That was Yvonne’s reaction when I asked her what she was going to do about her son. He had stolen her identity and opened up numerous charge cards, racking up $75,000 in debt along the way. Now, Yvonne was being threatened with foreclosure for his transgressions.
As a dispassionate outsider, it seemed obvious that having him arrested was the only course of action, and in so doing, establish that the obligations weren’t legally hers. As a parent, I completely understood. I don’t know where the dividing line is, but I know it would take far more than stealing $75,000 before I could have my daughter arrested.
Yvonne was a recent widow and a retired teacher. She had a modest pension and her home was paid-off. Unfortunately, that was the end of the line for available assets so her only other option was a Reverse Mortgage. One of the remarkable differences between traditional mortgages and Reverse Mortgages is that Reverse Mortgages are not driven by credit score. So that meant that, despite having numerous judgments and credit card accounts in default, she was still eligible for a Reverse Mortgage. For Yvonne, it meant the difference between selling her home to pay of the debts her son had incurred and renting for the remainder of her life or being able to remain at home.
Once we closed, I took a further step and arranged for a CPA to manage her finances. All her mail was redirected to his offices and any advances on the Reverse Mortgage needed to flow through his office. These steps were designed to make it more difficult for Yvonne’s son to wreak havoc in the future or test his mother’s patience further.
Tell me your story. Would you have your son or daughter arrested under these circumstances?
Yours in Reverse,
PS: I know you want to know… Yvonne’s son was a drug addict; he used the money to fuel his habit. As parents, neighbors, coworkers, or friends, I don’t think we ever see it coming - addiction is such a powerful and destructive force. We can’t forgive the behavior but must recognize that its roots are buried deep within all of us.