Post # 1
I will try and keep this short but I am sure it will end up being on the long side. FMIL went through a divorce 1 year ago (from husband number 2, not FI’s father). She barrowed $2000 from FI because she needed to pay for her lawyer. She informed FI that she would be getting settlement money from her ex’s pension and would pay him A. with that money or B. when she got her tax money. Well tax time came and he never saw a dime. Every time FI asked her about her settlement money she said “I should have it in 2 weeks”. 2 weeks came a went and nothing. Also, during this time she was staying at our house, rent free, didn’t have to pay a dime for anything. She went through a lot of depression and even lost her job over this divorce. We continued to support her and FI tried to help her out as much as he possibly could. About 3 months ago she left our house without telling FI and has since been staying at a friends. I don’t think we have even seen her since then. She then asked to barrow $700 in June to pay for her health insurance. FI called me to ask me what I thought and I tried to talk him out of it, but of course he lent it to her. She continued to tell FI that she would be getting the settlement money “any day now”. We didn’t hear from her for a while until FI called her at the beginning of August to tell her that he needed the money asap because we have all of our final payments this month. She gave him the same excuse “I just signed the paperwork I’ll have your money to you within 2 weeks.” Well FI called her Monday about the money because we have our final hall payment due on Saturday (2 weeks before our wedding!) and she starts crying saying she’s trying to get it and she should have had it by now blah blah blah same old story. Well yesterday FI looks at his bank account and sees a withdrawl from his savings account for $500 and some which was not taken out by him nor me. So he calls the bank and it turns out that his mother over drafted like crazy on her own bank account and since her name is on his account they took the funds from his account. He is not flipping out. He has tried to call his mom and she won’t answer. She now owes us over $3200. I ask FI what he is going to do since we have to pay the hall tomorrow and are about $2000 short and he says he’s just going to put it on his credit card. IDK what to do. I told him he needs to call his mom and make her pawn her jewelry to pay him back and if he didn’t want to call and tell her that I would. She has owed us this money for over a year and has made FI”s life a living hell! He works full time, goes to school full time, and work clinicals every weekend. He really doesn’t need the stress of his mother who just keeps on taking from him. It’s not like she didn’t know our wedding was right around the corner. She should have prepared for this.
Well venting made me feel better, but I really don’t know what to do. I don’t want to fight with FI about this but this is not right. I don’t want to start our marriage off like this and our plan was to have no debt from out wedding. I just want to call FMIL up and give her a piece of my mind! ugh!
I’d appreciate any advice anyone can give me!
Post # 3
@shannonh32: That is an awful situation, I can’t imagine. I know you are really upset with every right to be, but I think you should let your FI handle it. Fortunately he is able to put the payment on his credit card and while it isn’t ideal, at least you are not in a situation where you wouldn’t be able to have your wedding at all. Don’t fight with him about it – just make it crystal clear that he must a) get her off of all of his accounts (seriously?!?!?) immediately and b) work with his mother to come up with a payment plan to pay off the balance owed – to be paid in full immediately upon receipt of the settlement. + The interest incurred on his credit card.
Don’t let it ruin this special time in your life, and don’t hold a grudge! Keep us posted on how things work out!
Post # 4
first thing – get her name off his account!! Today!
Post # 5
@MissCoCo: I agree with this. At the risk of ruining any relationship you have/ever will have with your FMIL, trust your fiance to handle it. Get her off your accounts, and make sure you change all of your passwords to things that she might have access to.
Post # 6
@GroovyHippieChick: He already did that as soon as he realized what happened. He didn’t even realize she was on there. I am thinking of making him switch banks too because I don’t want them to come back at him for any reason.
Post # 7
Yes get her name of your account firstly
I dont think asking her to pawn her jewelry is the answer though. I think your FI is right is saying he will pay it with his credit card. That is the best damage control. I think the best thing you can do is not give her anymore money. There is no way to force her to pay and gettin stressed out about it doesnt solve anything but definitely dont give her anymore money that you cant afford to. I think her depression has made her selfish and she doesnt realize that other people have needs too and that you guys need your money back
Post # 8
Another vote for “your fiance has to handle this.” You need to have a serious talk with your finace as to HOW he will handle it, though, as his financial relationship with his mother has a direct impact on your finances as a couple. In general, never loan money that you can’t afford to not have returned, especially when it comes to family. If that means your fiance has to just write off the money his mother has already borrowed, so be it. If she’s not got the money to repay it, she’s not got the money, and while in theory she could pawn her possessions, #1 she will need to pawn a LOT more stuff than you might imagine to reach the full total of what she owes your fiance and #2 she will probably resent being forced to do that forever.
I would most definitely insist that your fiance remove himself as the guarantor of her overdraft protection, and do that immediately; and if he insists on continuing to lend her money, you as a couple should agree to a monthly maximum that you can live without.
Post # 9
You’ll just have to take this as a lesson learned. I was always taught never to lend $$ unless you can stand to part with it forever.
Post # 10
I would have your FI talk to his mom and get a signed letter from her lawyer about the settlement and when it is coming due. She probably already got and spent it. Then have him workout a payment plan with her in person. It could be $20 a week, whatever she can afford.
The next thing to do is have your FI put it in writing that he will never lend another dime to his mother ever again. Ever.
Post # 11
I was always told to consider “loans” to family and friends to actually be “gifts”. Never, ever expect for them to be paid back. If they are, it’s a pleasant surprise.
So consider it that your FI gave your FMIL a very nice $3,200 gift. This should cover you for Christmas and Birthdays for the next 20 years.
Your problem is with you Fiance. Make sure he understands this too, and that if you come to a point where you are merging funds, he can no longer gift someone without your approval.
Post # 12
You cannot get in between a man and his mother, but you sure as hell can step in between her and his money…I understand that everyone falls on hard times and that family is the first place we turn, which is how it should be. I never loan money to anyone with the expectation that I will get it back, so I only loan what I can afford to loose and if they do actually pay me back I am pleasantly surprised. First things first, get her name off of every account your FI has now! Second, you talk to the bank manager about them draining his accounts for her mistakes, they might consider transferring it back since techinically she had no right to that money. Third, stop calling her and get over to that house pronto…it’s a lot harder to ignore someone and the reality of your actions on them when they’re pouding on the door….Finally, you let her know, without being cruel or judgemental, just how much you need that money from her.
Hopefully your FI is ready to break away from her and turn towards you, it’s wonderful that he wants to help his mother, but when that comes at the expense of his and your financial well-being, a line must be drawn.
Post # 13
Thank you for all of the advice. This has been an extremely sticky situation. I totally understand when everyone says that you should not loan money that you cannot afford to get back. My problem with this is that FMIL knows we are saving for a wedding. She’s knows we couldn’t afford to give her the money and not have it returned. And fi was very specific with that when she asked for the money. She has known we needed it by this time for the past year and every time fi has talked to her about it she has pulled the poor me pitty card and started crying. I do NOT feel sorry for her anymore. The reason that I do not feel sorry for her is because she obviously does not feel sorry for fi. He currently works a full time job, goes to school full time for a medical related career which is hard in itself, does clinicals every weekend, and on top of that we are paying for this wedding 100% ourselves. His mom has made a stressful year in itself even more stress for him and I just feel like I can’t sit back and watch her bringhim down anymore. The wedding is in 2 weeks so I suppose I will keep my mouth shut and see whahappiness after.
Post # 14
I kind of disagree with the saying to not loan money that you cant afford to lend when it comes to very close family. Sometimes we have to trust that people won’t screw us over. And often times it’s harder to watch someone struggle than break one of these golden money “rules”.
That being said, I guess the only option that you have at this point is to put it on your credit card. Obviously it goes without saying that I wouldn’t loan this woman another dime. Now she will have to pay the piper, in more ways than one! She is wrecking her relationship with you and your FI. She is, not you. I say this because the funny thing is that in the future (if she doesn’t pay) I can bet that she will attempt to make you and FI out to be the bad guys. “They want money back that I borrowed, and I am still broke! Can you believe them?!” I only know because FI and I are going through the same thing with his sister. I question if your FMIL has gotten her tax money, and the settlement money already and has just chosen not to pay. (Only because we found out that FI’s sister came into money and chose to do other things with her money than pay us back. IE: buying a coach purse, and sneakers, booking a long weekend vacation at a B&B for herself and hubby…) People are very selfish, and take advantage of the generosity of other people. Which is sad, because when they need help again in the future-there will be no where to turn because of burnt bridges and unpaid loans!
Hence why I say that your FMIL will have to pay the piper in more than one way: money-wise and emotionally.
It sounds like this hurts you more to see your FI stressed, than to lose out on the money. And I get that because of course his feelings are important to you. It’s just terrible that you have this wedding to pay for, and she is refusing to do everything within her power to get you two the money she knows you need. Not to say that $2300 isn’t a lot of money (because of course it is) I am just thankful for you that this wasn’t a larger amount that you had loaned her. I feel so bad, and sorry that you have to deal with this. As the old saying goes “No good deed goes unpunished.”
Post # 15
This really sucks. I canunderstand this would be soooo frustrating! I don’t think pawning jewelry is the answer though. She will beresentful if she has to give up items that have emotional value to her, and honestly you don’t get much pawning jewelry. It probably won’teven come close to paying what’s owed so I would drop that idea right now.
Post # 16
OP, i think you need to go straight to the source – not his mother, the lawyer. she clearly has no idea when the settlement is coming in, or it already has, or it never will. but her lawyer knows. Ask for a letter from the lawyer stating when the money will arrive and how much. He/she will not be able to tell you without the mother giving the ok, which she should (ahem) have no problem with since ‘it’s coming so soon….’
that will force the issue. either she CAN or CAN’T deliver the letter with credible info. and don’t let her give you some BS word document without a signature, and once you get it, call the office to discuss the letter with the lawyer (even if it’s to confirm the info) so that you know he/she wrote it.
the next step is to detail what payment plan she will make to you. on paper, and have her sign it. not so much for legal reasons, but so that she knows it’s serious and that she’s a party to the agreement. there should be consequences for missing deadlines (ie 30 dollar fee for missing it by a week, 20% of the payment if it’s over 10 days late etc) and MAKE her stick to it.
it also sounds like you have a lot of contact with her. once you do these things, i would seriously reduce it. take away the attention she seems to enjoy and hopefully after the phone hasn’t rung from you in days she’ll think ‘damn, they’re mad, i better make this right’
money and family do not mix!