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Smiley0884
12-22-2011, 04:01 AM
So...this is pretty much the worst time of year to be going through family drama, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to come on FSU to see if anyone had some objective advice to give....

Basically my Aunt is about to lose her house because she tried to dodge paying her property taxes for ages. She asked my father to co-sign a loan for her so she could keep her house. My father said no, which I think he was well within his rights to do so considering my Aunt's history of financial instability and conning other family members out of money. The fact that my Father declined to co-sign angered my Grandmother to the point where she is now sending threatening letters to my parents. My parents have had a strained relationship with my Grandmother for the past 20 years, partly because my Aunt and my Father don't see eye to eye on a lot of things, and he's constantly calling her out on her leeching off of and conning other family members. This woman is so vile she used her own sons social security number to get a credit card and basically trashed his credit. For some reason my Grandmother refuses to acknowledge any of my Aunt's wrong doings, and expects other family members come to her rescue. She can do no wrong, but for some reason my father is the eville bad guy for thinking of preserving his credit and thinking of having to pay for my sisters college education.

Ideally my parents should just cut off all communications with my Aunt and Grandmother, but there's a big honking catch-22. My parents purchased their house jointly with my grand parents. My grandfather passed away years ago, but legally half of their house belongs to my grandmother.

My parents are good people, but they aren't exactly the brightest bulbs. They never should have purchased a house with someone who had proven themselves to be manipulative, calculating, and deceitful, just because that person happens to be your mother/MIL.

On one hand I feel for my parents because they do a lot for my grandmother despite the strained relationship. But on the other hand I really want them to stop crying about being the victims of my Grandmother/Aunt's perpetual drama and take action!

I know my parents basically need to not own a house with my Grandmother anymore. I figure the steps they could take would be to either buy out her portion of the house, or to sell the house split the money with her and start over. Does that make sense to anyone? If they tried to buy her out could she refuse? Would they have to take her to court if she refused both options? I don't know much about this subject but I know that my parents need to take some sort of action if they want to live in peace.

Any advice/thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Matryeshka
12-22-2011, 04:20 AM
Your parents should absolutely not aid your aunt. Your father has made his own family now, which should come first. Your aunt is adult. She has to take consequences like an adult. They have no obligation, moral or otherwise, to help this woman. My experience has been when dealing with people like your grandmother and aunt, if your parents give in, they won't be grateful, and they'll just expect more in the future. It's worse than a vampire.

As for the rest, your parents need to see a good real estate attorney.

rjblue
12-22-2011, 04:23 AM
It's sad for them if your grandmother chooses this destructive woman over them, but it is her making the choice, not them. They will feel bad, but should not feel guilty. And yes, they should take her to court, if necessary, and it sounds like it might be.

And if they are always crying to you about it, and yet not taking any action, I'd tell them that you would rather focus on positive things when you are with them, and change the subject.

escaflowne9282
12-22-2011, 04:23 AM
Your parents should absolutely not aid your aunt. Your father has made his own family now, which should come first. Your aunt is adult. She has to take consequences like an adult. They have no obligation, moral or otherwise, to help this woman. My experience has been when dealing with people like your grandmother and aunt, if your parents give in, they won't be grateful, and they'll just expect more in the future. It's worse than a vampire.

As for the rest, your parents need to see a good real estate attorney.

THIS x 1,000,000!

"you must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Matryeshka again"

Damn that witty ass-skittles comment!

Southpaw
12-22-2011, 04:28 AM
Of course she could refuse to sell, but then your parents can serve her with a partition suit (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partition_(law)). That will a) cost money and b) piss your grandmother off to no end and will probably completely destroy the relationship and your father can probably forget about any sort of inheritance from her later on.

Sounds like your grandmother and her daughter are in a co-dependent relationship. Don't even try figuring it out or else you'll make yourself crazy.

Tell your parents to call a lawyer!

TygerTyger
12-22-2011, 08:56 AM
your parents need to see a good real estate attorney.

Yes, and to bring all "threatening letters" with them.

skatemommy
12-22-2011, 01:27 PM
Is grandma's (and or grandpa's) name on the deed to the house? Is there still money owed on the house in all names? In that case, you need to refinance or sell to get her off the deed. I doubt she would sign a quit claim deed which would get her off the property but not a loan.

CynicElle
12-22-2011, 01:29 PM
This woman is so vile she used her own sons social security number to get a credit card and basically trashed his credit. For some reason my Grandmother refuses to acknowledge any of my Aunt's wrong doings, and expects other family members come to her rescue. She can do no wrong, but for some reason my father is the eville bad guy for thinking of preserving his credit and thinking of having to pay for my sisters college education.

I'm so sorry. I have no idea why this dynamic -- "Screwup child gets chance after chance while the responsible child gets raked over the coals, especially if they don't want to help the screwup" -- seems to play out so much in troubled families, but it's not the first time I've seen this happen.

I don't have any useful legal advice about the real estate situation but I do agree that anything your parents can do to extricate themselves from that situation is a good thing.

And your father was 100% right not to cosign a loan for your aunt. He'd be throwing his money and his credit rating away.

Good luck to you and your parents.

PDilemma
12-22-2011, 02:40 PM
I'm so sorry. I have no idea why this dynamic -- "Screwup child gets chance after chance while the responsible child gets raked over the coals, especially if they don't want to help the screwup" -- seems to play out so much in troubled families, but it's not the first time I've seen this happen.


We've not crossed the "you must help her" bridge. But the general attitude my parents-in-law tend to have regarding their screwed up daughter and completely together son has been stated to my husband more than once in words.

"You can take care of yourself; your sister can't".

Not saying it's right. It's just what the mindset becomes for parents.

Smiley0884
12-22-2011, 02:43 PM
I'm so sorry. I have no idea why this dynamic -- "Screwup child gets chance after chance while the responsible child gets raked over the coals, especially if they don't want to help the screwup" -- seems to play out so much in troubled families, but it's not the first time I've seen this happen.



I don't really know either. Even my cousin (my Aunt's daughter) is on the brink of shutting her out of her life, and refused to co-sign for a loan when she asked her. It's just crazy to me that some how my Father is supposed to be responsible for my Aunt's lack of financial responsibility but it's perfectly fine for my cousin to say no. Not that my cousin should have to co-sign either, but I just think it's ridiculous that my Grandmother is directing all of her anger at my Father.

Thanks everyone for the advice. I agree the best thing for my parents to do is to sell the house and get rid of my Grandmother. Of course if they do sell it will forever damage my family's relationship with her, but at this point who cares? She's just a toxic person. I doubt my Dad cares about any inheretence, he probably just cares about his sanity at this point. At any rate my Grandmother has drained her life savings helping out my leech of an aunt. So if she had any money in the first place she would have already given it to my aunt so she wouldn't lose her house. It's unfortunate because my parents are just about 5 years away from paying off their mortgage. My Grandparents paid the down payment for the house, but my parents made the monthly mortgage payments for the past 25 years, pay all the utilities and for all household repairs. I think they've been a bit too stubborn the past few years about not selling the house and getting rid of my Grandmother, but at this point they need to take responsibility for their mistake in purchasing a house with her, and just start over/move on. They can still get enough money from their half of the house to put a down payment on another. Sure they would have to take on another mortgage, but that's life. That's being an adult.

I live 2 hours away from my family and it's getting to the point where I refuse to go back home if this drama continues. I'm going home this weekend because it's christmas, but this will likely be my last visit until the matter is resolved, or at least some action has been taken. I'm just hoping this weekend won't be too intense.

Rob
12-22-2011, 04:10 PM
Echo what Matry and others said. Definitely consult the real estate lawyer and take all correspondence with them.

My mother sent my middle brother money and bailed him out of everything until he was in his mid 40s. Finally I told her that she was doing him no favors and she was leaving a legacy of need for me to deal with. She finally cut him off and told him she wouldn't have enough money to last her if she kept bailing him out. Guess what? He got a job with a plumbing company, worked his way up to licensed plumber, then to manager, and now he makes a pot load of money. He saves in his 401(k), he has a nice house, he pays his own bills, and he can even afford luxuries like a Harley Davidson. You never know what people can do until you cut them loose.

Garden Kitty
12-22-2011, 04:54 PM
As for the legal issues, I agree with the advice to consult a real estate lawyer in your jurisdiction. As for the financial issue, one of Suze Orman's first financial rules is never co-sign a loan!

cruisin
12-22-2011, 05:20 PM
It's unfortunate because my parents are just about 5 years away from paying off their mortgage. My Grandparents paid the down payment for the house, but my parents made the monthly mortgage payments for the past 25 years, pay all the utilities and for all household repairs.


Agree with everything everyone has said. Your father was completely right, in not coming to our aunt's aid. Sounds like she is toxic. Your parents absolutely need to consult a real estate attorney.

Skatemommy asked a very important question. Is your grandmother's/grandfather's name on the deed/contract? If not, is there a contract stating that the deposit they paid toward the house must be given back at the time the house is sold? If none of those things, your parents may not have a problem with the house. Is the mortgage only in your parent's name? Can they show that the only money your grandparents put toward the house was the down payment? If so, they may be able to pay that back and satisfy any legal obligations they have. I'm not a lawyer, but it would seem that there important questions to be answered and possible situations that would make this less stressful.

MacMadame
12-22-2011, 05:23 PM
It sounds to me like you are overly invested in this situation. I don't see anywhere where your parents asked for advice or are interested in selling their house or cutting off ties to his mother. In fact, you say they aren't interested in selling.

My advice is to stay out of it and not be another person who is pressuring your father to do something he doesn't want to do.

timing
12-22-2011, 05:38 PM
I agree the best thing for my parents to do is to sell the house and get rid of my Grandmother. Of course if they do sell it will forever damage my family's relationship with her, but at this point who cares? She's just a toxic person. I doubt my Dad cares about any inheretence, he probably just cares about his sanity at this point. At any rate my Grandmother has drained her life savings helping out my leech of an aunt. So if she had any money in the first place she would have already given it to my aunt so she wouldn't lose her house.

I'm not sure that is the best thing. You make it sounds like your grandmother's share of the house (whatever amount that might be) could be money she needs to live on in the future. If she was paid for it now then it would likely go to her daughter and she would not have it for her own needs. It could be better, if your parents first finish paying off the mortgage. Once that is done they could buy out your grandmother in a series of payments if that is what they desire.

Before you offer advice, consider carefully if your parents have asked for any. Sometimes people need to vent without getting advice.