Desperate for advice

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chimeer said:   soundtechie said:   Please remember that Student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. They are there until they are paid, even if he files bankruptcy.

I had always heard this as well but I was reading an article in the WSJyesterday that was focused around some students successfully getting out of student loans through bankruptcy. The bar was relatively high but it is possible.




Your article requires subscription. In general, Student loans are only dischargeable in bankruptcy if you can get the judge to allow it, this sometimes happens during a second bankruptcy. I suppose I should have said they are not dischargeable in bankruptcy most of the time, but that dilutes the point of my post, which is that the OP needs to deal with the fact that those student loans aren't going away.

My parents could have supported me when I finished school, but I couldn't wait to *not* have to depend on them and be independent. Never really understood any other attitude. I would have worked in a fast food joint and shared an apartment with 10 roommates if I had to.

powellm said:   raiser14 said:   Be all that you can be...

Pretty much that I'd say. Give him a time table to get and keep a job or tell him he's going to have to be homeless or join the military.

I'd definitely sell the car to pay off as much of the loan as possible. Plenty of people in this world get by with no car. It's not a luxury someone that cannot keep a minimum wage job in America deserves.

Also if you catch him stealing from you make sure to call the police and press charges. You will not be doing him any favors if you let him off the hook for stealing cash out of your wallet so he can go out with his friends - because he's just going to end up stealing more in the future from someone that isn't going to let him off the hook. I'd say there is a chance you are going to be faced with the reality of that situation if he doesn't manage to get a job.

Being very harsh is the only way your son is going to start connecting his actions to the consequences they have in life. You cannot be afraid of being the bad guy and having your son "hate" you. It's something most parents have to go through and it's better to get it over as a teenager but better late than living at your house until you die.


Might work but the military is getting pickier. They turned down my nephew for minor scrape with the law AND debt.

mojoshtudd said:   ZenNUTS said:   23 is not your problem anymore.
I disagree and might be in the minority... A bit of guidance and good decision-making now will save many people a lot of financial and emotional headache...


I agree with your statement except for the disagreeing part .

Good guidance and good decision-making are absolutely assets in helping your child out of this situation regardless of where either of those two things come from. I think the "danger zone" falls in-between guidance and protection and this is the very difficult line to ride yet is most influential.

If you cross into the fallback zone to the point that your child realizes that you'll catch them when they fall, then they don't know what it is to fall. Then they never get to hit bottom where they are forced to figure out for themselves what they need to do to find resolution without help. I was once told that "fear of failure is one of the best motivators" and I've come to believe that it is so true... but without consequences, what is there to fear?

For example: I understand that you've cosigned for at least this one loan, but are you paying it *and* explicitly/implicitly writing off that debt for your child or will they pay it back? Is there any question in your his/her mind as to whether or not they're paying back this loan you've cosigned for? ...or are you avoiding making that point to protect him/her because they already have enough to worry about? If there is any doubt in your son/daughter's mind that they will one day pay you back what you've put into this loan, then don't you think that if they think about this notion, that they'll feel bad about that? If they resign to the notion of letting you take care of it, then *that* is enabling them because they have a way out that makes them ultimately feel like more of a failure deep-down, but at the same time allowing them not to have to face that feeling.

I'm not saying to rub this in his/her face but it should be clearly established that this loan will be repayed. And don't say "when they're in a better place"... let them make their own determination on how/when it will be repayed, but make them come up with a plan so that they have a goal they need to live up to. *Guide* them if you fear that the goal they set is not realistic or if you doubt any insincerity/ingenuity in how they plan to deliver on that goal.

We're all human and if there's a way out, we're going to take it in most cases as long as we don't compromise our own concept of dignity. But dignity is established through achievement. Once you've achieved something (by your own measurement) you establish this sense of dignity and it sticks with you. Once you have a concept of dignity as it applies to you and a set of experiences, it's human nature to want to preserve that dignity. But it has to first be established for it to drive you.

So how does tough-love play into building this sense of dignity so that hopefully it can build momentum? I think that rock-bottom has to be found as mostly a solo journey. Once rock-bottom is hit, then helping that someone "get back up on their feet" can be very helpful, but *must* be minimal! Like helping with advice, or putting in a good word to the extent that the recommendation is true! Or like someone else stated, create some chores around the house so that he/she can earn a little starter cash while they're looking for more sustainable income, but define limits to these things before even offering them. Those limits have to be well communicated and enforced. Idle threats are as dangerous as hand-outs.

This is long-winded, but hoping it sparks some further communication from others that might also be helpful.

Best of luck.

>> I think that rock-bottom has to be found as mostly a solo journey.

I agree.

At one point, my TV was $20, 5" black and white portable version. You can imagine how close you had to sit.

At one point, my bed was a tall air matress, that liked to leak in the middle of the night. Blowing it up to get back to sleep at 2am was never fun.

At one point, I crawled up the stairs of my apt (2nd floor) for days because I couldn't walk up them with a broken toe and no insurance.

I've lived on $40 for two weeks. Knowing math truly helps.

I'd say its time for a little hardball, and am kinda liking the tent/ramen idea. Dont let him burn down the back yard, though.

mojoshtudd said:   ZenNUTS said:   23 is not your problem anymore.
I disagree and might be in the minority. This is still his son and the amounts involved are not unmanageable. A bit of guidance and good decision-making now will save many people a lot of financial and emotional headache later on.


I must agree. Family is your responsibility, and it's good to treat them well.

My immediate family will always have:
1) A place to sleep (even if it's on an air mattress in the corner of my small apartment. They are not aloud to bring drugs/anything illegal into my home.)
2) Food (Not amazing food, but they won't be starving food.)
3) My love and advice (even if it's not worth 0.02)

However you should NOT BE PAYING HIS BILLS! Period. No exceptions! This is not your responsibility. You are enabling him to live this lifestyle, and that is morally wrong IMO. Let the bank close his account. Let the credit card companies start coming after him. What does he need a car for? Not your responsibility. Keep your financials separate from his! He is an adult, and needs to act like it!

He should apply for unemployment and welfare/food-stamps. With at least food stamps he should help pay for food. I was living on $140/mo for food for about a year.

I have known (normal looking) people with full time jobs who had a goals of not spending any money other than rent for months, and lived by dumpster diving.
http://www.howcast.com/videos/400088-How-to-Dumpster-Dive

Frankly most people have never really been hungry, and don't understand how blessed we are today.

P.S. - I have about 10k in student debt, and promise that I will contribute to society for the rest of my life. Will you please pay my student loans for a couple months?

cwtrooper said:   He is a college dropout and has gone from one minimum wage job to another...

1. He needs to plan a financially sound career if he's not doing that already. A lack of unique skills, experience, and/or education can be a life long problem.

2. Credit cards: maybe settle or negotiate, take out a loan to cover the balance, or have him file bankruptcy. Student loans: Pay, or defer or forebear if possible. Other bills: At some point I think the damage to a credit score can get no worse. So maybe just not pay.

I'm 27 years old and my father gave me $2,000 when I was 18 years old because of a mistake that I made. I've since graduated from college, maintained a good job for many years and have consistently told him how thankful I was for his help when I had a lapse in judgement. I've wanted to pay him back, but he says that graduating from college and becoming a Man is the greatest repayment of debt he could ever have.

I'm sorry to hear about your sons situation, but I would ask you to give him some assistance in terms of shelter, food, and advice when needed. He's family and HE IS YOUR BLOOD, and you'll need to have a important conversation about your rules and expectations you have for him. One day it will come to his attention that it's time to grow up.

Apply for unemployment....tell his old employer that he is filing the claim and if they don't want to deal with a lawsuit for unjust termination and sexual harassment they will not contest the claim. It's wrong, but it is the new American way.

Then have him hook up with a latino non-citizen. Have a couple of kids....the more the better. File for food stamps, section 8 housing, state health benefits and whatever you can get from local church. Drop his cellular service and sign up for an Obama phone. Have him register for medical marijuana......big time arbitrage opportunity there if he doesn't use. While he is at it, shop around for a Dr and get someone to sign off on his disability (the one from the accident)....file claim with Social Security for disability.....he won't be rolling in the dough, but he'll then be self-sufficient for life.

Why get rid of the car....that is his best opportunity? Get on the expressway, cut off a guy in a Benz and slam on the brakes.....call the guy on the back of the phonebook and back up the Brink's truck.

Your son just needs to approach his life with a bit more creativity. Holding a steady job and working is not where the money is anymore.

The government is really taken a lot of steps to help people. There are many programs. He can get free health insurance, food, housing, internet and cellphone. People who do not work sometimes do better than minimal wage workers.

Fix the checking account. Pay the overdraft and close it.

If he gets reported to Chexsystems, that will make any normal banking relationship near impossible for 5 years. He may not care now, but not being able to open a checking account to get direct deposit of his paycheck from the job he hopefully gets a few years from now is a big problem.

If you think bad credit is hard to deal with, being in Chexsystems is worse. Most normal banks will treat you like you eat little babies for lunch.

Help him as best you can without compromising yourself or enabling him. The particulars of how far that is vary a lot by family. It's nice that he has a family to move back to and help support him. Make sure he is respectful of you that you've allowed this and doesn't act as if its his right.

cristinaaaron said:   Apply for unemployment....tell his old employer that he is filing the claim and if they don't want to deal with a lawsuit for unjust termination and sexual harassment they will not contest the claim. It's wrong, but it is the new American way.

Then have him hook up with a latino non-citizen. Have a couple of kids....the more the better. File for food stamps, section 8 housing, state health benefits and whatever you can get from local church. Drop his cellular service and sign up for an Obama phone. Have him register for medical marijuana......big time arbitrage opportunity there if he doesn't use. While he is at it, shop around for a Dr and get someone to sign off on his disability (the one from the accident)....file claim with Social Security for disability.....he won't be rolling in the dough, but he'll then be self-sufficient for life.

Why get rid of the car....that is his best opportunity? Get on the expressway, cut off a guy in a Benz and slam on the brakes.....call the guy on the back of the phonebook and back up the Brink's truck.

Your son just needs to approach his life with a bit more creativity. Holding a steady job and working is not where the money is anymore.


Get lost

Logan71 said:   >> I think that rock-bottom has to be found as mostly a solo journey.

I agree.

At one point, my TV was $20, 5" black and white portable version. You can imagine how close you had to sit.

At one point, my bed was a tall air matress, that liked to leak in the middle of the night. Blowing it up to get back to sleep at 2am was never fun.

At one point, I crawled up the stairs of my apt (2nd floor) for days because I couldn't walk up them with a broken toe and no insurance.

I've lived on $40 for two weeks. Knowing math truly helps.

I'd say its time for a little hardball, and am kinda liking the tent/ramen idea. Dont let him burn down the back yard, though.


Anything changed since then?

It has been mentioned several times but bears repeating that www.creditboards.com is an amazing resource for situations like this. OP, whatever route you take, your family should really get an idea of the root cause of the behavior. As has been mentioned, alcohol, drugs, other addictions, or mental illness certainly could be a factor at play.

I'd vote against BK for him- debt is too small, even though he has limited earning power. Assuming he's not facing undue hardship like blindness + significant car accident injuries, he won't be able to discharge his student loans anyhow.

I see "NOW HIRING" sign at Staples, Target, Kohl's, McDonalds, Burger King, etc. I am sure he can easily land a job at one of these stores unless he fails the background check. He can also join the military reserve for extra money or get a side job. Here is a list of side jobs that can make good cash.
http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-how-to-make-more-money-online-and-offline-2011-1?op=1

In addition, tell him to check out this site (yes, fatwallet) and look for deals where he can make money. The downside to this is he must have some money in order to make money. Here is a couple of examples:
http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/expired-deals/1241246/
http://www.fatwallet.org/forums/expired-deals/1232603/

Good luck and god bless you all.

Ice0920 said:   UPS is hiring for the holidays... DELIVER ME MY PACKAGES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

While I share your enthusiasm, at fault MVA...not likely. Maybe it's not too late to get into some sort of winter job though if there is a winter season in the area... like a snow lodge or something. Has your son really hit rock bottom, as in to the point he'd be willing to take a graveyard pay with little pay and no life, or rock bottom in that he is home, and it's just assumed now he will do what it takes? My advice, if he just got back, give him a few weeks a month if you haven't already, then talk about recovery. Then, push him to get the first job he can land. He's not in a position to be picky. And use goals, dates, and stick to them. You want to help but not enable.

bigdinkel said:   I'm 27 years old and my father gave me $2,000 when I was 18 years old because of a mistake that I made. I've since graduated from college, maintained a good job for many years and have consistently told him how thankful I was for his help when I had a lapse in judgement. .
Paid for the girls abortion ?

barbcole said:   Fix the checking account. Pay the overdraft and close it.

If he gets reported to Chexsystems, that will make any normal banking relationship near impossible for 5 years. He may not care now, but not being able to open a checking account to get direct deposit of his paycheck from the job he hopefully gets a few years from now is a big problem.

If you think bad credit is hard to deal with, being in Chexsystems is worse. Most normal banks will treat you like you eat little babies for lunch.

Help him as best you can without compromising yourself or enabling him. The particulars of how far that is vary a lot by family. It's nice that he has a family to move back to and help support him. Make sure he is respectful of you that you've allowed this and doesn't act as if its his right.

Agreed to pay the overdrawn bank account off if the balance is small.

But being banned from banks is becoming the new America . And with prepaid products like Bluebird , enabling you to get direct deposit , bill pay , visa debit purchases etc its really no stigma to being unbanked these days

Job suggestion:
http://jobs.alaska.gov/seafood/

If necessary, buy him a one-way ticket. If he makes any dough, he can buy his own return ticket.

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   bigdinkel said:   I'm 27 years old and my father gave me $2,000 when I was 18 years old because of a mistake that I made. I've since graduated from college, maintained a good job for many years and have consistently told him how thankful I was for his help when I had a lapse in judgement. .
Paid for the girls abortion ?

+1 That's how I read it...

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   bigdinkel said:   I'm 27 years old and my father gave me $2,000 when I was 18 years old because of a mistake that I made. I've since graduated from college, maintained a good job for many years and have consistently told him how thankful I was for his help when I had a lapse in judgement. .
Paid for the girls abortion ?


Doesn't have a username like that for no reason....

ClearanceItem said:   SUCKISSTAPLES said:   bigdinkel said:   I'm 27 years old and my father gave me $2,000 when I was 18 years old because of a mistake that I made. I've since graduated from college, maintained a good job for many years and have consistently told him how thankful I was for his help when I had a lapse in judgement. .
Paid for the girls abortion ?

+1 That's how I read it...


Damn. That is how much abortions cost? That's hefty.

Move to the jobs. There's an oil boom in North Central America. Places like Williston, North Dakota have a labor shortage, less than 1% unemployment, and anybody with half a brain and a pulse can easily get a job.

Problem is, you gotta live in North Dakota.

mapen said:   Move to the jobs. There's an oil boom in North Central America. Places like Williston, North Dakota have a labor shortage, less than 1% unemployment, and anybody with half a brain and a pulse can easily get a job.

Problem is, you gotta live in North Dakota.



Boom might be over...Skilled workers (such as those with a CDL or rig experience) are still in demand somewhat, but the days of being able to get off the bus and score an interview with Select Energy the next day are over.

Looks like your son has modeled his financial prowess after our government. Only difference - he can't raise anyone's taxes to pay for his missteps.

Advice - like many mentioned here already, help him settle his debt for pennies on the dollar. Have weekly meetings with him to go over every detail of his finances to track his progress. Insist that he get at least some sort of employment in the mean time. Look for external sources of influence that may be causing him to be so irresponsible financially (i.e. friends, girlfriend, etc.) and have discussions about it. Be firm and show some tough love - it's easy for a parent to bend rules and let their children get away with things.

Look in the Pittsburgh Area, all of the natural gas drilling and supply companies are hiring and if he has or can get a CDL he can drive equipment/water trucks, lots of hours, lots of cash.

Heck PENDOT is hiring drivers with almost no experience because all the experienced ones are driving for the drilling companies. My next door neighbor was telling me about how he is going to make close to six figures driving a water truck this year. Heck don't want full time they are looking for part time labor paying $12-15 dollars per hour. FedEx Ground and Smartpost are hiring across the country. The jobs are out there.

At 22 I was down on my luck and in a similar place, but I worked hard and got myself up and out of it. Just don't let him get down, but don't let him off easy. As my dad told me later it was the toughest thing he had to do, was telling me find a job or get kicked out. I got a job at McDonald's because a asst mgr in 6 months and have gone nothing but up from there. The going to Alaska/North Dakota for jobs is a good idea also. I did a stint on a fishing trawler in Alaska, hard work good money, no place to spend it.

So I wish your son and you luck and make him work or pay for room and board, my dad was tough on me and at first I was angry and your son might be too, but it made me realize I could do it.

With an at-fault MVA, it will be extremely difficult for him to get any job as a driver.

cristinaaaron said:   Apply for unemployment....tell his old employer that he is filing the claim and if they don't want to deal with a lawsuit for unjust termination and sexual harassment they will not contest the claim. It's wrong, but it is the new American way.

Then have him hook up with a latino non-citizen. Have a couple of kids....the more the better. File for food stamps, section 8 housing, state health benefits and whatever you can get from local church. Drop his cellular service and sign up for an Obama phone. Have him register for medical marijuana......big time arbitrage opportunity there if he doesn't use. While he is at it, shop around for a Dr and get someone to sign off on his disability (the one from the accident)....file claim with Social Security for disability.....he won't be rolling in the dough, but he'll then be self-sufficient for life.

Why get rid of the car....that is his best opportunity? Get on the expressway, cut off a guy in a Benz and slam on the brakes.....call the guy on the back of the phonebook and back up the Brink's truck.

Your son just needs to approach his life with a bit more creativity. Holding a steady job and working is not where the money is anymore.


You're a terrible person and not even a funny troll.

I was in the Army for 5 1/2 years and spent a year in Iraq.. while I was not in the same boat as your son, I met a lot of guys who were in the same boat as your son. See what he thinks about joining the military... any branch. One of my good friends from high school was virtually identical to your son, he was evolving into a really bad person. He joined the Army and has been straight since. Have him take the ASVAB at a minimum to see how he does.. If he gets some decent scores, may help him get a better job in the military.. and when he gets out, he will have job options and some help at his disposal from the VA.

newlin99 said:   Tent in backyard. Case of ramen. Hose for bathing.
I thought he dropped out of college

Definitely take him to the recruiter and have him tested (good advice jnheinz). I did this for my son-in-law under similar circumstances. The Navy was very picky about debt issues that had to be cleared up before enlistment. There is even a reserve active duty support function available if overseas deployment is an issue. Just don't believe what a recruiter says. If it is not written down in the enlistment contract, it does not exist.

cristinaaaron said:   Apply for unemployment....tell his old employer that he is filing the claim and if they don't want to deal with a lawsuit for unjust termination and sexual harassment they will not contest the claim. It's wrong, but it is the new American way.

Then have him hook up with a latino non-citizen. Have a couple of kids....the more the better. File for food stamps, section 8 housing, state health benefits and whatever you can get from local church. Drop his cellular service and sign up for an Obama phone. Have him register for medical marijuana......big time arbitrage opportunity there if he doesn't use. While he is at it, shop around for a Dr and get someone to sign off on his disability (the one from the accident)....file claim with Social Security for disability.....he won't be rolling in the dough, but he'll then be self-sufficient for life.

Why get rid of the car....that is his best opportunity? Get on the expressway, cut off a guy in a Benz and slam on the brakes.....call the guy on the back of the phonebook and back up the Brink's truck.

Your son just needs to approach his life with a bit more creativity. Holding a steady job and working is not where the money is anymore.


Stupid racist is racist. Also stupid.

It amazes me the level of control people are assuming that OP has over their adult son

Well, at least he is not a drug abuser and does not have HIV. So, life is not that grim. Also, he is not at prison but at home.

I'd look at it as a temporary setback. This can be fixed. It is just money.

ellory said:   It amazes me the level of control people are assuming that OP has over their adult son

If OP believed they had absolutely no control over their son, they would not allow him back into their house. OP obviously has some control.

Prussik said:   Definitely take him to the recruiter and have him tested (good advice jnheinz). I did this for my son-in-law under similar circumstances. The Navy was very picky about debt issues that had to be cleared up before enlistment. There is even a reserve active duty support function available if overseas deployment is an issue. Just don't believe what a recruiter says. If it is not written down in the enlistment contract, it does not exist.

This is correct. Outstanding debt can be a major issue if you don't have a plan to deal with it. I know the Army is very lenient on most situations. They had student loan repayment offers when I was in -- Some woman had $90000 in student loan debt, a 6 yr enlistment cleared that for her. Honestly, I think this kid might be cut out for the Army, especially if he finds a love for combat arms. He'll be pulling in piles of money if he gets sent to Afghanistan for a deployment. He needs to join active duty though. There is a security guard who just started working at the front desk where I work.. He does 3rd shift. He didn't have enough money to drive 60 miles to guard drill this weekend, but he had enough money for 2 cases of beer and a bottle of Philips. National guard is probably not what he needs. He needs discipline, and a few hundred hours of mopping floors and having half your paycheck taken away after not meeting curfew or getting in a fight with your NCO a few times will teach you some valuable lessons.

ellory said:   It amazes me the level of control people are assuming that OP has over their adult son35 is the new 18.

---

Seriously though, I think my 1st post gave the wrong impression. I'm close to my family but like a lot of FWers, I was also financially contributing to the household at a age much younger than 23 and the help goes both ways. Also, this "economy" is bad that one can't find a job thing is total crap. There are tons of job if you don't mind getting some dirt and sweat. Just take a look at the quality of people in fast food place these days. When I worked fast foods, there were kids going to Ivy League school and West Points.

Having said that, neither us or the OP are the best judge of the best course of action. We don't know enough of the family dynamic and OP is emotional blinded. Maybe ask for some honest feedback from a trusted family friend.

OP is he listed as a co-owner of an asset you own (e.g. a family bank account) that a creditor with a judgement can attach?

Also, who is paying his car insurance? Or, is he driving around without any putting others at financial risk for paying for any accident he might cause?

Your son has an income problem, this needs to be solved before any other debt is paid off since once it's paid off it will just be run up again. Their are tons of well paying jobs that don't need a college degree/military like the construction trades, class-A truck driving among others.

jnheinz said:   ellory said:   It amazes me the level of control people are assuming that OP has over their adult son

If OP believed they had absolutely no control over their son, they would not allow him back into their house. OP obviously has some control.


No, actually he has ALL of the control. It's simple - "If you want to live here, you're going to get a job and pay your bills, otherwise you're out of here." No one believes in tough love anymore. There is absolutely nothing wrong with telling someone who is 23 to either pull their head out of their butt, or figure out how you're going to live with zero support. All too often, that's exactly what they need.



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