Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation



  • Nah not me ya shunts: Mother-in-law has put herself in the shit.

    Retiree, basically a fucking hermit who has cooped herself up inside with her dog and plays fucking Farmville or some other related shit all day.

    In between racking up a few dollars a day on FB games, she's positively bleeding money into iTunes (games) and PayTV as well as just not looking after her shit day to day e.g. multiple pet insurance policies. Also still has a mortgage, though being in Sydney the property is worth a solid amount.

    As a result of her inattention, she's punched on to what I consider to be an astounding amount of credit card debt for reasons I will never fucking understand. We're not talking $100K but the way my wife looked when she was going through the papers (I stay away from that shit) it was certainly moving that way.

    The mortgage she has is probably a modest amount compared to the property value, because its fucking Sydney so a bagload of equity is not out of the question.

    My first instinct is to talk to the bank and ask if she can extend the mortgage against her equity in order to get rid of the debt.

    What does the collective wisdom of TSF thinK? Keeping in mind financial markets and things are different everywhere.



  • @NTA I'm no expert but the interest on the mortgage can't be as steep as the credit card? Either that or sell the house and move in with you 😧



  • @canefan said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    @NTA I'm no expert but the interest on the mortgage can't be as steep as the credit card?

    Yeah that's my thinking - not sure what rate she's getting, but it can't be more than 7% on the house. The cards are upwards of 20%.



  • @NTA Cut her farking cards up toot sweet!!



  • @canefan said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    @NTA Cut her farking cards up toot sweet!!

    Wife is still over at her place, getting everything cancelled that she doesn't need to survive. I have offered to cancel her dog in the past, but think I'll leave that alone for now.

    We weren't expecting to look after another child in our 40s, that's for fucking sure. 😠

    Note that we only caught this because her health insurance declined when Mrs TA took her for new glasses the other week.

    SNOWBALL BITCHEZ!



  • @NTA She probably needs someone to administer her affairs so she doesn't get herself in more strife. Clearly she can't be trusted to exercise good judgement on her own



  • @canefan said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    @NTA She probably needs someone to administer her affairs so she doesn't get herself in more strife. Clearly she can't be trusted to exercise good judgement on her own

    Yeah Mrs TA was taking her to the doctor originally after the took a bit of a turn a couple of weeks ago, driving the opposite direction to our house for an hour. We live ten minutes away.

    We've been discussing power of attorney on her estate as well as her father's.



  • @NTA Get the POAs in place ASAP. Not sure if you do Lasting Powers of Attorney in Australia but these are very handy. Basically you all agree who the POA is in advance and then it is up to the POA and associated people (GP, maybe Social Services etc) as and when the POA is invoked. Saves a lot of hassle in the long run.

    In regard to the credit card debt @canefan said, cut those fuckers up and ensure the bank don't go offering her another one. After that is is deciding on which is the least worst option. If she is struggling to service the credit card payments then consolidating might be the best option. However be aware that as (usually) the mortgage has a longer term even though the interest rate is less you can end up paying more over time. Another option might be to roll over the credit card debt into an unsecured bank loan. Interest will be higher than the mortgage rate but it ought to be paid off quicker, no issue with the property being at risk either.

    Good luck with it mate.



  • @Catogrande yep we have lasting/enduring PoA here. The wife is onto it.

    Spot on about the cost over term. I was thinking more of ways to stop paying credit card interest while we look to sell her house.

    And we WILL be selling it. On closer analysis she can't afford it - her pension only just covers the loan repayments. I mean with $50/week left over. She's blown all her superannuation as well. So the value of the house is it for the rest of her life.

    And thanks to the fucking dog, it needs some reno work due to damaged carpets.



  • @NTA Do you guys have equity release mortgages? In the UK there are schemes that will allow a consolidation loan, plus maybe a bit of cash or a small income against the value of the property with the interest rolling up. This of course eats into the equity over time but it does allow the old dear to remain in her own home and have a bit of financial comfort albeit at a cost to her beneficiaries.If such plans are available make sure there is a no negative equity clause and do some worst case scenarios (i.e. the old deal living to 105 and that sort of thing).



  • @Catogrande mate you had me right up until "cost to her beneficiaries."

    😉

    It's a four bed, two storey townhouse. For her and a small dog. She only owes about 35% of its market value, and even after the carpet replacement we will need to do, she can't stay there.

    The fucking strata fees are mental, I might add.

    I've also just learned that her dad - who lives nearby and owes nothing in his 3 bed freestanding - also has practically zero other money.

    So the plan seems to be sell both properties, and move them in together somewhere else. Freestanding house. Try to get her a carer's allowance or something.



  • @NTA downsizing. Good.



  • Over here at least poa stops the moment they pop their clogs so keep that in mind when the vultures start circling .... I mean grieving relatives come to pay their respects.



  • @jegga said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    Over here at least poa stops the moment they pop their clogs so keep that in mind when the vultures start circling .... I mean grieving relatives come to pay their respects.

    Where there's a will, there's a relative.



  • @NTA If you consolidate the debts, she MUST change to avoid getting back into debt. Otherwise people go forward and wind up with a big consolidated debt AND all the other debts together. This can be really hard to do - although you have a crack if she winds up in care of some form and you have POA.

    She has a problem, and is very very unlikely to have recognised that yet.

    Good luck



  • @jegga said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    Over here at least poa stops the moment they pop their clogs so keep that in mind when the vultures start circling .... I mean grieving relatives come to pay their respects.

    Yeah I think its the same here - so does that mean we need to ensure the right Executor is appointed on the will or something? 🤔

    =================

    Mrs TA got home around 10PM (I left near 7PM) and gave me the details. The MIL hasn't even got a mobile phone right now - everything but the landline has been cancelled. She's back to FTA TV and not even internet.

    Mrs TA's brother came over as well, and he was pretty calm about it, which is odd because he's a massive hothead. They suggested the plan to sell both properties and move in together, but that she might have to rent while one of the properties was being disposed of.

    "But rentals don't allow pets* and I won't be separated from my dog under ANY circumstances!"

    If I was there, I would have pointed out that she can't actually afford the dog and, while I'm a dog lover, accidents happen

    alt text

    *Recently I believe NSW rental law changed to allow pets unless there was a pretty fucking good reason not to. I don't think we can risk the bond when the dog pisses all over the carpet though.

    Mrs TA hasn't slept which is a big mistake. Things still look massive to her because she's frazzled.

    I looked at the figures, and its just over $40K in credit cards and a mortgage she can't afford. So while its bad, it isn't that bad. Guy I played rugby with had his Mum gamble away her Dad's house and so they all had to move in together.



  • I missed something here, if they aren't living together now is it a good idea for your in laws to move together *? Also those houses sound pretty big for people living alone, it'd probably be a lot less hassle for them to have a smaller place.

    *(Moving back in with my ex....shudder)



  • @jegga said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    I missed something here, if they aren't living together now is it a good idea for your in laws to move together *? Also those houses sound pretty big for people living alone, it'd probably be a lot less hassle for them to have a smaller place.

    It's my mother-in-law and HER father - Mrs TA's maternal grandfather.

    And it isn't a good idea anyway, because they haven't lived together for nearly 50 years and she can't stand him for more than a few hours at a time.

    BUT this is what you get when you're not adult enough to look after your own affairs.

    Yes the places are too big for them so we'll definitely get them to basically get something as small as possible. Hopefully all tiles so the dog can't fuck it up too bad. But out here the prices are ridiculous because Sydney.

    A three bed single storey on a fairly small block will probably be around $800k. If we can find one, and if it doesn't have its price driven up further by investors and Indian/Asian families.

    Would be easier if the three of them (MIL, Grandfather, dog) all carked at once.

    I'd miss the grandfather.



  • @NTA said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    @jegga said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    Over here at least poa stops the moment they pop their clogs so keep that in mind when the vultures start circling .... I mean grieving relatives come to pay their respects.

    Yeah I think its the same here - so does that mean we need to ensure the right Executor is appointed on the will or something? 🤔

    =================

    You may want to check if it's the same in Aus but over here an Enduring Power of Attorney can have a clause which gives the attorney (presumably your wife) the power to create a will.



  • @JC said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    You may want to check if it's the same in Aus but over here an Enduring Power of Attorney can have a clause which gives the attorney (presumably your wife) the power to create a will.

    Thanks for the tip JC. Will chase that up as part of the discussion



  • Granny flat in the backyard😇



  • @dK said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    Granny flat in the backyard😇

    alt text



  • @dK said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    Granny flat in the backyard😇

    alt text



  • Actually I thought about putting one in to generate extra income NOT from the MIL. There were two immediate problems:

    1. I'd have to lose my pool
    2. It would be right outside the master bedroom sliding door.

    Fuck. That.



  • All jokes aside you'd have a built in babysitter, someone to mind the house and feed the pets when you're on holiday, someone who's always home to let tradies in to update whatever solar shenanigans you've just poured your savings into.

    Also the mrs would be in threesome levels of relationship debt with you.



  • @jegga said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    Also the mrs would be in threesome levels of relationship debt with you.

    ... but that threesome might have his MIL looking on through the ranchslider. ⚖



  • @JC said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    @jegga said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    Also the mrs would be in threesome levels of relationship debt with you.

    ... but that threesome might have his MIL looking on through the ranchslider. ⚖

    Looking in or looking out though...



  • @Catogrande said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    @JC said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    @jegga said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    Also the mrs would be in threesome levels of relationship debt with you.

    ... but that threesome might have his MIL looking on through the ranchslider. ⚖

    Looking in or looking out though...

    Ugh





  • @jegga said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    All jokes aside you'd have a built in babysitter, someone to mind the house and feed the pets when you're on holiday, someone who's always home to let tradies in to update whatever solar shenanigans you've just poured your savings into.

    Also the mrs would be in threesome levels of relationship debt with you.

    1. At this point we don't trust the MIL with teh kids
    2. She's not capable of looking after her own house
    3. She dotes on her pet. We don't have any
    4. If she lets tradies in the place would be stripped clean
    5. Mrs TA wants nothing to do with the bitch right now.
    6. @Catogrande - give yourself an uppercut


  • @NTA Having a spot of trouble losing the mental image..?



  • @Catogrande said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    @NTA Having a spot of trouble losing the mental image..?

    You are one sick puppy.



  • Seriously though Nick, I can't see a downside to consolidating in that situation. Your MIL's net worth is her assets minus her liabilities, same as everybody else. Regardless of whether she owes money to the credit card issuer or her mortgage lender the sum is the same. The difference is the rate she's paying.

    Have you had any problems getting the bank or CC company talking to you about your MIL's affairs? You may need a PoA if you are. A PoA would also help if you need to warn them not to offer her any other credit.

    Check out the obligations of lenders in Aus / NSW because in many jurisdictions finance contracts can be voided if the borrower was not mentally capable. Usually you'd have to prove the bank or lender knew about the incapacity. That might not help for the current situation but certainly would if you use a PoA to warn them and they gave your MIL more credit anyway. Most major banks will also have specialist teams who deal with people with mental health issues, for example monitoring spending for erratic patterns of transactions.



  • @JC it was Saturday night when we discovered all this, so the bank people who can help with this are not on the clock until tomorrow morning.

    MIL says the cards aren't new, but that she's had them since before she retired. We'll find out I guess.

    Proving the mental thing would only work if we could pin it down to after the death of her mother i.e. depression or something. Like you say: proving the bank knew is the tough bit.

    PoA is about the first thing on Mrs TA's list for tomorrow. She's taken two days off work at short notice to start filtering the bullshit, and taking steps to ensure it doesn't happen again.

    Thanks again



  • In Sydney, I'd have thought two large houses could be converted into two small houses and a truckload of cash?

    It's pretty cold, (but then I don't know Granddad) but, he's presumably well into his 80s and probably not got that much further to run. And presumably your MIL is lined up for a substantive chunk of his freehold house?

    Might just be a temporary cashflow problem.



  • @Chris-B. said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    In Sydney, I'd have thought two large houses could be converted into two small houses and a truckload of cash?

    One small house is better - because they're going to be sticking around in this part of Sydney (to be close to family 🙄 ) and there isn't a lot in the way of suitable houses i.e. single storey, 3 bed, 1-2 bath. A lot of them are being sat on by people waiting to jump upwards. Timing is key.

    It's pretty cold, (but then I don't know Granddad) but, he's presumably well into his 80s and probably not got that much further to run. And presumably your MIL is lined up for a substantive chunk of his freehold house?

    Might just be a temporary cashflow problem.

    Yeah mate and Mrs TA and I have discussed that. He's 90 next year, and a great old bloke, but with the wife gone almost two years, and a range of health and mobility issues coming to the fore, he's pretty short on.

    The problem is the MIL's brother who is a shunt, and entitled to half of everything. He's been fucking sly about a few things, hitting his dad up for car repairs that turn out were his fault (hit someone) and he's basically lying to everyone's face. He was brought up as a kid brother and doted on by his now-deceased Mum.

    But everyone tolerates him. No idea why. That shit will come to a head if Mrs TA's brother confronts him. But the money is gone, and no-one kept track of it. So best to just get on with it.



  • @NTA said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    @Chris-B. said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    In Sydney, I'd have thought two large houses could be converted into two small houses and a truckload of cash?

    One small house is better - because they're going to be sticking around in this part of Sydney (to be close to family 🙄 ) and there isn't a lot in the way of suitable houses i.e. single storey, 3 bed, 1-2 bath. A lot of them are being sat on by people waiting to jump upwards. Timing is key.

    It's pretty cold, (but then I don't know Granddad) but, he's presumably well into his 80s and probably not got that much further to run. And presumably your MIL is lined up for a substantive chunk of his freehold house?

    Might just be a temporary cashflow problem.

    Yeah mate and Mrs TA and I have discussed that. He's 90 next year, and a great old bloke, but with the wife gone almost two years, and a range of health and mobility issues coming to the fore, he's pretty short on.

    The problem is the MIL's brother who is a shunt, and entitled to half of everything. He's been fucking sly about a few things, hitting his dad up for car repairs that turn out were his fault (hit someone) and he's basically lying to everyone's face. He was brought up as a kid brother and doted on by his now-deceased Mum.

    But everyone tolerates him. No idea why. That shit will come to a head if Mrs TA's brother confronts him. But the money is gone, and no-one kept track of it. So best to just get on with it.

    Yeah,sounds like Enduring PoA as soon as possible over both their affairs. Then Mrs TA can ask uncle what the deal is with the outstanding money without being told to mind her own business. Better still, get the right kind of PoA and write the prick out of the will too, who'll be laughing then!

    Maybe also time for an intervention for Uncle. "Why are you lying to people who should matter to you - what are you a psychopath?" might make him take a thought to himself. If not at least he'll know you're onto him.



  • @JC said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    Maybe also time for an intervention for Uncle. "Why are you lying to people who should matter to you - what are you a psychopath?" might make him take a thought to himself. If not at least he'll know you're onto him.

    I agree. Mrs TA's family are very non-confrontational though so we'll see if that goes anywhere. And her Mum isn't going to touch this I don't think, in her present mental state.

    e.g. I went over to measure up for carpet today, and as I was leaving the MIL started panicking that she couldn't find house keys. I let myself out through the garage, stating that the keys can't have gone far, and I definitely did not have them.

    The old bitch is fucking lucky I even acknowledge her given how hard she's failing at adulting right now.

    Its affecting the wife as well, who just lost her favourite aunt (her father's sister) to cancer and is under a fuckload of stress because she's taking time off work to sort out her Mum's affairs.

    Happy fucking bunch eh?

    Best outcome for the family right now (with a nod to @Chris-B aka "The Iceman") after the wife gets Enduring PoA:

    1. Dog escapes from MIL's place
    2. Gets hit by passing stolen car driven by local dickhead
    3. MIL, chasing after dog, drops dead instantly from massive heart attack.
    4. Grandfather finally gives up at the same time (not far off, let me tell you).
    5. Grandfather's house gets sold, Uncle gets half, and is told to fuck off.
    6. MIL's house gets sold.
    7. Grief for those who wish to grieve*
    8. Holiday to Europe with my Long Service Leave in October.

    *Not I



  • @NTA said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    @JC said in Wisdom of TSF: Debt consolidation:

    Maybe also time for an intervention for Uncle. "Why are you lying to people who should matter to you - what are you a psychopath?" might make him take a thought to himself. If not at least he'll know you're onto him.

    I agree. Mrs TA's family are very non-confrontational though so we'll see if that goes anywhere. And her Mum isn't going to touch this I don't think, in her present mental state.

    e.g. I went over to measure up for carpet today, and as I was leaving the MIL started panicking that she couldn't find house keys. I let myself out through the garage, stating that the keys can't have gone far, and I definitely did not have them.

    The old bitch is fucking lucky I even acknowledge her given how hard she's failing at adulting right now.

    Its affecting the wife as well, who just lost her favourite aunt (her father's sister) to cancer and is under a fuckload of stress because she's taking time off work to sort out her Mum's affairs.

    Happy fucking bunch eh?

    Best outcome for the family right now (with a nod to @Chris-B aka "The Iceman") after the wife gets Enduring PoA:

    1. Dog escapes from MIL's place
    2. Gets hit by passing stolen car driven by local dickhead
    3. MIL, chasing after dog, drops dead instantly from massive heart attack.
    4. Grandfather finally gives up at the same time (not far off, let me tell you).
    5. Grandfather's house gets sold, Uncle gets half, and is told to fuck off.
    6. MIL's house gets sold.
    7. Grief for those who wish to grieve*
    8. Holiday to Europe with my Long Service Leave in October.
    • Not I

    Burn after reading



  • @NTA Sounds like your MIL needs to be checked out for early stages of Alzheimers or similar.

    And about Charlie Ngatai... 🙂


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