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Bankruptcy in the family

January 23rd, 2007 at 02:12 pm

I visited my parents last week and found out that my brother and his wife declared bankruptcy. I am so devastated by the news. It has been bothering me for days. It is so not like my brother to get into debt. I strongly suspect that his wife is the source of the problem. However, I know I can't completely point the blame all to her, afterall, he "let" it happen even if he was just a bystander.

My parents are equally upset about the matter - especially since they found out about it by reading it in the newspaper! My parents do so much for those two (free babysitting, free meals) so it is really difficult for them to stomach.

What makes it hard for me is that I can't talk to my brother about it. At this point my mother says I am not to mention it to him.

They are now on a payment plan for the next four years to get things turned around. That is good... but I fear the brother's wife has learned nothing from this and will go on spending, spending, spending.

10 Responses to “Bankruptcy in the family”

  1. living_in_oz Says:

    I know you feel bad but, really there's nothing you can doFrown I agree about the spending. I know many people who have filed bankruptcy and the worst thing, they usually go right back to their bad spending habits. Too bad they don't make them take budgeting classes or something when they file??

  2. mbkonef Says:

    My husbands brother and his wife each declared sold their first home with a very small mortgage to get out of debt, racked up more and sold their second for the same reason. They each independently declared personal bankruptcy over a period of 10 years and still did not learn from their experiences. My BIL passed away last year and his wife had already gone thru half of his insurance money "remodeling". She has no other savings, no retirement and is already 50. Worst thing is, you cannot tell her anything. We have just given up but what really hurts is seing her daughter, my DH's 25 yo niece travelling down the exact same path. Sometimes you just have to take yourself away from that part of the situation and just not talk about money with people like that.

  3. Boefixepa Says:

    I second the previous poster. It's hard, but it's like talking to a brick wall, and in the end the relationship suffers. I just don't talk to family about money...they just don't get it and I don't think they ever will. I know they could, but they have no desire to change and until they do it's pointless. I am sorry for your pain and hope you are still able to keep a good relationship with your brother in spite of his troubles.

  4. Carolina Bound Says:

    My sister declared bankruptcy several years ago. She is okay now, because her husband inherited some money, but she has not learned a thing and I am sure she will blow right through this. It really pains me. Worse, she is always criticizing me for being "cheap." She really believes that being a spendthrift is morally superior.

  5. fairy74 Says:

    Actually the new bankruptcy laws address this to some degree, prior to filing bankruptcy the debtor must take a credit counseling/awareness class and present a certificate to the court and prior to get their discharge they must again take a credit counseling/awareness class or they will not be discharged. Also the amount of time between when you can file a bankruptcy has increased. These seem to me to be common sense steps to avoid repeat bankruptcy. I am sorry that you are having to watch your brother go through this, but as he has not come to you directly, I don't think you should say anything....Also even if the wife is the one spending, he is allowing it, so they are equally to blame...hopefully everything gets settled and they get back on their feet and learn a hard financial lesson.

  6. gruntina Says:

    Funny to get a fortune cookie message today and it says "do not contend with those who have nothing to lose"

  7. scfr Says:

    That's tough, and I really feel for your parents.

  8. Broken Arrow Says:

    Wow, can *I* related to being in your brother's position....

    But I swear, now that I am single, I'm never getting involved with a woman who doesn't have at least a little sense of financial responsibility again!

  9. fern Says:

    It's too bad your brother wasn't able to talk to about it; he could have considered other means other than bankruptcy.

  10. Nic Says:

    My cousins declared bankruptcy. What bothered me was their gleeful nature. They didn't care about bills going unpaid. They thought nothing of running up bills,charging this,that and the other thing just to have stuff.
    Better to walk away from people like that and save your sanity.

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