Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Another wayward relative -- long story
Old 05-30-2019, 04:41 PM   #1
Moderator Emeritus
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Flyover country
Posts: 13,232
Another wayward relative -- long story

I know, the last thing you all need is another weird relative saga, but here goes.

My BIL is a very odd person. He has operated a one-man business for over 40 years, unsuccessfully.

He managed to make a small profit at first, thanks to the oversight of his wife, but after she died (nearly 30 years ago) he lost control. He is a hoarder, and much happier buying inventory than selling it. In fact, today he has probably three times the inventory he had when he was widowed. Most of it is poorly stored and deteriorating. He has two properties: the house he lives in and the nearby store. No savings at all.

We have been bailing him out for decades, by loaning him money to avoid foreclosures on one or the other property (he's very bad about paying his property taxes). He usually paid us back eventually, but there is still a big shortfall that we have written off.

About five years ago we had enough and told him the Bank of Braumeister was closed. We offered to help him by taking some of his inventory and selling it for him (all proceeds going to him) and offered several suggestions for getting his business back on track. His reaction was "I'm an expert in this business, you're not, so I'm not going to even listen to you."

The problem is that he values his inventory at many times what a reasonable person would pay for it.

Eventually, his house went to foreclosure auction and at the last minute he got a high interest loan from a local guy to pay it off, using the store as collateral.

He hasn't been able to keep up payments on that loan, and recently came to us for help again. Since he has no idea how he would be able to repay our help, we offered (once again) to sell some of his inventory for him and we got the same reaction -- absolutely not. As I said, he is a hoarder.

So he contacted us again, through his lawyer, with this message: "When I'm gone, please be sure to keep my inventory safe."

Obviously, emotional blackmail (threatening suicide?) that he has also used in the past. Even his lawyer has had enough of this (I could hear his eyes rolling over the phone as he relayed the message), and none of us believes he is actually capable of it.

Long story, and as this has been going on for decades I see no end to it apart from the obvious resolution that he loses his store and inventory. He leads a very simple life and could certainly survive on just his Social Security, so that's not a problem. But he could so easily do so much better by simply liquidating his inventory for what it will bring. Hard for me to understand his thinking, and I've talked extensively with both his own lawyer and others who know him. None of us is able to empathize.

Sorry for the very long story, but if anyone has a suggestion I'd be glad to hear it.
__________________

__________________
I thought growing old would take longer.
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-30-2019, 05:04 PM   #2
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 885
You can't help those who refuse to help themselves. Walk away.
__________________

gwraigty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2019, 05:08 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 10,775
Why have you made the choice to continue the relationship? Sometimes ya just gotta "let go." Been there, done that.
__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2019, 05:25 PM   #4
Moderator Emeritus
aja8888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 10,265
If it were me, I would stay away from anything going forward. Whatever you could do, won't work for long and then the problem will repeat itself.
__________________
Wear Italian, Kiss French, Drink Russian, Drive German
aja8888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2019, 05:36 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ivinsfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,447
BIL...I'm thinking DW brother or is that wrong...let him and his sister communicate and don't talk about money.. Maybe easier said then done. Let go of your end of the string
ivinsfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2019, 05:41 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,067
I actually don't mind hearing these stories since I've been dealing with mein own. Misery loves company I guess. Most of my current dealings were posted recently on a similar thread.

Since this involves BIL, I'll throw in here that this is one thing that actually turfed my getting married a couple of times. Moochie parents in law. Moochie/needy/sad sack favorite sister/ brother, or grown kids from another marriage. I could see where this was going. Instead of having just one sad sack needy sibling I'd have an additional BIL/SIL/ etc etc on top of it all.
razztazz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2019, 07:50 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Teacher Terry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 4,012
So sad but he can’t be helped.
Teacher Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2019, 08:21 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
RobbieB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Central CA
Posts: 4,312
What is the "inventory" anyway?
__________________
Retired at 59 in 2014. Should have done it sooner but I worried too much.
RobbieB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2019, 08:25 PM   #9
Moderator Emeritus
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 42,534
I agree with all of the prior posts on this thread.

Some people are just impossible to help (or perhaps they make themselves impossible to help, for whatever weird reasons).

When I encounter someone like that, I distance myself from them ASAP for self preservation purposes. I'm not rude or mean, just firm. I just don't deal with that type of BS emergency. I have enough to deal with, without playing those games.
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2019, 08:32 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Chuckanut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: West of the Mississippi
Posts: 9,143
From what you have written he seems to want help but only on his terms.

Like any deal you can turn it down. Or make a counter offer.

Where is written that he gets to dictate the terms of the deal and you have to accept?

Unless he is the Godfather and makes you a deal you can't refuse.
__________________
The worst decisions are usually made in times of anger and impatience.
Chuckanut is offline   Reply With Quote
Have Warren Buffett drop in for a chat with the BIL
Old 05-30-2019, 09:54 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Mdlerth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: The Shire
Posts: 1,196
Have Warren Buffett drop in for a chat with the BIL

It sounds like BIL is not going to listen and therefore destined to fail. You can't live his life for him. I have a relative (also a hoarder) who will not get his act together despite repeated bailouts. Oh, well. He's hit bottom before and he will again.

But if you are game for one more option, consider having somebody else deliver the message about the true value of BIL's "inventory". He isn't going to pay attention to you; perhaps he has some intra-family rivalry playing out in his mind and he's reluctant to be shown up by his homebrewing brother-in-law.

However, if some credible-but-unrelated third party with no connection to you were to tell him his crap is worth half what he thinks it is and he'd be better off just cutting his losses and getting out, there is a very tiny probability that he could be coaxed into a good decision. It's a long-shot, but it's a shot nonetheless.
__________________
Paying it forward is the best investment.
Mdlerth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2019, 10:07 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
bbbamI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas 'burb
Posts: 9,128
I don't know if this will change your BIL, but it might help you and your wife....

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-...rding-disorder
__________________
There's no need to complicate, our time is short..
bbbamI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2019, 10:54 PM   #13
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 812
Sounds like he's shaking you down for money since you've resisted successfully for 5 years. Perhaps he's hoping you'll continue to "enable" just like in the old days.



More importantly, what does DW think?? It's critical that both you and DW stay on the same page, especially with a tough love approach. Hopefully, DW sees what's going on and won't get suckered in.
__________________
Living the dream...
FreeBear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2019, 05:09 AM   #14
Moderator Emeritus
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Flyover country
Posts: 13,232
I guess it's good that I'm not missing anything -- he really is a hopeless case. All the opinions expressed here are very much in sync with our own (and DW is completely in agreement with me as well). Sad, but there it is.

Thanks for the support.
__________________
I thought growing old would take longer.
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2019, 05:40 AM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 496
Is he still your BIL since your sister has passed 30 years ago?

The better question is...why are you still keeping in contact with him? You enabled his poor behavior for a long time. Stop all communication and never take his phone calls.
ponyboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2019, 06:26 AM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 205
^^^^^^ BINGO! We have a Winner! ^^^^^^


Enabling is so simple yet so widely misunderstood.
EarlyBirdly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2019, 06:44 AM   #17
Moderator Emeritus
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Flyover country
Posts: 13,232
To clarify: I'm talking about DW's brother, so he is still my BIL. And the good thing is that after repeatedly turning him down, he now communicates with us only through his lawyer (who is his longtime personal friend). Fortunately, the lawyer is a nice guy and perfectly reasonable. He understands our position and agrees with us, but he has to relay the messages. It's a very weird situation.
__________________
I thought growing old would take longer.
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2019, 06:48 AM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ivinsfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,447
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponyboy View Post
Is he still your BIL since your sister has passed 30 years ago?

The better question is...why are you still keeping in contact with him? You enabled his poor behavior for a long time. Stop all communication and never take his phone calls.
This is what people struggle with, OK he is a family member. He has a mental health problem. Untreated which is his choice but still a problem. Obviously all talk about money needs to stop, but to never take his calls. He's not doing anything harmful to anybody but himself. I suggest the family member closest takes his calls says how are you? Isn't the weather great/terrible and when the subject turns to money say nice talking to you I have to go now. If he continues not contacting you except through his lawyer (how does he pay the guy BTW) so be it.
ivinsfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2019, 07:12 AM   #19
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Silverton
Posts: 19
Since your BIL only communicates with you through his lawyer/friend you don’t really have a relationship. He appears to be trying to exploit you & your wife. He seems to be unwilling or unable to change & will accept assistance only on his terms. Hoarding is a form of mental illness. The request for you to keep his “inventory “ safe looks like an attempt to manipulate you. Don’t fall for it. He’s unlikely to change & any assistance just delays an inevitable result that he alone is responsible.
TriumphTR3fan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2019, 07:18 AM   #20
Administrator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: lumpen slums of cyberspace
Posts: 29,843
Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
To clarify: I'm talking about DW's brother, so he is still my BIL. And the good thing is that after repeatedly turning him down, he now communicates with us only through his lawyer (who is his longtime personal friend). Fortunately, the lawyer is a nice guy and perfectly reasonable. He understands our position and agrees with us, but he has to relay the messages. It's a very weird situation.
Yes, he is still your BIl. You are not alone in this, and the efforts you have made to help him are admirable. In situations with many common characteristics, after many years of fruitless effort (and time and money) we have chosen to make sure our relatives do not suffer from lack of food or shelter, but nothing else. Some people are just not wired correctly, and there is very little we can do to help them.
__________________

MichaelB is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How to get spyware off relative's computer (long distance tech support)? soupcxan Other topics 10 11-12-2010 12:13 AM
HELP- Financially incompetent 50 year old relative in massive IRS trouble A854321 FIRE and Money 41 09-27-2007 02:59 PM
Thoughts on Relative that's bad with money JDARNELL FIRE and Money 29 12-31-2006 12:07 PM
It's all relative John Galt Life after FIRE 19 02-17-2005 01:20 PM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:45 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.