“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Aug 19, 2014
DEAR AMY: My father has been living with my fiance and me for almost two years. The idea was that he would find his own place as soon as he could. We never asked him for anything except to tinker around and fix things around our place.

My fiance is currently starting a business and money has become tight. I don't make much myself. My father works full time and makes the same money as I do.

Now, it's a year and a half later, and my dad has half-finished projects around our property. He lent a "friend" over $15,000 and never got it back, and is now in a worse financial position than before. We have been asking him to help out by paying a small rent to help with bills, but he doesn't.

He says he has so much debt it will take him years to pay it off and that if he wasn't living with us, he would be sleeping in his truck. He currently has a car payment and a phone bill, besides whatever he pays toward the mountain of debt he's accumulated.

My dad was always a good provider and it makes me queasy to even ask him to contribute, but I wonder where his mistakes leave us. What would be the best thing to do?-- Troubled Daughter

DEAR TROUBLED: Your father is a good provider. He provided a friend with $15,000, for instance, instead of paying for his housing.

It is possible that your father didn't loan this friend money, but was repaying a debt -- regardless, it is obvious that his finances are a mess.(If he is leaving projects half-finished, he could have other problems as well.)

He should see a credit counselor immediately to try to get on track. Your local social services office or Office on Aging may offer no-fee financial counseling. Your father might be advised to declare bankruptcy in order to give himself something of a fresh start. He needs to adhere to a strict budget.

Being more transparent about all of this would be good for everyone. It might be best for him to at least temporarily turn his paycheck over to you (or another responsible party) so you can pay yourself the rent he owes, negotiate his debts down and do triage with his other bills, and give him an allowance. However, any fix will be temporary unless he makes some real changes.

DEAR AMY: I started driving this summer. My parents returned from a trip, furious to find a scratch on my car.

I am an extremely cautious driver, and I would have notified my parents immediately if I had hit another vehicle. Additionally, both my parents still drive this car, so it just as easily could've been their fault.

My parents are expecting me to make a huge confession. I have nothing to confess. I feel stuck because I don't want to confess to something I didn't do.

How do I solve this?-- Wrongly Accused

DEAR ACCUSED: Don't confess to something you didn't do, but you should definitely "confess" to something -- this will enable everyone to move on to the next phase of the parent freakout: lecturing, followed by consequences of some kind, followed by "forgiveness" and moving on.

You can truthfully say, "I do not know what happened here, but I know it happened while I had the car, and I know the car is my responsibility when I'm driving it."

The fact is: Stuff happens.

Please know this: Your folks may seem overly worried about this hunk of metal, but what they are really worried about is what that hunk of metal contains: you.

DEAR AMY: I got a kick out of your "Jaws" movie reference in response to the question from "Ex and Friend," who wanted to go to the movies with her ex, even though she is in a relationship.

Never go to the movies with your ex -- that's a ground rule. And while we're talking fish metaphors, she should throw back the current dude, who doesn't seem to be doing it for her, and keep on fishing.-- Roz

DEAR ROZ: Great date bait.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#2 Aug 19, 2014
1 Good advice, have him turn the bills and paychecks over to you. You can settle with credit companies for a negotiated amount. Thats the one thing I miss about having a SO. Letting someone else do the bills, I hate finances and that will always be Her responsibility, I will do other stuff.

2 If its your car tell them to bugger off, if its their car fix it.

3 This rehash stinks like a fish barrel.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#3 Aug 19, 2014
Lw2: amy talking out of both sides of her mouth. Telling him not to confess to something he didn't do, but to confess that something happened while it was in his possession. WTF? He already said he does not know where the scratch came from and could just as easily happened when the parents had the car. How the f does Amy think she knows better when the scratch happened? I'm gonna guess the parents don't walk around and inspect the car every time THEY get in the car. Could someone have grazed the car with a shopping cart while they were shopping, but they did not notice til they inspected it after his use? Certainly a possibility.

Don't confess to jack. Acknowledge that the scratch could have happened while you had the car, but don't accept fault for something you did not do.

This hits home for me. My dad got pissed at me when I brought my mom's car home with damage on the front. I had not done it. Did not even notice it til he pointed it out. I'd only gone one place and parked in a parking lot. So obviously, someone bumped it in the parking lot. Somehow he wanted to blame me. Blame my parking. Blame me for the spot I chose to park in. Etc. Then I reminded him of the first week that he owned his car. He was at the dentist. Someone backed onto him while it was parked. Was that your fault dad? He started to say yes, but thought better of it.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Norcross, GA

#4 Aug 19, 2014
1- wow, I agree with Amy

2- your parents are d*cks, they're btching about a scratch? Next time they're out of town, throw a party and trash the house

“Rope Swingin'”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#5 Aug 19, 2014
LW1: You should have set the ground rules at the outset, including how long he can stay and what he would pay. Do so asap.

LW2: Your folks are nutty. It’s also possible someone else did it while you were parked in a parking lot.

LW3: Yeah, I’d be like see ya if I were her current bf.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#6 Aug 19, 2014
L1: I disagree with Amy. They didn't say he had Alzheimer's, just that he's bad with money. You should NOT treat him as a child but have an adult conversation. Tell your dad your situation, what you expect and also emphasis that you appreciate all the things he's done over the years. But it's not about the past. It's about the present and the present bills that need to be paid and personal responsibility.

L2: I'd tell the parents that you don't believe it happened while you had the car but if it did, it was when it was parked and you weren't in it. Then ask them if they checked the car before they last used it. Do this in a calm voice. Then set the ground rules for future mishaps and make sure they are clear about them.

L3: Movies are too much like a date. It just is.
pde

Bothell, WA

#7 Aug 19, 2014
I have scratches all over my car, and not the faintest idea where most of them came from. Scratches are a side effect of living in an urban area and parking in parking lots. Oh, and driving on expressways that often have loose gravel and other small junk on their road surface.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#8 Aug 19, 2014
Toj wrote:
L1: I disagree with Amy. They didn't say he had Alzheimer's, just that he's bad with money.
Who said he had Alzheimer's?

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#9 Aug 20, 2014
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Who said he had Alzheimer's?
Telling him to hand over his bills and money is treating someone like they have Alzheimer's in my view. It's one thing to help, it's another thing to take control.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#10 Aug 20, 2014
They have been helping...For two years. I think it's time they did take control. They guy is making money, but not contributing a dime, and says he is worse off now than he was two years ago...
Taking control is not treating him "Like" he's incompetent...He IS incompetent. Time to let someone else manage the money.
Toj wrote:
<quoted text>
Telling him to hand over his bills and money is treating someone like they have Alzheimer's in my view. It's one thing to help, it's another thing to take control.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#11 Aug 20, 2014
1: If your dad was a good provider while you were growing up, what happened to mess up his finances now? Was your mom the one handling the money back then? Perhaps your dad never learned how. So ask your dad to show you his financial stuff - what he earns (an actual paycheck or a bank statement showing a direct deposit) and papers showing his actual debt. If you can't see a way to straighten things out, do what Amy says and seek out a financial advisor/credit counselor for your dad but go with him so you can learn the outcome and any advice he gives your dad. You may very well need to be the one who handles his money for him. The unfinished projects probably does indicate another kind of problem which may be related to his inability to handle his money. I think he needs a medical check up and probably a psychiatrist or psychologist. He may have attention deficit disorder or some other condition. But bottom line is that if Dad doesn't go along with your looking into his finances and going to his doctor for a check up and referral to a psychiatric/psychological check up (and going to that appointment), you have no reason to allow him to stay. Give him notice to move out. That may seem harsh, but you want to make him realize he has a problem and needs to work to improve his situation.

2: I agree with Amy. Just tell your parents you have no idea how the scratch came about if that's the truth. For all you know, it may have happened while the car was parked in a parking lot. That kind of thing happens and unless you know for a fact that it wasn't there before you left the car in the lot and it was there when you came back, there's probably no way you can find out how it happened. Some businesses have cameras taping the activity in their parking lots and you can sometimes find out that way what happened to your car if you notify the business when the car is still in lot. I have to suppose the videos are taped over or disposed of at some point so going back weeks later won't help. At this point, you aren't going to find out where or how the scratch came to be. So just own up to the scratch's having come about while in your care but not while you were in the car. It just occurred to me, you didn't let a friend use the car, did you? If so, you've learned not to do so again.

3: The Jaws reference was stupid and so is this letter. Even more so is Amy's response.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#12 Aug 20, 2014
Toj wrote:
L1: I disagree with Amy. They didn't say he had Alzheimer's, just that he's bad with money. You should NOT treat him as a child but have an adult conversation. Tell your dad your situation, what you expect and also emphasis that you appreciate all the things he's done over the years. But it's not about the past. It's about the present and the present bills that need to be paid and personal responsibility.
1: I did not see that Amy suggested the man has Alzheimer's. She did suggest Office for the aging since this might be a free resource to help the man straighten out his finances. It has nothing to do with his having any kind of dementia. And as far as handing over control of his money, I'd take a tack that he needs help and it's being offered. A lot of otherwise intelligent people just can't handle money. I had a b-i-l who graduated medical school with top honors but had no understanding of financial matters. My sister who had only a high school education, did all that stuff. Her husband loved to write checks but had no notion of balancing the account or that he had to take into account checks that were written on the account but weren't yet cashed. I think the dad's wife used to handle the money and once she was gone, he had no clue. The daughter should just make the offer and try to get him to a doctor and psychologist for a check up. That doesn't mean dementia, it means he may always have had attention deficit disorder or some kind of (learning?) disability that was not so evident in years past because he was able to compensate or had help from his wife. The other point is that he's been living there rent free for two years. Presumably that included his meals, laundry and so forth as well. It's been a financial drain and they can no longer keep him unless he gets his finances straightened out and pays rent. Handling his money is one possibility but things may be so bad that even that won't help. Hence the need for professional financial help/advice.
Kuuipo

Marina, CA

#13 Aug 20, 2014
pde wrote:
I have scratches all over my car, and not the faintest idea where most of them came from. Scratches are a side effect of living in an urban area and parking in parking lots. Oh, and driving on expressways that often have loose gravel and other small junk on their road surface.
Not only do I have scratches in my car, but I have a small dent in the front left fender which was not made by me, and I am the only driver. Stuff happens. LW's parents should know that. There's no way in heck that I'd confess to something I didn't do. I might say something like, "It could have happened when I was at the store" and "I will try to be more careful of where I park in the future."

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