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    • Rags2riches
    • By Rags2riches 10th Sep 17, 3:29 PM
    • 42Posts
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    Rags2riches
    How to deal with a brother TAKEN over parents finances..
    • #1
    • 10th Sep 17, 3:29 PM
    How to deal with a brother TAKEN over parents finances.. 10th Sep 17 at 3:29 PM
    For several years my brother has been involved with my parents finances. Originally this came about with simple tips any forum member would be proud of... but earlier in the year I discovered he has completely taken over their finances and spent on their cards.

    During this time my parents:
    • Have discovered they have close to £140k in credit cards and overdrafts. They thought it was £30k.
    • Remortgaged their home to raise funds for an extension which never materialised. £40k has simply gone.
    • Cashed in life savings of around £20k, also long since gone.
    • Forced to sell their family home and move into rented to repay their interest-only mortgage.
    • Been subject to a complex banking arrangement involving around 30 different current accounts, so they find it difficult to keep track of their income.
    • Have had pensions of around £50k whilst living a very modest lifestyle on a tight budget.

    During this time my brother had complete access to their accounts. He's borrowed near to £35k from them but also been treating their accounts like they are his own, spending on their cards and causing confusion for my parents trying to work out who's spending was who's.

    Current situation:
    • I’ve tried approaching him directly but he refuses to speak to anyone other than our parents, completely cutting me out of his life.
    • I’ve tried putting them in touch with debt charities and provided details of IFA’s they could approach but he has created an ‘illusion’ that they are in control of their own finances and he really is just trying to help them.

    He has alluded:
    • There is no problem.
    • There is no need for anybody else to be involved and should anybody become involved this proves how ungrateful they are to him… he will be 'done with them', which they clearly do not want.
    • That they are incapable of looking after their own money, without his assistance, stating that financial advisers can’t do as good a job as he can and are only out to get paid.

    My concern is that he is still ‘assisting’ them and it appears they cannot ‘break-free’. They are about to receive £55k from the proceeds of their sale.

    What help is available?
    Last edited by Rags2riches; 10-09-2017 at 5:57 PM.
Page 3
    • Rags2riches
    • By Rags2riches 11th Sep 17, 9:26 AM
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    Rags2riches
    Unless it's considered as deprivation of assets.
    In which case if they do need care in the future - and the majority of people don't - they may be up the proverbial creek.


    This makes me angry.
    There is no inheritance until someone dies and leaves money or property to someone else in a will (or does inttestate and natual inheritance laws apply).
    What decent person would 'look forward' to gaining financially from the death of someone else?
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    I couldn't care less about inheritance.
    • BBH123
    • By BBH123 11th Sep 17, 9:27 AM
    • 477 Posts
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    BBH123
    This is what I mean about you continuing to stretch the thread out by asking questions, what do you think you should do is more important and why are your parents happy for their son to fleece them but won't seem to even listen to your concerns.

    If your mother won't listen then there is nothing you can do. Execept maybe be get ready to take them in or pay their bills when the money runs out.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 11th Sep 17, 10:00 AM
    • 18,278 Posts
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    Pollycat
    I couldn't care less about inheritance.
    Originally posted by Rags2riches
    I didn't say you did.
    I was commenting on another poster who mentioned it was sad that you (personally) had "no inheritance to look forward to".

    My comments on inheritance were general, not specific to you.

    As an aside - and also general - some post have been removed from the thread.
    Last edited by Pollycat; 11-09-2017 at 10:07 AM.
    • Rags2riches
    • By Rags2riches 11th Sep 17, 10:38 AM
    • 42 Posts
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    Rags2riches
    I'm struggling to believe that they were able to get £140K in credit.
    Originally posted by IAmWales
    Why dont you threaten to walk away from your mother unless she puts you both in charge of the accounts.
    Or does she prefer your brother to you?

    Plead with her how you cant sit by and see them both get ruined by him.

    Write a long heartfelt letter with all the sums and exactly how much savings she had in the beginning and how much debt she has now.
    Originally posted by indian summer
    They need urgent independant professional financial advice, but only they can ask for that.
    Originally posted by Keep pedalling
    I think these comments hit the nail on the head. I feel at the very least I can sit them down with the figures and a number of options for them to consider and recommend again external financial help.

    They have an income of £50k, will receive £55k from the proceeds of their home and have £140k of credit card and overdraft debt.

    What options are open to them? Is it literally a case of them paying the £55k to bring down the balances or are there other options open them to them?
    Last edited by Rags2riches; 11-09-2017 at 10:44 AM.
    • Article50
    • By Article50 11th Sep 17, 12:03 PM
    • 25 Posts
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    Article50
    In all honesty I would wash my hands of the issue. It has gone far too far to come up with any solution.

    Remember your mother told the police there was no problem so nothing can be done, she has willingly compromised herself which in turn renders any proper resolution even more remote.

    Sad as it is you cant help those who refuse help.

    Placing this whole thing on proper formal footing could well render any participant in the process liable themselves so I would steer well. clear.The disaster is unfolding and will at some point crash.

    As an aside tell your mother you are not going to concern yourself with it .

    I cannot believe that some of the credit card companies are not involved as debts are increasing as must interest payments. They must know their prospects of getting the capital sums back are diminishing.

    Finally I would suggest you get hold of your own credit rating jjust to ensure that your brother has not made any reference to you in any way.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 11th Sep 17, 12:03 PM
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    Malthusian
    £50k in pension income yet they can't distinguish between a debit and a credit on a bank statement?

    £50k a year in pension income is a lot. It suggests that either one of them spent many years as a high earner in a defined benefit pension scheme, or they accumulated a very large private pension fund (we're talking north of £500,000), or a combination of both. Both require some level of financial acumen. There are other possible explanations but they'd be unusual.

    Either both of them have severely degenerated mentally, or they know perfectly well what they are doing, and are letting him have the money for the sake of a quiet life.

    The answer to the OP's last question is that assuming the credit cards weren't taken out fraudulently (and nothing the OP said suggests that they were) they should pay off the credit cards as soon as possible, paying off the highest rates first. But if they do are they just going to accumulate more debt?
    • Ames
    • By Ames 11th Sep 17, 12:19 PM
    • 16,446 Posts
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    Ames
    £50k in pension income yet they can't distinguish between a debit and a credit on a bank statement?

    £50k a year in pension income is a lot. It suggests that either one of them spent many years as a high earner in a defined benefit pension scheme, or they accumulated a very large private pension fund (we're talking north of £500,000), or a combination of both. Both require some level of financial acumen. There are other possible explanations but they'd be unusual.

    Either both of them have severely degenerated mentally, or they know perfectly well what they are doing, and are letting him have the money for the sake of a quiet life.

    The answer to the OP's last question is that assuming the credit cards weren't taken out fraudulently (and nothing the OP said suggests that they were) they should pay off the credit cards as soon as possible, paying off the highest rates first. But if they do are they just going to accumulate more debt?
    Originally posted by Malthusian
    The OP said that the debit on one statement is matched by an identical credit on another statement, which is why he said the brother convinces them a debit is a credit. Which makes me wonder if the suggestion by another poster that it's actually stoozing is correct.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.

    Reading the alphabet in 2017. 21/100
    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
    • rpc
    • By rpc 11th Sep 17, 12:26 PM
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    rpc
    The OP said that the debit on one statement is matched by an identical credit on another statement, which is why he said the brother convinces them a debit is a credit. Which makes me wonder if the suggestion by another poster that it's actually stoozing is correct.
    Originally posted by Ames
    Or the network of accounts is to "launder" the money by making the actual destination untraceable by the parents.
    • Gingernutty
    • By Gingernutty 11th Sep 17, 1:14 PM
    • 3,462 Posts
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    Gingernutty
    By the sounds of things, it doesn't matter what you think. Or feel. Or do. Or what's actually happening.

    They will carry on until your brother slips up and they accidentally see something they shouldn't, like a creditor's letter or a final demand.

    Leave it. Leave them alone. Live your life and be ready to say "I told you so." when it does come crashing down.
    Don't know what I'm doing, but doing it anyway...
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 11th Sep 17, 1:23 PM
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    Mojisola
    Rags2riches - do you think that they will turn to you for help when it does all blow up?

    Will they expect you to look after them when they are bankrupt?

    If so, you might have to start practising what to say to them so that they don't make themselves your responsibility for the rest of their lives.
    • Rags2riches
    • By Rags2riches 11th Sep 17, 1:56 PM
    • 42 Posts
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    Rags2riches
    Rags2riches - do you think that they will turn to you for help when it does all blow up?

    Will they expect you to look after them when they are bankrupt?

    If so, you might have to start practising what to say to them so that they don't make themselves your responsibility for the rest of their lives.
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    Possibly bankruptcy would be good for them. It would force my brother out of their accounts and let them press the reset button.
    • Rosieandjim
    • By Rosieandjim 11th Sep 17, 2:14 PM
    • 83 Posts
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    Rosieandjim
    I am sorry if I have made people angry with wishing for the son number 2 to have some inheritance to look forward to. I thought that all parents worked their butts off to leave their offspring a comfortable buffer in life. I certainly have. I could not live with myself if I thought one son was syphoning off money for himself without the other son also benefitting.


    And when I mention inheritance I mean after any care home fees are paid for which could cancel the lot out anyway.


    Sorry there is no easy answer to this problem, if it was my mother I would certainly make her aware that if she keeps this up there will be no care for them if they are deemed to be depriving themselves of assets. Maybe she already knows this deep down and wants Son one to have it now.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 11th Sep 17, 2:25 PM
    • 18,278 Posts
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    Pollycat
    I am sorry if I have made people angry with wishing for the son number 2 to have some inheritance to look forward to. I thought that all parents worked their butts off to leave their offspring a comfortable buffer in life. I certainly have. I could not live with myself if I thought one son was syphoning off money for himself without the other son also benefitting.
    Originally posted by Rosieandjim
    I certainly don't think all parents work their butts off to leave their offspring a comfortable buffer in life.
    Not all parents can afford to do that. Mine certainly couldn't.
    That you have is your choice.

    But really - why should parents do that?
    They have brought children up. Shouldn't those children make an independent life for themselves once they are grown up and not expect their parents to scrimp through their later lives rather than enjoying life simply in order to give their offspring a 'comfortable buffer'?

    I always encouraged my own parents to spend their money on doing things they would enjoy rather than having one eye on what might be coming to me one day.

    Lots of parents don't treat their children the same.
    My own parents didn't - and still don't.
    I don't begrudge that for several reasons.
    1. it's none of my damn business
    2. I'm in a better position financially than my younger siblings
    • Article50
    • By Article50 11th Sep 17, 2:30 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    Article50
    Ok how is this for a possibility ?

    I presume your brother "receives" the bank statements, do you know if they actually come through the post or does he print them off.

    In these days of technology it would be remarkably easy to produce fictitious statements via cut & paste, scanners, that would look like authentic statements. Of equal ease would be the ability to show a debit from one account to a credit on the target account and equally easy to produce a fictitious balance..(a spreadsheet extract would easily do the job). Fonts can be easily duplicated.....

    There may be cards for real bank accounts for "authenticity" but who actually and how do they get statements, and do the "balances" tie up with real balances ?

    Just a thought
    Last edited by Article50; 11-09-2017 at 2:32 PM. Reason: missing word
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 11th Sep 17, 3:15 PM
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    Malthusian
    Or the network of accounts is to "launder" the money by making the actual destination untraceable by the parents.
    Originally posted by rpc
    5-10 accounts would suggest the brother was maximising high-interest regular savers and current accounts. (I remember one guy on this forum saying he had 12-15 current accounts - he wanted to find out how he could get an Attorney to maintain this arrangement when he was no longer compos mentis enough. For free.)

    30 accounts = money laundering.

    It's not my specialist subject, but I'm certain that there aren't enough high-interest accounts on the market to make anywhere close to 30 worthwhile. Probably the OP's parents don't have 30 accounts open right now and he means that something like 30 have been opened over the course of several years... but it still sounds like far too many for there to be any rational explanation.

    Possibly bankruptcy would be good for them. It would force my brother out of their accounts and let them press the reset button.
    by Rags2riches
    Nope. They would have to pay all the difference between their £50k pension income and their current frugal expenditure to the bankruptcy trustee. Possibly more if the official receiver thinks they can reasonably make their budget even tighter than it is now. That would last for three years, after which the brother would probably just start fleecing them again.

    In any case the way you describe it, they aren't going to be declared bankrupt, they will just keep on paying the interest. Nothing is going to happen unless or until they decide to get a grip of what is going on. If that does happen, given their level of income bankruptcy is likely to be a last resort. But that would be a question for the Debt-Free Wannabe board.
    • pimento
    • By pimento 11th Sep 17, 3:31 PM
    • 5,227 Posts
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    pimento
    They are in their 60's.
    Originally posted by Rags2riches
    This isn't particularly old.
    "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." -- Red Adair
    • Rags2riches
    • By Rags2riches 11th Sep 17, 4:01 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Rags2riches
    Ok how is this for a possibility ?

    I presume your brother "receives" the bank statements, do you know if they actually come through the post or does he print them off.

    In these days of technology it would be remarkably easy to produce fictitious statements via cut & paste, scanners, that would look like authentic statements. Of equal ease would be the ability to show a debit from one account to a credit on the target account and equally easy to produce a fictitious balance..(a spreadsheet extract would easily do the job). Fonts can be easily duplicated.....

    There may be cards for real bank accounts for "authenticity" but who actually and how do they get statements, and do the "balances" tie up with real balances ?

    Just a thought
    Originally posted by Article50
    My parents can access their statements online. How long would it take to login to all these accounts on a regular basis? They've basically been looking after one to two accounts and leaving the rest to his system.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 11th Sep 17, 5:59 PM
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    badmemory
    I wonder if your mother, coming from the time when one had one current account & one savings account, finds the whole idea of multiple accounts confusing & possibly thinks they are doing something wrong, is just too embarassed to admit she doesn't understand. It may be he is trying to "blind her with science".
    • Tygermoth
    • By Tygermoth 12th Sep 17, 7:19 AM
    • 1,290 Posts
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    Tygermoth
    What if he is? it doesn't change the outcome here.


    The op can write all the letters in the world - try and show them via the accounts what's going on..... if the Ops mother is not going to change after a visit from the police I very much doubt that a heartfelt plea in any form will change this situation.


    The mother on several occasions has chosen the path of least resistance and the other son over the OP.


    So I would be sitting at the side-lines and waiting for her to come to me when SHE is ready to admit to herself that things are bad. Its the only time anything is likely to change.


    The rest is just an exercise in futility. As the saying goes - There Are None So Blind As Those Who Will Not See
    Last edited by Tygermoth; 12-09-2017 at 7:22 AM.
    Please note I have a cognitive disability - as such my wording can be a bit off, muddled, misspelt or in some cases i can miss out some words totally...
    • Article50
    • By Article50 12th Sep 17, 10:40 AM
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    • 22 Thanks
    Article50
    Is it worth suggesting to your mother that she takes full control of the £55 grand to ensure that it is used to reduce some of debt and fully pay off some credit cards?

    Like those of us who read this thread I suspect the money will just evaporate with no benefit at all to your mother.
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