Family in Debt
You finally made it to retirement. Perhaps you do not have the amount of the pension income that you had hoped for, but you are comfortable and relatively debt free, or at least managing to make all your monthly payments without getting “past due” notices or collection agencies calling.
Then it happens. A phone call comes from a son, daughter, grandchild, niece, nephew, etc. explaining their dire financial situation. It could be the result of a marriage breakdown, layoff at work, loss of the overtime at work or they were arrested for “something” – it really does not matter “why”. What does matter is they are asking for your help by loaning them money. Deep down you know the chances of them repaying the loan are very slim (if at all). At the same time, you want to help – but should you? Sometimes the caller will say that they were robbed of all their money while they were on vacation and need help to get home. The first thing to consider – Do you know the person who is phoning you? Do you really have this person in your family? A warning sign is if you are asked to send money to a foreign country or a bank account that you are not familiar with. Verify with someone else in your family that this person is who they say they are.
Before you say yes, take a few minutes to look at your own situation. If you loan the money being asked and the loan is not repaid, will there be any effect on your own financial situation. Is this a one time request? Is the problem more long term which may result in another request for money in a few weeks? Ask who else they are requesting help from. It is a very good idea to have a family meeting to discuss how the family going to help. This has three very good advantages. First, the reason for the need for the money is verified. Second, if the loan is given, it can come from several people which will spread the risk. Third, if the loan is not given, it is the family saying no, not you.
It is very hard to say no to someone in trouble, especially if it is someone in your own family. Please make sure that you do not hurt yourself by being nice. If you cannot afford to say yes – it is ok to say no. Your family will love you regardless of your answer.
Contact Rumanek & Company Ltd. for more information on bankruptcy and debt solutions. Or please fill out the free bankruptcy evaluation form. To learn more please visit our YouTube Channel. Rumanek & Company have been helping individuals and families overcome debt for more than 25 years.