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In state of Virginia? This happened once to her and I found out afterwards. A family member knowing she was diagnosed with dementia took her to a dealership and she signed for a new car. She thought the family member was buying it and didn't know what she had done. Needless to say the dealership would not take the car back even after I explained and showed her medical condition. Because to them she seemed OK and their policy in Virginia was that the car could not be returned *24 hr window which we met but still she was stuck with paying the debt so I ended up taking the payments on the car to save her good line of credit. Is there anyway to alert companies that she has dementia to avoid such expensive transactions?

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Neraf2015,

Is Your mom still living in her home? Maybe it is time for a change of residence?
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I would at least put a security freeze on her credit reports so no potential sellers can access it.

Maggie's right that a bad credit rating would be an inhibition to anyone who might otherwise extend credit to her.

Since she does have dementia, check the DPOA to see if it authorizes you to take financial action such as changing her checking account - you could leave a nominal amount in and put the rest in a savings or CD but not tell her, although I even feel uncomfortable suggesting something like that if it weren't for the fact that she's not making good financial decisions.

I think the better alternative would be to open a joint account but fail to give her the account number so she can't write checks against it.

I'm wondering where she's living, and how this relative managed to spirit her away to get her to buy the car. And why are you making payments if the relative tricked her into buying the car, presumably for the relative? If the relative is driving it, I'd stop making payments immediately.

If the relative's not driving the car, who is, and why would the relative do this in the first place since the car wouldn't be providing personal gain or benefit to her?

And notify the lender to which you're making payments on the car that this was elder fraud and that you'll be discontinuing the payments. Then notify your state's elder fraud agency and sic them on the relative.
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Go Maggie!! Good advice
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It would serve you better if mom had a LOUSY line of credit. You made a mistake listening to the car dealership, if that's what you did, that you could do nothing but pay. And another mistake when you assumed the debt, if that is what you did.

You need the advice of an elder law attorney. I can hear you now . . . "Mom can't afford to pay an attorney $300!" Well, ask yourself what this exploitation cost mom.
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I don;t know your Moms situation, but if she has dementia.. do You really care about her credit rating? What else are you going to see her try to buy.. a house?? I agree you are not responsible.. and the dealership is crappy! Sell the car, and use the credit hold! And keep her away from the family member!
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A somewhat sneaky way would be to put a credit hold at the credit bureau so that she could not finance large purchases without a release. And if there is a new car who is driving it since you took over payments? you could always sell it.
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Yes, what CM said. But also, no, no, NO way do you take on those payments unless your name is on the title. You are NOT responsible for your parent ' s debt.
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While dementia does not immediately make one incompetent, neither does having a POA help you protect her if she makes bad decisions if she has not been deemed incompetent by a doctor to conduct her business in a business like manner. Get her to a doctor quickly! Let them know what is going on? I'd see a lawyer too. Which family member was this and what was their reasoning for doing so? How thoughtless!
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