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    • Rags2riches
    • By Rags2riches 10th Sep 17, 3:29 PM
    • 42Posts
    • 11Thanks
    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 4
    • andydownes123
    • By andydownes123 12th Sep 17, 4:25 PM
    • 84 Posts
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    andydownes123
    Why is he doing it ?
    Is he having money issues ?

    Ill be blunt with you he sounds like a prat.

    Does he live with your parents ?

    Could your parents organise for new cards to be sent out, if he lives with them your parents could see if the cards can get sent to the local branch and they get them or you take your mum out for the day and you pick up the card whilst out.
    Originally posted by DCFC79
    Prat? I think you are going easy. Thief I would say. Possibly a police matter?
    • Article50
    • By Article50 12th Sep 17, 8:02 PM
    • 25 Posts
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    Article50
    Online gambling ?
    • Rags2riches
    • By Rags2riches 12th Sep 17, 11:07 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    Rags2riches
    Online gambling ?
    Originally posted by Article50
    I don't believe this is so.
    • Rags2riches
    • By Rags2riches 12th Sep 17, 11:08 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    Rags2riches
    Prat? I think you are going easy. Thief I would say. Possibly a police matter?
    Originally posted by andydownes123
    There was little they could do.
    • Rags2riches
    • By Rags2riches 12th Sep 17, 11:11 PM
    • 42 Posts
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    Rags2riches
    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".
    Originally posted by badmemory
    I completely agree with this. There is an element of showing her only part of the picture, using spreadsheets - whilst extremely complicated things are happening in the background she has little chance of understanding. She is very proud of balancing the books on her day to day account. The damage is being done in the others.
    Last edited by Rags2riches; 12-09-2017 at 11:15 PM.
    • Rags2riches
    • By Rags2riches 12th Sep 17, 11:24 PM
    • 42 Posts
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    Rags2riches
    In any case the way you describe it, they aren't going to be declared bankrupt, they will just keep on paying the interest.
    Originally posted by Malthusian
    That is exactly what has happened to date. I think you are right - they'll continue paying the interest if they cannot take back control of their accounts, and probabally never repay the debts.

    If they had control of their accounts those debts would be paid off probabally in 5 or 6 years.
    • annandale
    • By annandale 13th Sep 17, 4:15 AM
    • 799 Posts
    • 1,709 Thanks
    annandale
    Im sorry. But you are talking as if your mother is simple.

    Little chance of understanding. My mother is in her 60s and if someone was fleecing her for 140 k shed understand it.

    30 current accounts? Pay it off within 5-6 years? 140 k and rising?

    Seriously. They've got 30k a year spare to throw at these cards?/

    He's borrowed 35 k and theyve remortgaged their home

    He's got all the cards and he knows all the pins to every card?

    I said it before. Credit cards generally have a limit on them. They aren't working. Are you saying that every card they have has a huge spending limit on them? That no credit card company has ever had a query about the amount of spending that's been going on?

    He's run up 140k debt that's not been repaid?

    I recently had a firm write me a letter over a sum of 35 pounds. That I didn't owe in the end. The company actually owed me.

    But that's how little it took for the company to pass it on to a firm to try and recover the money

    You are expecting people to believe that a six figure sum has been racked up with no repayments being made and the credit card companies haven't passed the debts on.

    If you spend on cards you need to make repayments. Who is making them?
    • annandale
    • By annandale 13th Sep 17, 4:25 AM
    • 799 Posts
    • 1,709 Thanks
    annandale
    Remortgaged to raise funds for an extension? Where did the 40k go.

    There are too many holes in this story. 140 k of debt. No repayments being made. And the credit card companies just accepting this.

    Causing confusion as they try and work out whose spending was whose!

    Are you for real? Are you expecting people to believe that your parents are so simple that they don't know where 75k has gone plus 140k on cards.

    That's 235k that they aren't sure if they spent or he did?

    Tosh. Your dad might have mh problems but your mum hasn't

    I think most people would know if they've been spending money.

    You have to have the cards in your possession to spend on them. Yet you are saying that your mum is confused even though he has the cards?

    Absolute nonsense.
    • Rags2riches
    • By Rags2riches 13th Sep 17, 6:15 AM
    • 42 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    Rags2riches
    Can you clarify their pension position, do they have a pension pot of £55k or an annual income of £55k. If the latter I am amazed that they could be in that position but be so financially clueless.
    Originally posted by Keep pedalling
    £50k income. £140k current unsecured debt. Once their property completes that will release £55k of capital to them.

    The mother on several occasions has chosen the path of least resistance and the other son over the OP.
    Originally posted by Tygermoth
    It appears to me that she does indeed want to take a path where she can try to maintain family relationships... and hope the problem sorts itself out.

    Are you for real? Are you expecting people to believe that your parents are so simple that they don't know where 75k has gone plus 140k on cards.
    Originally posted by annandale
    They indicated several times that they were paying down debts. They thought were £30k.

    They are making repayments on all their cards to cover the interest and minimum payment at least. They have to put their regular spending on xyz credit card so their income can be used for the minimum payments, forcing them to maintain this system indefinately. They can afford the interest but not the minimums without doing this.

    He has had some of their credit cards and debit cards. For example he has many of their debit cards so he can log in to online banking using card readers... which is double edged sword becuase that also means they can't.

    They had been with the same bank all their lives. Complex systems were introduced in the background, which they have not devised and believe they need him to maintain this to ensure they don't miss any repayments. The thought of missing a payment is quite distressing to them.

    They don't understand how it works or would even know where to start with it.
    Last edited by Rags2riches; 13-09-2017 at 7:43 AM.
    • Rags2riches
    • By Rags2riches 13th Sep 17, 7:46 AM
    • 42 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    Rags2riches
    Why is he doing it ?
    Originally posted by DCFC79
    I believe there is element of control, underlying the issues.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 13th Sep 17, 8:30 AM
    • 17,632 Posts
    • 44,900 Thanks
    Pollycat
    There was little they could do.
    Originally posted by Rags2riches
    What do you mean 'little they could do'?

    There was (and still is) lots they could do.
    They could have listened to you.
    They could have listened to family.
    They had ample opportunity to stop this when interviewed by the Police Fraud Squad.

    They could have wised up when they realised:
    • 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.
    Originally posted by Rags2riches
    I think you need to wise up and accept that they believe your brother is doing nothing wrong (or don't wish to believe it) and until that changes all the posting on here is not going to get you anywhere.
    • Rags2riches
    • By Rags2riches 13th Sep 17, 8:37 AM
    • 42 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    Rags2riches
    What do you mean 'little they could do'?

    There was (and still is) lots they could do.
    They could have listened to you.
    They could have listened to family.
    They had ample opportunity to stop this when interviewed by the Police Fraud Squad.

    They could have wised up when they realised:


    I think you need to wise up and accept that they believe your brother is doing nothing wrong (or don't wish to believe it) and until that changes all the posting on here is not going to get you anywhere.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    There was little the Police could do.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 13th Sep 17, 9:07 AM
    • 2,884 Posts
    • 4,126 Thanks
    Malthusian
    Absolute nonsense.
    Originally posted by annandale
    To be quite honest I was leaning towards the whole thing being a wind up as well. £50k pension income makes you a millionaire, if you ignore the fact that you can't cash it in.

    As I said earlier, to amass that much pension income you would typically have either had a £500k+ pension fund or a high-earning job with a defined benefits pension - doctor, lecturer, senior government official - or some combination of the two. (In theory they could also both have been middle-ranking council managers for 30-40 years and retired on two full pensions but that's an atypical combination.)

    So it is difficult to reconcile the fact that at least one of the OP's parents had a high degree of financial acumen, and yet despite both only being in late middle age, they are acting as if they have no capacity to look after themselves at all.

    That said, I don't think it's a wind up. Stranger things have happened.
    • Article50
    • By Article50 13th Sep 17, 9:16 AM
    • 25 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    Article50
    Is there any mileage in you going to see your mother's bank manager and telling him the situation. Clearly he wont divulge sums but at least he would be aware.

    Secondly it is now perfectly feasible to put all the accounts into a software package which gives you finger tip CONTROL. Some packages are free most are round the £35-£50 mark.

    You could mention setting this up for your mother and password protect it so she is the only access. There is no limit on the number of accounts they handle, I looked at mine and I am over 35 including closed accounts. You/she will need all the statements for all accounts and change the passwords to all accounts etc as well.

    Use of such software requires a bit of discipline but that is I believe that is already present.

    The previous mention of spreadsheets fills me with dread and indicates fraud/deceit/confusion to underpin control to me.

    The long term future looks very bleak for your parents, Bankruptcy,care home fees and penury unless they take control from your idle brother.
    Last edited by Article50; 13-09-2017 at 9:20 AM. Reason: missing word
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 13th Sep 17, 9:20 AM
    • 17,632 Posts
    • 44,900 Thanks
    Pollycat
    There was little the Police could do.
    Originally posted by Rags2riches
    I can't find your post where you mention the Police Fraud Squad but Tygermoth referenced it here:
    quote from the OP - I've been to the police (specifically the fraud team) and provided the statements with no further action. My mother was interviewed and claimed at the time she knew all about it and had allowed it - to prevent him getting into any trouble.
    Originally posted by Tygermoth
    Of course there was little the Police could do - your Mother backed up your brother against your allegations.

    I reiterate - there is lots your Mother could do - if she wished to.
    But until she does, this is not going anywhere.
    • AndyBSG
    • By AndyBSG 13th Sep 17, 10:16 AM
    • 913 Posts
    • 1,107 Thanks
    AndyBSG
    I would seriously recommend the OP read through this thread to understand how far this could escalate

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4764044

    Your parents need intervention, NOW, regardless of if they do it voluntarily or involuntarily.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 13th Sep 17, 10:34 AM
    • 17,632 Posts
    • 44,900 Thanks
    Pollycat
    I would seriously recommend the OP read through this thread to understand how far this could escalate

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4764044

    Your parents need intervention, NOW, regardless of if they do it voluntarily or involuntarily.
    Originally posted by AndyBSG
    And if the OP involves anybody involuntarily, his Mum will just back up his brother as she has done in the past.

    She needs to have her lightbulb moment and acknowledge what her son has been doing before anyone can help her.

    As the OP has said - there is little anyone can do until his Mum wises up.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 13th Sep 17, 12:34 PM
    • 2,884 Posts
    • 4,126 Thanks
    Malthusian
    I would seriously recommend the OP read through this thread to understand how far this could escalate
    Originally posted by AndyBSG
    Escalate? The more tragic aspects of that case aside, that involved a brother who had stolen £20,000 in savings and another £50,000 in ongoing income from the OP's dad, leaving him with nothing.

    In this case the OP's brother has apparently stolen anything north of £200,000, leaving the OP's parents with £140,000 less than nothing, in credit card debts and overdrafts.

    It is not so much the amounts that are important (when someone steals everything from you, it's equally painful whether it's £20,000 or £20 million). It's the fact that they are so deep in debt, and the mess will clearly be much more difficult to untangle, that means it has already escalated well beyond the tragedy in that thread.
    • luckbox
    • By luckbox 13th Sep 17, 1:37 PM
    • 53 Posts
    • 98 Thanks
    luckbox
    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.
    Originally posted by Malthusian
    For one person 30 current accounts is certainly looking suspicious and unrealistic, but the brother has 3 adults that he can open accounts for in this sad scenario, so 8 each and a few joint accounts thrown in and there is easily potential for earning interest from each one...

    However, it does look like theft to me.
    • annandale
    • By annandale 13th Sep 17, 2:04 PM
    • 799 Posts
    • 1,709 Thanks
    annandale
    All your mother needs to do is contact the banks and all the credit card companies and ask for replacement cards. And with respect to them paying the interest but not the minimum as I said before if they weren't paying what they owed every month the credit card company would intervene.
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