rising national debt, and conspicuous consumption. Unlike those who lived through the depression, most (white) boomers have never had to deal with deprivation or hunger. However, they were told by their Great Depression generation parents that spending is how one obtains happiness."

You clearly are not a baby boomer and you don't understand the generation.  Mass production of toys and stuff started with yo-yo's and Barbie dolls, but did not really get going until after we were adults.  That was a 70's thing.  There was no conspicuous consumption for those that were kids in the 50's.  Our parents had gone through the Depression and WWII, and their main objective was that their kids not do the same.  The mantra was save, buy a house, and later in life, as the stock market opened to middle class individuals, invest.  For most people, the first color TV was purchased in the late 60's or early 70's.  My folks did not get one until the early 80's.  My father got his first credit card around 1969, when there was only BankAmericard.   American Express was a charge card, not a credit card, and had to be paid in full every month.   Consumption, like restaurants, fancy vacations, two cars instead of one, took off when college educated women entered the workforce in large numbers in the late 70's into the 80's.  Until prices rose to meet the dual incomes, all this was affordable.  When they did catch up, the credit business expanded.  Gradually it became acceptable to buy things other than houses and cars, on payments.

People with emotional issues and addictive behaviors got caught up in stuff, that's true.  That sounds like your parents' problem.  It's not a generational problem, it's an individual problem.

Capsu78

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 700
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2017, 08:25:16 AM »
"You clearly are not a baby boomer and you don't understand the generation.  Mass production of toys and stuff started with yo-yo's and Barbie dolls, but did not really get going until after we were adults.  That was a 70's thing.  There was no conspicuous consumption for those that were kids in the 50's.  Our parents had gone through the Depression and WWII, and their main objective was that their kids not do the same.  The mantra was save, buy a house, and later in life, as the stock market opened to middle class individuals, invest.  For most people, the first color TV was purchased in the late 60's or early 70's.  My folks did not get one until the early 80's.  My father got his first credit card around 1969, when there was only BankAmericard.   American Express was a charge card, not a credit card, and had to be paid in full every month.   Consumption, like restaurants, fancy vacations, two cars instead of one, took off when college educated women entered the workforce in large numbers in the late 70's into the 80's.  Until prices rose to meet the dual incomes, all this was affordable.  When they did catch up, the credit business expanded.  Gradually it became acceptable to buy things other than houses and cars, on payments."

As a back side boomer, I agree that this is a pretty good timeline of the transition, especially the expansion of consumption, prices and credit from single income households to dual income households- a 1 time adjustment BTW from the norm of SAHP to "I want it all now"... and it took place in less than a generation.

JustGettingStarted1980

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 377
Re: My Parents Are In Foreclosure
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2017, 09:11:58 AM »
Thank god for Social Security. This is EXACTLY what this wonderful program is for... to protect those individuals that don't prepare for old age and retirement.  This also protects the OP and families like hers from going into multi-generational poverty just to keep the lights on for their non-prudent elderly family members.

Kudos to the US Government for forcing us to pay out of our checks to protect us from ourselves!

JGS