mosleyd25 Asked June 2010

My mother is a compulsive debtor and won't stop spending money until she runs out. Now she is trying to get me to pay her bills. How should I handle this?

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mosleyd25 Jun 2010
Thank you all for your responses. I absolutely have no intentions of paying her bills. She has made a life time of living like this. Of course I would pay for absolute necessities, but most of her spending is compulsive and wasteful. My current situation is even more compounded by the fact that her current husband and her are separated and she is now living with me. My brother would take her in but he is going on assignment overseas for a year in August. She definately does not make enough to live on her own. I really need to get her help but she is resistant to this. It's hard to talk to my brother as he thinks my Mom can do no wrong, however he does say it was wrong of her to go into the excessive debt she is in now. I'm considering bringing up the subject with his wife, but just can't make up my mind if this would be the right move.
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How old is your mother and does she have health issues? Perhaps you should have POA and require your mother to pay for everything in cash based on a budget you create. If your mother cannot pay her bills and must declare bankruptcy, the civil court judge may assist you with obtaining a POA. Also, there are government programs to help your mother pay debts using a lower interest rate. I hope things go well for you and hope you will not pay her bills unless there are extreme needs.
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Can you take away her credit cards? her checkbook? Do you have POA? I agree with Austin, don't bail her out. Tell her she needs to get a grip. Help her with a budget if possible. If you can't legally do anything with her cards or checkbook, you'll have to tell her she's on her own and to call you when she's ready to get some help, either from you or a counselor.
My mom was spending more than she brought in, I told her to curtail it or she'd wind up with no money, all of this while I was paying her bills to keep her afloat. She became infuriated and accused me of stealing her money. She eventually disowned me. If I had it all to do over, I'd have let her sink.
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195Austin Jun 2010
How about saying no -my husband was a spendaholic and it never gets better-do not pay her bills if she is using credit cards let her suffer when it is time to pay up and do not give her any money-you are not responsible for her debts.
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