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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 6
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 15th Sep 17, 1:08 AM
    • 951 Posts
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    badmemory
    Whatever your sympathy for your parent's plight, please ensure that you do not act as guarantor for anything in their future. Well not unless you are sure you are both willing and able to afford to pay it in full. I don't think there really are any options until your mother accepts the issues. You know what they say on an airplane - that first you should put your own mask on before helping others to put on their's. So ensure your (financial) security before becoming involved in someone else's.

    The only way I can see you maintaining a relationship is to completely ignore the financial side. It is a battle that at present you have little chance of winning. But please if you end up helping them in the future, make sure it is not money, because the odds are it will end up in the same location as the rest!!
    • Ames
    • By Ames 15th Sep 17, 1:29 AM
    • 16,483 Posts
    • 28,862 Thanks
    Ames
    Thanks - Yes they provided this to me of their own accord. He knew within a few days they had received thier credit files on their own accord, and started questioning them, at which point my mum flipped and said she had enough to deal with coping with everyday life.
    Originally posted by Rags2riches
    I'd been assuming he was hiding statements from them, if they've seen the statements and know their savings are gone and debts racked up in their place then there's really nothing you can do.

    It sounds like they know exactly what's going on and just don't want to accept it and face up to what their son's done.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.

    Reading the alphabet in 2017. 21/100
    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 15th Sep 17, 8:20 AM
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    Pollycat
    So it seems to me I am deliberating between:

    a) I ignore it, as many of you have suggested. I'm not certain what sort of relationship I could have going forward. It would seem very fake, knowing whats going on in the background. There is always hope that my mum will kick my brother out of her accounts and take on some personal responsibility for their finances, but to date she has already had ample chance to do so which she hasn't taken.

    The fact my brother isn't willing to talk clearly demonstarates to me how irresponsible and lacking in emotional intelligence he is. He chose to intervene in their finances. Nobody forced him to. Whilst doing so they've suffered a large amount of losses. That to me shows he demonstrates a lack of financial accumen. Notwithstanding as an ex-bankrupt himself, I've witnessed him taking poor financial judgement in the past. Would you walk away knowing this person has access to their accounts?

    b) Report it to Social Services - and let them intervene. This is likely to put immediate pressure on my relationship with them even further - and may amount to no further action taking place.
    Originally posted by Rags2riches
    I think those people who have suggested 'ignoring' it have done so because your Mum doesn't appear to have had her lightbulb moment yet about the actions of your brother so it would be pointless to report this situation to anyone unless your Mum is going to tell the truth about what he has done with hers and your Dad's money.
    And that includes option b) as unless she is going to stop protecting your brother you will be wasting people's time which would be better spent on victims/vulnerable who want their help.

    You are of the opinion that your brother "isn't willing to talk clearly demonstarates to me how irresponsible and lacking in emotional intelligence he is".

    To me, it screams "I don't want to talk about it because I've had off with a shedload of money and at the moment my Mum isn't screaming for the Police so I'm just going to keep on doing what I've been doing".
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 15th Sep 17, 9:47 AM
    • 3,301 Posts
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    Malthusian
    No-one suggested ignoring it. They suggested you do nothing. Which is completely different. "Ignoring it" is what ostriches do*, "doing nothing" is what cats and goalkeepers do - waiting for the moment at which they can do something.

    As others have said, in the current position, asking social services to intervene will achieve nothing (other than wasted time). They will ask your mother if your allegations are true, she will say "oh no, everything's fine", again, and they will go away. Are you expecting them to start going through your parents' bank statements? They're social workers, not forensic accountants.

    In your position I would ask them if they want me to help look at their finances (without making accusations) and I would also be suggesting that they should make a Lasting Power of Attorney. Anyone of their age should have an LPoA, and especially if they have complex financial arrangements. If they demur on one or both, do nothing, but make sure they know they can ask you for a second opinion at any time.

    *I know it's a myth
    • Article50
    • By Article50 15th Sep 17, 11:28 AM
    • 25 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    Article50
    You have my total sympathy for the situation.

    There is no doubt your mother made a fundamental and potentially catastrophic error of judgment in allowing your brother any where near her finances especially in view of his previous bankruptcy.

    Her second error was lying to the police saying she knew all about what he had done.

    In essence she knowingly let a previous bankrupt fill in forms presumably in her name to obtain a re-mortgage which was not used for its original purpose, numerous bank accounts and credit cards. As far as I know all lenders ask about previous bankruptcy and would take a dim view and certainly might consider fraud especially if her signature is on the forms.

    In view of the above I would be very circumspect about involving the authorities yet as they may discover the above facts.

    In essence I agree with Malthusian but not on the LPA. An LPA will take at least a year to set up which is time you do not have. In that time the £55 grand will have evaporated into space.

    Your best course of action is to get your mother to divest your brother of any involvement and between you determine exactly the situation. I find it strange that creditors have not been knocking on the door which is why it is imperative that the real situation is determined with every account.

    It may be retreivable if action is taken now, the £55 Grand will help but your brother must be taken out of the loop as soon as possible and not allowed near the £55 grand..

    Clearly this is traumatic but the only other option will be utter penury for your mother and father if the situation drifts and nothing is done.

    I wish you luck.
    Last edited by Article50; 15-09-2017 at 11:29 AM. Reason: missing word
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 15th Sep 17, 11:35 AM
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    Pollycat
    You have my total sympathy for the situation.

    There is no doubt your mother made a fundamental and potentially catastrophic error of judgment in allowing your brother any where near her finances especially in view of his previous bankruptcy.

    Her second error was lying to the police saying she knew all about what he had done.

    In essence she knowingly let a previous bankrupt fill in forms presumably in her name to obtain a re-mortgage which was not used for its original purpose, numerous bank accounts and credit cards. As far as I know all lenders ask about previous bankruptcy and would take a dim view and certainly might consider fraud especially if her signature is on the forms.

    In view of the above I would be very circumspect about involving the authorities yet as they may discover the above facts.

    In essence I agree with Malthusian but not on the LPA. An LPA will take at least a year to set up which is time you do not have. In that time the £55 grand will have evaporated into space.

    Your best course of action is to get your mother to divest your brother of any involvement and between you determine exactly the situation. I find it strange that creditors have not been knocking on the door which is why it is imperative that the real situation is determined with every account.

    It may be retreivable if action is taken now, the £55 Grand will help but your brother must be taken out of the loop as soon as possible and not allowed near the £55 grand..

    Clearly this is traumatic but the only other option will be utter penury for your mother and father if the situation drifts and nothing is done.

    I wish you luck.
    Originally posted by Article50
    I too wish the OP luck with the bit in bold.
    He will certainly need it.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 15th Sep 17, 2:43 PM
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    Malthusian
    In essence I agree with Malthusian but not on the LPA. An LPA will take at least a year to set up which is time you do not have. In that time the £55 grand will have evaporated into space.
    Originally posted by Article50
    Two to three months plus however long it takes you to fill in the forms.

    What alternatives are there that will take less time? You say the parents should cut the brother out immediately which is true, but the OP's already banged his head against that particular wall. The £55 grand will probably evaporate anyway.

    The parents have no reason not to appoint the OP as attorney, even within their fantasy world where everything the OP's brother is doing is fine. Everyone their age should have an LPoA in place, and the OP is the obvious candidate, as the other son is an ex-bankrupt. (You can appoint a discharged bankrupt as attorney but nonetheless it's a good reason not to.)

    The reason creditors aren't knocking on the doors is that the parents are paying the interest.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 15th Sep 17, 2:50 PM
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    Mojisola
    The parents have no reason not to appoint the OP as attorney, even within their fantasy world where everything the OP's brother is doing is fine.
    Originally posted by Malthusian
    Wouldn't it lead to the parents appointing both sons as attorney which will just give the brother even more control over their money?
    • Article50
    • By Article50 15th Sep 17, 5:54 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    Article50
    Two to three months plus however long it takes you to fill in the forms.

    What alternatives are there that will take less time? You say the parents should cut the brother out immediately which is true, but the OP's already banged his head against that particular wall. The £55 grand will probably evaporate anyway.

    The parents have no reason not to appoint the OP as attorney, even within their fantasy world where everything the OP's brother is doing is fine. Everyone their age should have an LPoA in place, and the OP is the obvious candidate, as the other son is an ex-bankrupt. (You can appoint a discharged bankrupt as attorney but nonetheless it's a good reason not to.)

    The reason creditors aren't knocking on the doors is that the parents are paying the interest.
    Originally posted by Malthusian

    Whilst I can see your point re theLPA it will take time, according to Govt website it cantake up to 10 weeks to get it registered.

    In my humble opinion in this instance time really is money.

    I would estimate, maybe wrong that around a grand a week is leaking/disappearing from the funds.

    That has to be stopped if there is any chance of a rescue.

    There is no reason why the OP's mother can't control it at all.

    The main objective is to get control from where it is, once that is done and working then by all means do an LPA and let whoever feels able to do it ,do it but it is not a simple undertaking especially record keeping, also in the case of OP father a Health and Welfare LPA may also be needed. In both cases of LPA medical certification is also needed as I understand it.

    Clearly we subscribers are powerless other than to suggest and hope we give OP something if only comfort.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 15th Sep 17, 7:09 PM
    • 18,324 Posts
    • 46,911 Thanks
    Pollycat
    Whilst I can see your point re theLPA it will take time, according to Govt website it cantake up to 10 weeks to get it registered.

    In my humble opinion in this instance time really is money.

    I would estimate, maybe wrong that around a grand a week is leaking/disappearing from the funds.

    That has to be stopped if there is any chance of a rescue.

    There is no reason why the OP's mother can't control it at all.

    The main objective is to get control from where it is, once that is done and working then by all means do an LPA and let whoever feels able to do it ,do it but it is not a simple undertaking especially record keeping, also in the case of OP father a Health and Welfare LPA may also be needed. In both cases of LPA medical certification is also needed as I understand it.

    Clearly we subscribers are powerless other than to suggest and hope we give OP something if only comfort.
    Originally posted by Article50
    The Mother can stop it.
    She doesn't seem to want to.
    • Rags2riches
    • By Rags2riches 16th Sep 17, 12:37 AM
    • 42 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Rags2riches
    The Mother can stop it.
    She doesn't seem to want to.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    I agree.

    Its not just bank accounts he has also been known to read through thier emails and can access thier computer freely. He's been known to take away their mobile phones when they need them. My mum has also become very close to his partner who she uses as a means of escape. She asked me to pay for councilling to seek help. She didn't want my brother to see the outgoings, promising she would repay this once she was in control of her accounts.

    Taking back control
    More recently, she maintains their accounts have been made simpler and he 'only' has access to one of her accounts, giving her a belief she is in control. Co-incidentally this is the one pensions are paid into. Despite this my mum made promises to me which I have been waiting for several months to materialise.

    • Taking over control of her accounts.
    • Seeking the help of Step Change
    • Repaying money to me for councilling once she had control of her accounts.


    Ongoing
    This leads me to believe she doesn't have any such control over their accounts and is maintaining the status quo, to protect her relationship with his partner and enabling my brother to continue this activity. In the past she has been concerned and bothered and taken some action.
    Last edited by Rags2riches; 16-09-2017 at 10:04 AM.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 16th Sep 17, 7:31 AM
    • 18,324 Posts
    • 46,911 Thanks
    Pollycat
    Taking back control
    More recently, she maintains their accounts have been made simpler and he 'only' has access to one of her accounts, giving her a belief she is in control. Co-incidentally this is the one pensions are paid into. Despite this my mum made promises to me which I have been waiting for several months to materialise.

    • Taking over control of her accounts.
    • Seeking the help of Step Change
    • Repaying money to me for councilling once she had control of her accounts.


    Ongoing
    This leads me to believe she doesn't have any such control over their accounts and is maintaining the status quo, to protect her relationship with his partner and enabling my brother to continue this activity. In the past she has been concerned and bothered and taken some action.
    Originally posted by Rags2riches
    It leads me to believe she either doesn't want or daren't take back control of their finances.

    i really don't see where you can go with this.

    As one poster put it up thread:
    You have to understand that you can take a horse to water but you cant make it drink.
    Originally posted by Tygermoth
    • ani*fan
    • By ani*fan 16th Sep 17, 8:41 AM
    • 1,498 Posts
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    ani*fan
    Hi there

    I've just read your whole thread and the whole story is bizarre. I have a few things to add to your discussion.

    I got picked for jury duty around 15 years ago. The police man stood in the dock and talked about how he had chased a suspicious looking man, caught him, took his bag of stolen electrical equipment and arrested him for theft. The 'thief' was there in court, looking guilty as hell. The case was thrown out because there was nobody there saying something had been taken from them. No-one. Essentially there had been no crime.

    I am imagining you sitting there with the fraud squad, trying to explain the story as you understand it, and your mother and brother both insisting that there has been no crime here. You are undermining your own credibility as a person. Your behaviour sounds obsessive and a bit mad, even if you do have good reason to be concerned. You need to stop now. That policeman was so determined to get the 'thief' charged, he wasted everyone's time.

    You know all about your parents' finances. Your brother does too. Your brother takes charge of them. Your mum lets him. He reads your mum's emails. Your mum is overly involved with his partner. You are obsessing over the injustice of what you perceive your brother is up to. He doesn't seem to speak to you. Neither does his partner. Your mum is not aware she needs help. I don't know what's happened to your dad in all this. I would suggest your family has problems with boundaries, enmeshment and inappropriate behaviour that go way beyond £150k gone missing, or however much it is. No-one seems to know where they end and the next person begins. Since when did looking at each others' bank accounts become ok? It's not. Everyone has a right to their own space and their business, including you, your parents, your brother and his partner.

    My advice to you is to stop fixating on what your brother and your mum are doing. Focus on your own concerns. Make sure you are financially stable and sound. Show an appropriate amount of concern for your parents but do not get financially involved. If your mum talks to you about it, encourage her to take responsibility for herself. She can say no to your brother. She can get objective financial advice from elsewhere, out of the family. Do not get caught up in the drama. She may go bankrupt, she may not, your brother may have been stoozing for them, he may be robbing them blind, we don't really know. You cannot change what other people do. Just make sure you maintain your relationship with your parents through it all and do not get pulled in.

    Hope it works out for you.
    If you know you have enough, you're rich.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 16th Sep 17, 9:08 AM
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    Mojisola
    I appreciate your advice. I'd be pleased to know where you feel I am not being objective and why?
    Originally posted by Rags2riches
    I didn't say 'become objective'; I said 'stay objective'.

    The situation is likely to become more frustrating if your mother continues to chose your brother and his wife over you when you can see that you are the one with your parents' interests at heart.

    When all the logical arguments have been tried and not worked, it would be easy for things to get emotive and your brother will use that against you.
    • Rags2riches
    • By Rags2riches 16th Sep 17, 9:11 AM
    • 42 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Rags2riches
    I didn't say 'become objective'; I said 'stay objective'.

    The situation is likely to become more frustrating if your mother continues to chose your brother and his wife over you when you can see that you are the one with your parents' interests at heart.

    When all the logical arguments have been tried and not worked, it would be easy for things to get emotive and your brother will use that against you.
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    Thanks this is very useful words of wisdom.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 16th Sep 17, 9:17 AM
    • 28,532 Posts
    • 72,667 Thanks
    Mojisola
    Thanks this is very useful words of wisdom.
    Originally posted by Rags2riches
    I think you're in a terrible situation.

    I honestly don't think your mother is going to let you help her but walking away from the situation will be incredibly painful.

    Make sure you look after yourself - the stress of being in an unresolvable situation can take its toll on you.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 16th Sep 17, 9:55 AM
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    Pollycat
    If (when) this all comes crashing down, would you refuse to help your parents financially?
    Would you be strong enough?

    If you wouldn't help (and I wouldn't in the circumstances you've outlined), I'd be inclined to have that conversation up front.
    • Article50
    • By Article50 16th Sep 17, 9:59 AM
    • 25 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    Article50
    I agree.

    Its not just bank accounts he has also been known to read through thier emails. My mum has also become very close to his partner who she uses as a means of escape. She asked me to pay for councilling to seek help. She didn't want my brother to see the outgoings, promising she would repay this once she was in control of her accounts.

    Taking back control
    More recently, she maintains their accounts have been made simpler and he 'only' has access to one of her accounts, giving her a belief she is in control. Co-incidentally this is the one pensions are paid into. Despite this my mum made promises to me which I have been waiting for several months to materialise.

    • Taking over control of her accounts.
    • Seeking the help of Step Change
    • Repaying money to me for councilling once she had control of her accounts.


    Ongoing
    This leads me to believe she doesn't have any such control over their accounts and is maintaining the status quo, to protect her relationship with his partner and enabling my brother to continue this activity. In the past she has been concerned and bothered and taken some action.
    Originally posted by Rags2riches
    You seem to have edited this from when I read it early this morning with references to "upgrading" computer and mobile phones .

    If those references still apply I would say it is odds on he has put software on these devices to allow him to see messages, texts etc and when the computer is turned on it notifies him so he can see the transactions. It is very easy to insert auto-forward in settings for an email address so he could have all emails to your mother anyway without her knowldege.

    As most people here state it is down to your mother to make a stand..

    Your brother shows the classic traits of an abuser where he employs isolation,dependency and control tactics towards your mother and parents. He would seem to have some massive issues towards them for some reason.

    My guess is his next move will be to stop your access to your mother on the grounds you are a bad influence.

    However there is an option you can take.

    There is a Helpline called Action Fraud.

    If you go to their website there is a section on types of fraud , go to the section named Individual Fraud. The first entry in this section is abuse of a position of trust which fits your situation exactly.

    Clearly to use this is a big step but it is your choice especially with the £55 grand at severe risk.

    I wish you well and good luck.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 16th Sep 17, 10:08 AM
    • 18,324 Posts
    • 46,911 Thanks
    Pollycat
    However there is an option you can take.

    There is a Helpline called Action Fraud.

    If you go to their website there is a section on types of fraud , go to the section named Individual Fraud. The first entry in this section is abuse of a position of trust which fits your situation exactly.

    Clearly to use this is a big step but it is your choice especially with the £55 grand at severe risk.

    I wish you well and good luck.
    Originally posted by Article50
    And what will happen when they investigate?

    Exactly the same as last time the OP involved the police.
    The Mother will back up the brother.

    This situation can only be charged by the OP's Mother.

    This thread is going nowhere (except round in circles).
    • Article50
    • By Article50 16th Sep 17, 11:02 AM
    • 25 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    Article50
    Are you mad ?

    I suspect he already thousands of her money in his funds.

    All your mother has to do is change her password and pin to her main bank account to stop any further erosion and then subsequently plough through all her other accounts and do the same.

    They are her accounts she can do what SHE wants if SHE wants to.

    She can demand all the information he is holding without paying him a penny.

    She had the sense to go to Equifax she can easily do this.
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