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Lending money to Gamblers
Old 08-06-2017, 11:24 AM   #1
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Lending money to Gamblers

Question: Should I lend several thousand dollars go a 60 year old sibling?

I got a call from this sibling indicating the need for a few grand because of gambling debts. I have delayed responding, but I gotta say something. I googled and found a gamblers anonymous forum which says "Never do it". Gambling is an addiction like drinking and lending money is enabling. My inclination is to refuse. DW and I have "LBYMed" all of our marriage and see no need to use thousands of dollars for my siblings self-inflicted problem. Are we selfish?

One more thing. On that forum someone addicted was suicidal. This scares the hell out of me. I don't think my sibling is in that frame of mind, but who knows. I don't want to feel remorse the rest if my life.

This is a tough decision i will have to make. It is my responsibility as DW wants me to make the call. Any inputs will be helpful.
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Old 08-06-2017, 11:30 AM   #2
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I wouldn't do it. It's like giving money to a drug addict. Same outcome.
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Old 08-06-2017, 11:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
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Question: Should I lend several thousand dollars go a 60 year old sibling?

I got a call from this sibling indicating the need for a few grand because of gambling debts. I have delayed responding, but I gotta say something. I googled and found a gamblers anonymous forum which says "Never do it". Gambling is an addiction like drinking and lending money is enabling. My inclination is to refuse. DW and I have "LBYMed" all of our marriage and see no need to use thousands of dollars for my siblings self-inflicted problem. Are we selfish?

One more thing. On that forum someone addicted was suicidal. This scares the hell out of me. I don't think my sibling is in that frame of mind, but who knows. I don't want to feel remorse the rest if my life.

This is a tough decision i will have to make. It is my responsibility as DW wants me to make the call. Any inputs will be helpful.
I posted on this just 2 days ago, This is why I have an emergency fund in cash in the house. Ive seen bad things happen to people that owe money to the wrong people. They wont wait for Mondays wire transfer to clear. If he is paying off the loan shark/bookie do it. If he is just placing more bets dont do it. All the bookies I know and loan sharks Ive encountered once they get paid from a dead beat they dont ever extend credit to them again. He will need to find a new one, haha
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Old 08-06-2017, 11:34 AM   #4
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Tough love is sometimes called for. It's called tough because it's not only seen as tough by the beggar but is actually even tougher on the one who refuses.

I have a BIL who has used an obliquely phrased, subtle comment that implied a suicidal impulse on many occasions. It's apparently not an uncommon technique. But I've never detected anything that led me to think he was capable of it so I discounted it.

This has been going on with the BIL for decades so I no longer even consider it. Last time we refused him he found a new sucker income source within a couple of weeks.

You know your sibling best; what do you think you should do? Enable him or actually help him? Providing help finding sources of real help like GA could be very useful. Giving him money, not so much.
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Old 08-06-2017, 11:37 AM   #5
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My inclination is to refuse. DW and I have "LBYMed" all of our marriage and see no need to use thousands of dollars for my siblings self-inflicted problem. Are we selfish?
No. I wouldn't do it either. I (and, I later found out, did several other family members) got a phone call from a relative with a history of poor financial decisions asking for a "loan" for a bankruptcy attorney retainer.

I had no difficulty in saying "no".

She had the same 24 hours a day that we did and I didn't see any future in reducing our options and opportunities to bail her out of the readily foreseeable consequences of repeated poor choices.
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Old 08-06-2017, 11:52 AM   #6
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I seem to be in the minority on this one, so Ill post a few more thoughts/and insights on the matter. As far as bodily harm goes, they usually only slap you around after you missed a few payments. No broken arms or legs at this point. Pain , but after a few days it was subside. If they managed to "catch" you at the house or apt, they will in addition to inflicting pain, they will break up some furniture and definitely break glass objects. This is for missed payments , not showing up to make an installment. If he is making payments but they are short, its usually OK. Just the usual threats. Now if your brother makes the error of telling them he is going to stiff them or go to the cops/FBI. This is when the stakes get raised. If he shoots off his mouth and word gets back from the street that he "aint paying", Then you should start getting your black suit ready.
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:00 PM   #7
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I personally wouldn't do it. But I can see the conflict the request causes.

As mentioned - gambling is an addiction, comparable to drug addiction. I have an extended family member who has issues... MIL gave DH some "emergency" money to dole out to this family member if needed... and we've had to go through major hoops to make sure the emergency is a) legit and b) the money goes towards that purpose. Latest example was family member wanted to move and needed first/last/deposit. This is a legitimate use of the money... Money was issued but the move never happened... Turned out family member had a great time partying with the money. Fast forward a few months - same story - wants to move... This time DH reaches out to new landlord and pays him directly for first/last/deposit... And contacted prior landlord to find out if any deposit would be returned. (Turns out no - too much damage).

If you decide to help your sibling... consider making the payment directly to the party owed... so your sibling can't try to double down to make up the money.
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:01 PM   #8
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I didn't do it when faced with a family fund raiser on behalf of the gambler's family because the gambler makes good money and recently bought a house in an expensive neighborhood.
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:09 PM   #9
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I would not do it....

And if he did get commit suicide that is on him.... I would feel sorry for him, but I would not put that decision in my lap...


BCG, why do you think it is with some bookie that is going to do harm No indication of who is owed and what might happen... and even if they do what you say, it is still on him.... he made the decision to borrow and need to live with the outcome....
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:11 PM   #10
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If you're going to do it, there is no "lending", you'll never see it again. So if you can afford to make it a gift, do so, but be clear about it.

IE. - this is a gift, no payback, we never discuss this again. This is a one-time only, there is no well here to come back to. I wish you all the best, and please never ever ask me again.
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:16 PM   #11
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I always take the advice of Polonius, in Shakespeare's Hamlet:

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be; / For loan oft loses both itself and friend.”

Or maybe (more likely) I'm just basically cheap and stingy. But anyway, I never, ever loan anything to anybody.

If I can regard it as gift, that might or might not be gifted back to me at some later date, either of which is OK, then I'll do it. Otherwise not.

BTW I wouldn't let threats of suicide coerce me into loaning money. I'd be a good friend in other ways, and if I felt it would help, I would refer the person to a counselor or suicide hotline.
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Blue Collar Guy View Post
I seem to be in the minority on this one, so Ill post a few more thoughts/and insights on the matter. As far as bodily harm goes, they usually only slap you around after you missed a few payments. No broken arms or legs at this point. Pain , but after a few days it was subside. If they managed to "catch" you at the house or apt, they will in addition to inflicting pain, they will break up some furniture and definitely break glass objects. This is for missed payments , not showing up to make an installment. If he is making payments but they are short, its usually OK. Just the usual threats. Now if your brother makes the error of telling them he is going to stiff them or go to the cops/FBI. This is when the stakes get raised. If he shoots off his mouth and word gets back from the street that he "aint paying", Then you should start getting your black suit ready.
There is a lot of wisdom in this attitude. BCG understands the on the ground reality. I grew up in a community where big time gambling was actually the main industry, prior to the Kefauver commission hearings and a lot of reforms. People did sometimes wind up dead, and I think brother may appreciate a reprieve. If it continues, then you can cut him off. But for a few thousand? I'd give it to him.

Your brother may eventually wind up in a ditch, but at least not right now.

Ha
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:21 PM   #13
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If you decide to help your sibling... consider making the payment directly to the party owed... so your sibling can't try to double down to make up the money.
This is the only condition under which I would ever help with money.

Some people simply can't be trusted with it.
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:23 PM   #14
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You can't save an addict by giving them more.
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:31 PM   #15
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Probably not because to do so would be enabling that person and their addiction.

If I were to do it I would want collateral and also want to pay the creditor directly so the money doesn't get just gambled away again. I would do so fully expecting to ultimately have to keep the collateral.

I am thankful that my and DW's siblings are all doing well and that we have no situations like this because even though I know intellectually that the right answer is to say no, it would be emotionally difficult for me to do it
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:34 PM   #16
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... I googled and found a gamblers anonymous forum which says "Never do it". Gambling is an addiction like drinking and lending money is enabling. My inclination is to refuse. ....
What part of "NEVER" are you debating? It shouldn't be an 'inclination' to refuse, it should be a flat out refusal.

As far as the dark thoughts go - if Gambler's Anonymous says that lending money is enabling, then it seems lending money just enables him to go deeper in debt, worse problems, and closer to dark thoughts.

Tell him you'll pay for addiction treatment, nothing else.

edit/add - I saw the other posts about "Bruno" and bodily harm. There was no indication in the OP that these debts were to mobster types, or that the brother was in imminent danger. Sure, a payment to keep save his knee caps is different, if it's that deep. But you still need to get him treatment, just giving him money will make it worse, I would think that Gambler's Anonymous knows what they are talking about.

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Old 08-06-2017, 12:41 PM   #17
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I seem to be in the minority on this one, so Ill post a few more thoughts/and insights on the matter. As far as bodily harm goes, ...
IMHO, you're too soft hearted. What happens the next time? Or the time after that? These things don't just resolve themselves when the unlucky person gets bailed out by a friend or relative.
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:41 PM   #18
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I wonder how this ever turned out?

My reason for urgently needing a HELOC

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Old 08-06-2017, 12:47 PM   #19
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You can't save an addict by giving them more.
+1

I have a nephew who's a drug addict. You're not helping anyone by lending or gifting money, that's called enabling! In many cases this keeps the addict away from the bottom smacking them upside the head! They need to hit bottom, that's when recovery can start! Recovery Never starts before that person hits their bottom(probably the most important things to know about addiction)! Some die before they find their bottom! It's the addict's bottom not yours.

As far as people who become suicidal, they could be manipulating or serious. Manipulation is to be ignored, serious threats sent to the proper authorities.

My brother took his life many years ago. I've felt guilt about that for many years. The last time my dear sister and I talked about it and her statement is still with me. "Your must think your pretty powerful to cause our brother to take his own life?"!
There wasn't anything I could have done to change that situation, doesn't make me responsible. Yes I do feel bad about his actions. But it was his free will, nothing I have power over.
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:52 PM   #20
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I say NO.

If you say yes, my hunch is the gambler will hit you up for more next time the sibling has a run of "bad luck" .

Plus, if the gambler has a run of good luck and wins, you may first in line to pay back according to the sibling.

Many gamblers are too busy gambling to remember who helped them out.
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