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“I won’t have my son arrested!”

Mortgage and Lending with Right Trac Financial Group, Inc NMLS 2709 NMLS 49595

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.

Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root


That would be a very tough decision.  Letting a son get away with illegal activity, even if it was caused by an addiction, wouldn't force him to take control of his life.  But having him arrested and put in the "system" would be something no parent would want to do. 

I think I would seriously consider arrest, assuming of course that he had already refused/been unsuccessful at drug counseling/treatment which seems to be the real issue. Sometimes it takes a real crisis for people to take control of their futures.

Oct 19, 2014 11:15 PM
Rob D. Shepherd
RETIRED - Florence, OR

YES I would. Anything else makes you an Enabler and NO chance for improvement.

Oct 19, 2014 11:21 PM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Kit. I can't even imagone. What a scary story. What happened to the son?

Oct 19, 2014 11:28 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Kit Crowne it would break my heart, but YES, I would have him arrested and the court would send him to rehab not prison....they only imprison dealers....that would be his only hope to live....death will eventually become a reality sometime in the future.... one drug leads to another and then there's heroin when the user can't afford anything else....it's cheap... one dose and you're physiologically hooked....let's all pray that he gets arrested soon....

Oct 20, 2014 12:17 AM
Kit Crowne
Right Trac Financial Group, Inc NMLS 2709 - Manchester, CT
Delivering Dreams, One Mortgage At A Time

Kat, ROb, Sheila, and Barbara - It is the conundrum, isn't it? As you point out, Kat, once you are in the "system," it's virtually impossible to escape. The rate of recidivism for those going thru our prison systems and/or rehab is appaling. And yet, we become enablers if we don't confront the problem.


I don't know what happened to the son. My client was reclusive when we worked together and withdrew completely afterwards. My guess is that her son's demons still haunt him. I can only hope that Yvonne isn't funding the behavior.


Thank you all for your thoughtful comments!

Oct 20, 2014 12:35 AM
Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Kit: it appears Yvonne is completely responsible for what her son pulled on her. Too lax and not tough enough to instill strong moral fiber in who will eventually be housed by taxpayers in a correctional institution. She definitely needs to press charges. Tough love goes a long way.

Oct 20, 2014 12:57 AM
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Never an easy decision, not matter the dollar amount. We are fortunate that we never had to deal with this kind of situation. It is sad that when it comes to money/greed, folks do some very foolish things.

I feel bad for Yvonne, no parent should have to deal with this kind of situation.

Oct 20, 2014 02:33 AM