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Old 05-10-2010, 10:04 AM   #261
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Fuego, you have my sympathies. I think you did all you could so far and have done right by your DW's family (including SIL). They are lucky to have you on board.

You may want to suggest to SIL's husband that he chat with a lawyer. I suspect things could get ugly with SIL and making a separation of her mess from his finances may be very important.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:06 AM   #262
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Fuego,

I'm so sorry that you have to endure this.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:10 AM   #263
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:16 AM   #264
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Apparently while SIL was out at the gambling party Sunday night, all her fellow gamblers were encouraging her to continue gambling and applying the peer pressure pretty thick. Even though she had just lost many thousands of dollars, her fellow gamblers kept telling her "oh that is nothing. We all can lose $10,000-$20,000 and it is nothing. Don't let it bother you." Wow again.
Why is this surprising? She is the goose, they have to keep her laying until she is tapped out. You know, it is likely that she is being cheated by some group of these players. Even if she is a very mediocre player, losing consistently raises red flags.

Ha
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:21 AM   #265
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You may want to suggest to SIL's husband that he chat with a lawyer. I suspect things could get ugly with SIL and making a separation of her mess from his finances may be very important.
I have mentioned to SIL's husband that if/when he decides to make a split, he will have to get "outside counsel". I am his attorney in a small business-related lawsuit right now, but I made it clear that I would not be able to represent him in family law matters.

He's still trying to stick with SIL right now, and I don't want to push him into a divorce prematurely. I have just given him some friendly advice on what to focus on financially, since keeping his house is very important to him.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:26 AM   #266
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Fuego,

Sorry things took a turn for the worse; was hoping for update was going to be announcing a better outcome. What a crappy Mothers Day for MIL and SIL's kids...

Glad you held the line on the $10,300 "loan" to SIL; you would be out the whole amount, with the kneecappers eying you for the now-escalating balance. Let's hope MIL holds the line on the other half of her life savings; maybe she should give it to you to hold for her protection? Sounds like SIL would take it without blinking an eye...


At this point the best short-term course of action might be to go to Costco and buy a bale of toilet paper, along with soap, shampoo, paper towels, toothpaste etc...- take it over to their house so you know the kids are going to be presentable every day. And let them know if they are hungry to come over to your place at any time, no questions asked.

One nagging thought-If they are out of toilet paper, it sounds like DH has already checked out, mentally if not physically.

Stand firm; it sounds like you are the steadying influence in this mess. As things continue to deteriorate, your nieces and nephews are going to be looking for something stable to gravitate to; and you and DW are probably their safest bet.

All the best,
WS
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:28 AM   #267
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Thanks, I'll mention this to SIL's husband and offer to go with him to the first meeting. There is a local meeting near us. I take it this is a support group for family of the problem gambler?
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:31 AM   #268
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Why is this surprising? She is the goose, they have to keep her laying until she is tapped out. You know, it is likely that she is being cheated by some group of these players. Even if she is a very mediocre player, losing consistently raises red flags.
We have told her in many un-nice ways that she is a sucker, she is a chump. She keeps giving away her money and is being played. I assume her fellow players are cheating too - easy way to make money from suckers. She has been told many times that they just want her to keep playing and keep losing (because they win!). And she has been told that these people cheat. She has seen it first hand, when she hosts games at her house. Cards will go missing from the deck. Cards are bent or marked or folded to indicate what they are. They switch decks very often because of the cheating.

Yet they keep playing with their "friends" and family, even though some of them cheat. Makes no sense to me...
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:41 AM   #269
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Fuego,

Sorry things took a turn for the worse; was hoping for update was going to be announcing a better outcome. What a crappy Mothers Day for MIL and SIL's kids...

Glad you held the line on the $10,300 "loan" to SIL; you would be out the whole amount, with the kneecappers eying you for the now-escalating balance. Let's hope MIL holds the line on the other half of her life savings; maybe she should give it to you to hold for her protection? Sounds like SIL would take it without blinking an eye...
We already hold the MIL's money just because of situations like this (and it is safer in a bank than in MIL's secret hiding spot(s) in cash). Thank goodness, because my DW has said "we are not giving away any more of mom's money". DW will talk sense into her mom if her mom wants to give more money. I doubt it will happen at this point. The trust has been broken.


Quote:
At this point the best short-term course of action might be to go to Costco and buy a bale of toilet paper, along with soap, shampoo, paper towels, toothpaste etc...- take it over to their house so you know the kids are going to be presentable every day. And let them know if they are hungry to come over to your place at any time, no questions asked.

One nagging thought-If they are out of toilet paper, it sounds like DH has already checked out, mentally if not physically.

Stand firm; it sounds like you are the steadying influence in this mess. As things continue to deteriorate, your nieces and nephews are going to be looking for something stable to gravitate to; and you and DW are probably their safest bet.
I think it is just a few items here and there that they run out of. It was trash bags 2 weeks ago, then toilet paper this last time. They "borrowed" 4-5 rolls from MIL's house I think. We will help out a little here and there as needed to make sure they are well fed and clean.

We are the de facto steadying influence in all this mess now. SIL's husband talks to us a lot more now, mainly because he just needs someone to talk to and get this all off his chest. My DW will do her part with her parents to make sure they don't buckle to any guilt trips. SIL's husband has been adamantly opposed to giving SIL any money all along, and he is holding up amazingly well in his ability to say "NO".

I think the best way out of this mess will be some form of bankruptcy or negotiated debt settlement for legit creditors, and complete or close to complete default as to the gambling debtors.

By the way, thanks for the kind words and helpful suggestions folks. I have come to grips with my feelings on the situation, I just feel sorry that DW is losing a sister, MIL is losing a daughter, the husband is losing a wife, and their kids are losing a mother. Time will tell.
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:25 AM   #270
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I am amazed the table players would allow a player in such debt back at the table. Common sense would say the $$ is not real until it's paid. I have to believe that once they see she can not - or will not - pay they will not permit her to play. Then things get REAL interesting.

Perhaps the best "invervention" would be to announce to the table that SIL is "broke" and "cut-off" from family funds.

Or are there too many other tables?
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:16 PM   #271
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I am amazed the table players would allow a player in such debt back at the table. Common sense would say the $$ is not real until it's paid. I have to believe that once they see she can not - or will not - pay they will not permit her to play. Then things get REAL interesting.

Perhaps the best "invervention" would be to announce to the table that SIL is "broke" and "cut-off" from family funds.

Or are there too many other tables?
I think the debt is divvied up among enough people in small enough amounts that they aren't worried about non-repayment of the debt at this point. And SIL has recently repaid $12000 of debt to one person, thereby creating a mirage of solvency and ability to get large quantities of money quickly.

That may be one approach we can take. We plan to have someone from the family (maybe her father) go in and pull her out of the gambling action at parties. It may come down to a fight (mostly verbal) at some point. Maybe we can add "oh by the way, she is broke and I wouldn't lend her any money". I will tell DW to encourage her parents to spread the word that SIL is broke among the distant family and "friends". The other gamblers aren't the most sophisticated people financially though (think your typical subprime borrower). Eventually the people she is borrowing money from will not receive their 10% vig each month, and word will get out.

Everyone knows everyone, so once the bad rep was established I think that would be the end of it for this particular type of gambling. I think part of the motivation for SIL is to beat these particular sets of people at a particular card game.

In a way it feels like a great weight is lifted since I am done wondering about "is she done with the gambling".
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:48 PM   #272
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Thanks, I'll mention this to SIL's husband and offer to go with him to the first meeting. There is a local meeting near us. I take it this is a support group for family of the problem gambler?
Yep. Even if she's not ready, they're more than ready.

You have another consideration, and I'm really not sure how to handle it. Not to be overly grim, but I've been badly shocked three times in my life by shipmates committing suicide over problems which really weren't "that bad". As your SIL approaches rock bottom, with apparently every hand turned against her and even her family condemning her, she may find this option worth considering.
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:21 PM   #273
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You have another consideration, and I'm really not sure how to handle it. Not to be overly grim, but I've been badly shocked three times in my life by shipmates committing suicide over problems which really weren't "that bad". As your SIL approaches rock bottom, with apparently every hand turned against her and even her family condemning her, she may find this option worth considering.
Unfortunately that is a possibility. Nothing would lead me to believe that it is any more likely in this case than a general case of hitting rock bottom due to an addiction though. She isn't clinically depressed as best I can tell. But the possibility of suicide is worrying. On the positive side, all of her family are right here in the same part of town, and she is still welcome at our houses.

I don't know how it will be going forward, but it was a fairly normal birthday party on Sunday BEFORE anyone found out about the continued gambling. It will definitely be more awkward in the future though. So far she continues to act as if life is completely normal and nothing is wrong, even as things are crumbling around her. Maybe the calm facade has been there all along, and her life has never been normal or stable?
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:51 PM   #274
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Sad situation all around for everyone involved. HOwever, until she admits she has a problem nothing will change.
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:36 PM   #275
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I just heard that SIL went to her mother's house and took her $2000-3000 worth of gold jewelry back. My understanding was that her mother was going to hold onto this gold until the loan was repaid. And hold onto the gold so she wouldn't liquidate it. Guess that wasn't the case, since SIL apparently received the gold peacefully and didn't have to sneak in and steal it or anything. I guess that will go to repay the $2000-4000 she lost this weekend. Swirling the drain...
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:54 PM   #276
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I just heard that SIL went to her mother's house and took her $2000-3000 worth of gold jewelry back. My understanding was that her mother was going to hold onto this gold until the loan was repaid. And hold onto the gold so she wouldn't liquidate it. Guess that wasn't the case, since SIL apparently received the gold peacefully and didn't have to sneak in and steal it or anything. I guess that will go to repay the $2000-4000 she lost this weekend. Swirling the drain...
I almost asked if your mother-in-law had moved to liquidate the collateral.

Your Sil has it pretty bad. With her family cutting off the money supply she is going to have to face her addiction, or she is going to continue to let it rule her life. What everyone should be concerned about now is what will she do if she can't stop. How will she come up with the money to feed her addiction?
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:13 PM   #277
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First I am sorry your family is caught up in this very difficult situation. Including sorry for SIL as addictions can be very difficult things.

Are you in a community property state? I wonder because simply having SIL's husband keep his paycheck and any other money separately may not be enough to keep it from gambling creditors. You might need to know more about how this works in your state.

If there is an unsavory element involved, and all the talk about cheating is making me concerned that there might be, also makes me very concerned about extra-legal efforts to collect. I'm sorry I have nothing helpful, but perhaps some of the former law enforcement people can suggest how to protect yourself and the rest of the family if there really is a danger.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:25 PM   #278
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Are you in a community property state? I wonder because simply having SIL's husband keep his paycheck and any other money separately may not be enough to keep it from gambling creditors. You might need to know more about how this works in your state.
We are not in a community property state. Spouses can incur debts in their name solely and the creditor has no recourse against the other spouse. The gambling debt is most likely not legally enforceable since gambling is technically illegal in our state. Contracts where the underlying subject matter is illegal are unenforceable at law. That doesn't preclude extra-legal enforcement.

I told Husband to separate his money just so SIL wouldn't spend it all.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:52 PM   #279
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I have told earlier about my gambling uncle. Never admitted any guilt, any wrongdoing. He would gamble away his car, his house, take what he could put his hands on to the pawn shop. No one was surprised when his wife left him; this poor woman had suffered him for more than 3 decades. He was a good BS'er. No one who met him would think he was capable of the things he did. Suicidal? He would be the last one on earth to do that, being utmostly selfish and having a guilt-free conscience.
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:41 AM   #280
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(snip)The gambling debt is most likely not legally enforceable since gambling is technically illegal in our state. Contracts where the underlying subject matter is illegal are unenforceable at law. That doesn't preclude extra-legal enforcement.(snip)
Fuego, I can't imagine how difficult this must be for you.
I've been wondering, since there appears to be illegal activity involved, have you thought of filing charges against the other gamblers for fraud, usury/loan sharking (surely 10% a month must be over the usury limit) or whatever may be applicable? Might the possibility of public shaming and a criminal record encourage them to leave your SIL alone, or do you think doing so would be likely to backfire in some way or endanger other family members?
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