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Old 10-17-2012, 08:12 PM   #1
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Need advice for real

Last year my son was out of work drawing a fat unemployment check and living at home. He needed a car so my then girlfriend/now wife sold him her old car. The original agreement was he was going to pay it all off at once out of a fat check he got from his last job. He didn't and swore to pay "a couple payments a week" on it from his unemployment. He didn't and it was difficult to get one payment a month from him. Then he got a job offer for a good job in another state. My wife did not want to let him take it out of state, but since he only owes around a grand on it and he makes more than that in one paycheck I assured her he would pay her.

Fast forward 4 months later. He left owing a payment, he has made no payments on it at all. He made me sell his rifle to make one payment and that is it. So he is 4 payments behind right now. I have been making them out of my paycheck. We are poor as dirt and trying to move out of my parent's house and he is delaying our departure by not paying his bill and making me pay it.

So today he shows up out of the blue at my mother's work. She warned me was in town and begged me not to say anything to him about the car. Of course I defended my need to remind him of the debt he owes his stepmother. And that he would not be making $100,000 a year now in another state if she had not sold him that car in good faith. I got called a ton of names and belittled and was basically told to write off the debt I am still paying when he is rich and could easily afford to pay it. At the point I started being called a bad father for insisting he pay his bill I quit the conversation and retreated to the company of my wife.

She had heard the entire thing and was livid. She went into a rage and yelled at me for an hour about how much she dislikes my son and my mother and how much she wants to move out of here. I have never seen this side of her and am flabbergasted at how to react. I tried to assure her that our living arrangements are temporary and that we would be gone soon. But she got quiet and went to bed early. We are expecting a large sum from the sale of her deceased mother's house. We plan on taking that money and finding a place of our own and paying off my son's car. He will not bring it back and we cannot go get it. If we find a house quickly we should be out of here in a couple weeks, maybe a month max.

She knows all this. She knows the plan. We intend on paying my other son and his friend to go get the car for us. We will be gone soon. We are looking for a home. But tonight she seemed to forget all of that and began talking of telling off my mother right then.

I posted before asking advice on how to help them get along, but got no replies and the situation has not gotten better. My mother constantly harps about money and bills and how we spend our money and our time. We are in our 40's and don't feel it is any of her business what we do. My wife can't stand her doing that and so every time my mother talks to my wife or me my wife gets mad and I get yelled at about how much of a bad person my mother is.

Once again I am stuck in the middle. And so it is about my son too. I had not seen him in 4 months. I missed him a lot. I wanted to tell him about my new career and ask him about his. I wanted to tell him about my dog he abandoned with me and how she is out of her shell and happy now. Instead I asked him where the car was. He said gas was expensive and I said he makes a ton more money than I do so what was the problem. He got mad and started to leave and mother came out and brought him back in and said not to worry about me. I agreed and said he needed to worry about the woman in the back room because she was extremely upset with him. Then I got some food and went back to my room with my wife.

He left and that was it. She was still mad and fussing and my son was gone and I didn't get to really see him and now I feel horrible about it. I need to make him understand how incredibly important it is that he pay his debt to his stepmother. I also need my son and hate him living over 200 miles away. And I love my wife and want her to be happy and most of all not to yell at me for being yelled at by other people.

What do I do?

 
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:27 PM   #2
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Re: Need advice for real

well you might not like it, but my opinion is if you can't get your son to be responsible, then YOU pay the car off. You vouched for his credibility to your wife and she trusted your judgement, now she's stuck holding the bag....absolutely do not pay off this car with your wifes inheritance.....that's adding insult to injury! She will resent that and justifiably so. She's already done enough. Time for you to step up and do some damage control. You need to appease your wife. She's the one you have to live with. She generously accommodated him when he needed it and this is the thanks she gets? I wouldn't be surprised if she wanted nothing to do with him going forward.....

 
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:39 PM   #3
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Re: Need advice for real

I hate to add insult to injury, you said you don't like your mother complaining about your money and your time. Are you paying her rent for you and your wife to live at her house?
Are you paying for groceries and utilities? If you are, and she doesn't mind you living at her house, she shouldn't complain about what you do with your money. If she's paying all of the bills, she has every right to ask about it. Can you calmly talk to your son about repaying the loan? If he's making the money you say he is, $1000 should be no problem for him. If he refuses to pay, I agree that you need to pay your wife back yourself if she demands it. Good luck!

 
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:39 AM   #4
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Re: Need advice for real

We buy groceries and pay rent and pay some of the bills. I have been paying the car payment since I got my new job. When we move we won't be able to make rent if we still have the car payment so we have to pay it off when the money comes. No real choice there. I want to drive the car since the vehicle I have now gets 12mpg on a good day and gas is expensive. As we get better off I will repay my wife for the car out of my pay.

I can't force my son to pay his bills. He owes the unemployment office $900, he hasn't ever paid his taxes and since he earns so much money he will get caught for it eventually. He owes thousands to the IRS. He thinks it is no big deal and they will not do anything. I have thought of turning him in to the IRS so I can get the whistleblower cash and get paid for the car that way. But I do not have his address and my family won't give it to me since they know I will turn him in for the unemployment at least if I get it. We pay our bills and he should too. I taught him better than that and can't understand why none of it took.

 
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:49 AM   #5
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Re: Need advice for real

Wow!! Sounds like you may have to cut your losses. I hope he doesn't try to go through life thinking that the laws or rules don't apply to him. You could report the car stolen if you could stand watching him go to jail. Be glad you didn't loan him more than what you did and never loan him another dime. He's burned his bridges. I hope your wife will understand and I hope you find your own place soon. Good luck!

 
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:34 AM   #6
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Re: Need advice for real

I have to agree that it's your wife whose feelings matter here not your son's. He is an adult and he makes very good money so there is absolutely no excuse for him to not pay back the money he owes. He needs to learn responsibility because it appears like he is nothing but and ungrateful brat. You need to teach him to man up and quit being a baby. You give him a choice, either he gives the car back or else gives you everything he owes. Period. And if he won't do that then call the police and have them repossess it. He isn't a child, he is an adult and he needs to learn accountability and responsibility. You need to stop cleaning up the messes he gets himself into because it's not your problem anymore.

 
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:09 AM   #7
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Re: Need advice for real

I think your son really has to pay off the debt since he got another job, out of state or not, he needs to pay up. Also you and your wife are trying to get a house soon so you do have some financial issues here with your Mom. Looks to me, you and your wife and your Mom are not the probiem. Your son is the issue. Why is that you cannot make him understand that he needs to pay the debt? Everyone pays off the debt or else...
Does he think you let him off the hook? Does he understand how bad your wife feels?
Did you tell your son your wife feels very bad?
Sometimes it is the concept that you need to teach your son...
Just because you need him, it doesn't mean you should have co-dependence relationship with your son and you should ask him to pay the debt! Ask him to do the right thing!
If your son cannot pay this debt, your wife will blame him all her life. Also you need to tell your son consistently that he needs to pay up. Don't say you would pay or you would forgive the debt. In the end, you would teach him the wrong concept and your wife will never love your son again.
I learned about this from my own experience. There was a husband who tried to please both his wife and his own son. In the end, the wife hated the stepson all her life. (In that case, the stepson took her house and asked for more money all his late Dad's competent life.) It is just not fair that this issue is not resolved. Being political is not helpful.
The wife would feel left out because your son is not paying the debt and I sometimes think it is the issue of respect for the stepmom. It is about the principle, not that your wife will be so poor to need this money. Perhaps your son went to your Mom to ask to be off the debt. Does your son understand how bad your wife feels? It is about respect.

Regards,
Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 10-18-2012 at 07:13 PM.

 
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:57 PM   #8
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Re: Need advice for real

were n a simelar situation to you, my sons 23 and did the same 3 times!. he owes us for the last vehicle that he wanted to "buy" of my parner and we havent had a penny for months at all paid off it. he comes out with all excuses. hes got 2 stepkids and a little girl, and is getting married soon. between them they get alot of money we let him off for the first 2 cars ad he did some jobs for us but im furious about this one. i thort hed grown up and changed but obviously not. your lucky its just the 1 car just write it of theres nothing you can do sadly. much as we love our kids some of them are selfish. leave him to it you wont change your son, just as much as i cant change mine. its the way they are

 
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:16 PM   #9
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Re: Need advice for real

Sometimes I think it helps if the parents stop giving money but it is not easy to say.
Some father feels guilty about divorce, for example, and continues to pay the adult son...
It is how the parents teach the values. It is the concept. It is incredible. Once the money is taken for granted, even the grandson thinks the son should get it... What happens to the younger generaltion giving back money to the elders?
It is about the money value, not the way the person is. The son knows where to get money as one of his sources!!

For step-parents to deal with it is also harder because she is not the mother and she would think this is wrong. But of course for parents to give adult kids in need some money is natural. Some step-parent would not put the step kid in the will.

 
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:07 PM   #10
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Re: Need advice for real

Well, I got in a huge argument with my other son today and my wife got in on it and he yelled at her like she was a dog and said a ton of very hurtful things. We get zero respect and I am treated like dirt pretty much all of the time now. My wife had been helping out by keeping the dishes and house clean and we had been buying food for everyone, but after all of this I feel she is done helping out.

It all started this morning when my dogs refused to go out. They are Italian greyhounds and have very short fur. They do not tolerate the cold. One of them pooped on the floor and my son stepped in it. That started an hour of screaming that devolved into my being lazy and no good and worthless and my wife never lifting a finger. Neither of which is true. He does not see what goes on here as he is gone 90% of the time. Then I was a bad father for not kissing my youngest boy's butt when he came in and asking about the money he owes. And a bad father because I did not continue controlling my son's life after he turned 18. He was of age so I let him take the reigns and offered advice if needed. But apparently that made me a black-hearted robot.

So he finally calms down when I informed him that the only reason I had not beaten him half to death for talking to me like that was that he is my son. And that only goes so far. He seemed to become very afraid and the fight went out of him.

Then I had my wife to deal with. She was crying and upset. She did not sign up for this and I never expected it. I did my best to calm her and make sure she knew I was on her side and felt like she does and that I do not like it any more than she does. We went out and spent a few hours looking for a home to rent with no success. There isn't really much out there we can afford that is not in a neighborhood that would be dangerous. That did not seem to cheer her up much and we came home and she barely spoke to me all evening and complained of a headache. Then she went to bed early.

I am worried about her. She was just diagnosed with endometriosis and has been having horrible debilitating pains and this stress is making it worse. And the first anniversary of her mother's death is coming up too. They were really close. I am afraid this will all be too much for her and she may leave. I absolutely do not want that at all.

What am I to do?

 
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:20 AM   #11
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Re: Need advice for real

Wow, you need to untangle your life from your family's life get out and move on. Don't ever put yourself in this kind of situation again. Learn your lesson, don't ever move in with family nor loan them money nor cars again. Only bad can come of those things.

 
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:47 AM   #12
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Re: Need advice for real

It seems like drama seems to find you wherever you go. Ever since you were with that married woman before you married this one, it has been non stop drama city! Don't you ever get tired of it? I would. I think you and your wife need to pack up all your junk, get in your car, and drive to a new city/state away from everyone. Live somewhere that you will be far enough away from all of them so you can have a quiet life with your wife and no drama. What's the alternative? Living in a Jerry Springer episode for the next 10 years? No thanks!

 
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:11 AM   #13
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Re: Need advice for real

So sorry that your other son was mean to you and your wife. I kind of wonder if your Mom plays a role here. Since you mentioned that the whole family left you without a clue, your Mom is trying to do the same thing unconsciously. Maybe she is doing to your wife the similar thing she got from Grandpa. Just a theory. Not that your Mom is bad or anything. I am sure Mom loves you.
The things you should do is to move out of Mom's house ASAP although you are waiting to buy a house. Do it now. Rent first and etc. Also make sure your wife goes to check on her health issue. This kind of illness needs attention before it gets worse or becomes cancer in extreme case. Your wife should ask her doctor about the possible treatments or prevention.
It sounds like your own family is dysfunctional and your Mom plays a role given that she told you that your son should not pay you back... I don't know about the other son but Mom gave them permission to do these things... Of course, your son had no right to yell like that to his elders...

I will say that distance is crucial now - move out and settle for your own lives.

 
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:25 AM   #14
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Re: Need advice for real

Maybe if you called the lending institution they may have ideas as to how you could get the car back. It is still in your wives name? I think he might be lieing about his job, his pay. But, just like your mom is judging you on how you two spend your money, you are doing that same thing to your son. Not about the car payment so much, but irs, unemployment etc. Your family wont give you his address because they know that you will rat on him. And your his father. Write him a long letter saying all you wanted to say when you missed his visit. Dont include any questions or judgements @all. Even have your mom read it to make sure. There is something more fundamentally wrong than just not paying for the car if your own son doesnt give you his own address. Imo.. maybe he thinks that you want something from him, other than the car pymt or doesnt want you to know where he lives because he knows that you would take car, rat on him, feels that you dont take delight in his successes, but rather begrudge them. Just some opinion thoughts. Try to restore relationship with your son. Your wife may feel differently about him if she wasnt hearing mad, bad bluster about your son all the time. For instance, when she gave car to son with pymt agreement, you knew that your car only got 12mpg then, right? So, why didnt you keep it, because it would give him an opportunity to make alot of money. Do you feel entitled to some because you or your wife made it possible? Think it over. I could be all wrong here. But raised children to adults& i think, imo only, that your relationship with your son is more valuable than any amount of money!

 
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:58 AM   #15
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Re: Need advice for real

At some point, please forget the son's debt to your wife. If you really cannot get it back, please don't go through the legal channel - this will hurt father-son relationship real bad.
It is best that you guys move on and the wife needs to forget about it but she doesn't have to love this son. Let the son be. Don't bother to ask for the debt through some legal channel - you may get more than what you wish for negatively.

Your Mom is at your son's side. I don't think there is anything innocent with the son's debt. But apparently you think differently from the son so you need to move on. Don't give him any more money.

 
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