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  #101  
Old 02-15-2019, 12:38 AM
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There are ways to do it. She didn't need to be an entitled princess who only thought about herself.
Let me repeat myself since you apparently overlooked the question:

Why should she be responsible for knowing finances if nobody bothers to tell her?
  #102  
Old 02-15-2019, 02:22 AM
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Let me repeat myself since you apparently overlooked the question:

Why should she be responsible for knowing finances if nobody bothers to tell her?
I donít see what it really matters that she didnít know then. She knows now, right? Being ignorant in the past doesnít entitle her to a lifetime of indifference to her fatherís financial problems.

I question the idea that she absolutely had no clue her college choice wouldíve put a strain him, though. Is this detail in the OP? And if she had known as a kid this choice would have put him debt, does that change the assessment about whether she should help him with the loan?
  #103  
Old 02-15-2019, 03:30 AM
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Originally Posted by slash2k View Post
Let me repeat myself since you apparently overlooked the question:

Why should she be responsible for knowing finances if nobody bothers to tell her?
True, and note that he wasn't in such a financial predicament when the decision on where to attend college was made.

The father's financial predicament started becoming apparent after Joan's second year of college, when he decided to sell the marital home in the thick of the housing crash. He assumed the house would sell quickly for x dollars, because that was the appraised value 3 short years ago when he chose to buy out his wife's half ..and then stubbornly refused to take it off the market or lower the price long after it became apparent that it wasn't going to sell at that price. He and Joan spent countless hours over that first summer painting and stripping wallpaper and decluttering a decade of crap, but in the end nothing mattered but the price, which after paying off the HELOC, left him upside down in equity.

To worsen matters, instead of living in that house until it sold, as soon as it was listed, he signed a lease on a "New house, new life" rental condo in a trendy area of town. That decision sank him even further because he had to pay rent AND a mortgage for 18 months before finally unloading the home at a loss. And, of course, he rented a 2 bdrm because he wanted to have a place for Joan to stay, even though she could have stayed with her mother for free, so that cost him extra, too.

Sadly, had he waited just 2 more years, the pre-crash values would have returned, but he had no way of knowing that then...and that is another source of his bitterness!

So, at the time she opted to attend the out-of-state school, Joan had no way of knowing that her tuition would be such a burden to her father, because it wasn't apparent to anyone, including him, how difficult the next decade would be on him.
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  #104  
Old 02-15-2019, 06:59 AM
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I donít see what it really matters that she didnít know then. She knows now, right? Being ignorant in the past doesnít entitle her to a lifetime of indifference to her fatherís financial problems.

I question the idea that she absolutely had no clue her college choice wouldíve put a strain him, though. Is this detail in the OP? And if she had known as a kid this choice would have put him debt, does that change the assessment about whether she should help him with the loan?
I can see the argument "Joan should help her dad out if he's struggling", but I don't see the fact that it's "her" student loans that put obligation on her, any more than she's especially obligated because he kept the house at first "for her" and got a bigger apartment later "for her". Giving generous gifts and then blaming the person you gave them to is terrible behavior that shouldn't be indulged.

I'd feel differently if the OP hadn't opened with the fact that the dad harps on the issue constantly. And I'm all for helping out family. But I don't think Joan did anything wrong when she believed her parents that they could afford this, and that the father has done something wrong by shaming his child over a gift he gave her.
  #105  
Old 02-15-2019, 08:07 AM
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Let me repeat myself since you apparently overlooked the question:

Why should she be responsible for knowing finances if nobody bothers to tell her?
Kids have a general idea of family finances. As an adult she can also ask and have a full discussion with her parents about the issue.
  #106  
Old 02-15-2019, 08:07 AM
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Wow, do you have a negative opinion of all males? The school is directly for the daughter who should have taken the full free ride at her local school.
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Wow, more male bashing.
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If I saw your post criticizing the dad in a similar manner as Manda "I hate men" Jo I would have called you out too.
I'm not sure where this is coming from, but enough of it. Your...creative extrapolation, to put it generously, is out of line. Stop the personal attacks and stop derailing the thread.
  #107  
Old 02-15-2019, 08:13 AM
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True, and note that he wasn't in such a financial predicament when the decision on where to attend college was made.

The father's financial predicament started becoming apparent after Joan's second year of college, when he decided to sell the marital home in the thick of the housing crash. He assumed the house would sell quickly for x dollars, because that was the appraised value 3 short years ago when he chose to buy out his wife's half ..and then stubbornly refused to take it off the market or lower the price long after it became apparent that it wasn't going to sell at that price. He and Joan spent countless hours over that first summer painting and stripping wallpaper and decluttering a decade of crap, but in the end nothing mattered but the price, which after paying off the HELOC, left him upside down in equity.

To worsen matters, instead of living in that house until it sold, as soon as it was listed, he signed a lease on a "New house, new life" rental condo in a trendy area of town. That decision sank him even further because he had to pay rent AND a mortgage for 18 months before finally unloading the home at a loss. And, of course, he rented a 2 bdrm because he wanted to have a place for Joan to stay, even though she could have stayed with her mother for free, so that cost him extra, too.

Sadly, had he waited just 2 more years, the pre-crash values would have returned, but he had no way of knowing that then...and that is another source of his bitterness!

So, at the time she opted to attend the out-of-state school, Joan had no way of knowing that her tuition would be such a burden to her father, because it wasn't apparent to anyone, including him, how difficult the next decade would be on him.
What did she actually go to school for that the expensive out if state school made more sense than staying home for the full ride?
  #108  
Old 02-15-2019, 08:20 AM
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I'm not sure where this is coming from, but enough of it. Your...creative extrapolation, to put it generously, is out of line. Stop the personal attacks and stop derailing the thread.
I'm actually giving my opinion about the situation. I think the daughter is at fault. My apologies to Manda Jo who can her opinion about the dad.
  #109  
Old 02-15-2019, 08:21 AM
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Because her parents were involved in a bitter divorce, a family had been traumatically blown apart, both parents were behaving badly, possibly trying to use her as an emotional pawn.

She chose to go away from them, quite possibly, to protect her own mental health and find calmer waters to pursue her education. Making her the most mature of the bunch, by all appearances.
  #110  
Old 02-15-2019, 09:30 AM
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Giving generous gifts and then blaming the person you gave them to is terrible behavior that shouldn't be indulged.
It doesn't sound like him paying her college expenses was a gift. It was part of the divorce settlement that was presumably negotiated through lawyers and the court. Generosity very well may not have had anything to do with it.

It sounds like Dad (and his lawyer), at the time the settlement was made, was financially situated such that he didn't foresee problems with carrying this loan. Then he took some major hits during the economic recession that he still hasn't recovered from, and the loan became a hardship. It seems like he had good intentions with the properties he tried to buy and rent, but things didn't work as he had hoped.Layered on top of his woes is psychological baggage from his failed marriage and subsequent divorce, which was the catalyst for his bad financial status.

So he gripes to whomever will listen to him. Included in his gripes are gripes about the debt he's carrying for his daughter's college expenses. Poor form, I think we all agree.

But he remains active in his daughter's life and they have a close relationship, according to the OP. This tells me that his griping is within the norm of run-of-the-mill flawed human behavior. He's imperfect but is not a monster, and thus, is not undeserving of a windfall himself.

This is how I see the situation. Do you see anything in my analysis that you disagree with?

Quote:
But I don't think Joan did anything wrong when she believed her parents that they could afford this, and that the father has done something wrong by shaming his child over a gift he gave her.
I don't disagree it's crappy for him to lay guilt trips on her, but I don't think calling this a "gift" is a fair characterization.

Last edited by you with the face; 02-15-2019 at 09:30 AM.
  #111  
Old 02-15-2019, 09:55 AM
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The beef is with his wife--and if he was bitching at her/about her, I think it'd be fine--as long as it wasn't to his daughter. But I don't think that college education debt is "hers" in any way shape or form. Presumably, the reason the divorce settlement included the clause is that through their married life, the mom and dad had an understanding that college was a thing they were paying for. I'm assuming the household income was significant, and that perhaps they mutually agreed to put off saving because they mutually agreed that they'd fund college out of income when the time came.

Now, I could buy an argument that MOM should have said "since I make 2/3 of the income, I'll assume 2/3 of the college cost", but that's on mom, not Joan.

To me, this is exactly like if Dad had struggled to make child-support payments when Joan was young, and people are now saying she's a terrible person if she doesn't refund the child-support.

Now, I agree that she might want to help him, as any child might want to help a parent who was struggling. But I don't think the obligation is different because the money was for "her" college. Do you think it is?
  #112  
Old 02-15-2019, 10:57 AM
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I didn't do a close reading on any of the posts, so maybe I missed it. But who is really on the hook for the loans? Whose name is on the loans, and who gets the financial hits if they go into arrears or default? Are they already so? Can Joan even get a mortgage if the loan is not paid?
It sounds like the father needs serious financial education, and probably some counseling.
  #113  
Old 02-15-2019, 11:23 AM
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Presumably, the reason the divorce settlement included the clause is that through their married life, the mom and dad had an understanding that college was a thing they were paying for. {snip}

Now, I agree that she might want to help him, as any child might want to help a parent who was struggling. But I don't think the obligation is different because the money was for "her" college. Do you think it is?
I do think it matters that it was for her college expenses, if we're talking about ethics and fairness and differences between this particular debt and other kinds of debt Dad might've racked up. It comes down to me seeing free college as a luxury not a right. She also was a young adult--not a child--when he shouldered these expenses. Where she went also was under her control.

I don't know whether I would say she is morally obligated to give him money, because that would mean I'd have to judge her as unethical or immoral for not giving him money. And that's too strong for me. But I do agree with the poster who analyzed the options in front of Joan and determined that if she chooses not to share, to keep the peace it's likely she will probably choose to hide or lie to her father about the inheritance. Lies and secrecy are generally considered unethical, especially if the motive is based more on selfishness ("I'd rather keep this money for myself and not deal with his hurt feelings") than anything else.
  #114  
Old 02-15-2019, 11:40 AM
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The parents not only encouraged a college education, it would have been unheard of had Joan NOT pursued a higher education. Everyone (siblings and cousins) on both sides of the family holds either a Master's or a Doctorate from a reputable university, and the grandfather taught at an Ivy League school for 40 years. So, yes, the parents were fully supportive of Joan's school choice. Had she wanted to attend an Ivy League school, I have no doubt that they'd have sent her there with their blessing, no matter what the cost.

(Funnily, even though he's poor as a church mouse, the father asks to be addressed as "doctor" even in non-academic settings, such as a wedding invitation or an airplane. My husband, who has "just" a Bachelor's degree, but managed to pay for 2 kids' colleges without stealing from them, thinks he's as pretentious as they come. I understand his insecurity so I'm not as critical of him.)

CelticKnot, the loan is in the mother's name. Joan's name is not attached to it. It's like a car loan. She who takes out the loan is on the hook for it no matter who drives the car.
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  #115  
Old 02-15-2019, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by you with the face View Post
I do think it matters that it was for her college expenses, if we're talking about ethics and fairness and differences between this particular debt and other kinds of debt Dad might've racked up. It comes down to me seeing free college as a luxury not a right. She also was a young adult--not a child--when he shouldered these expenses. Where she went also was under her control.

I don't know whether I would say she is morally obligated to give him money, because that would mean I'd have to judge her as unethical or immoral for not giving him money. And that's too strong for me. But I do agree with the poster who analyzed the options in front of Joan and determined that if she chooses not to share, to keep the peace it's likely she will probably choose to hide or lie to her father about the inheritance. Lies and secrecy are generally considered unethical, especially if the motive is based more on selfishness ("I'd rather keep this money for myself and not deal with his hurt feelings") than anything else.
I guess I feel like money is fungible. The reason he still hasn't paid off this debt is he had all these other financial problems that he dealt with first.

Is it because the debt it still around that you feel like she owes it? I mean, what if he wasn't in any debt at all, but bitched all the time about the reason he didn't have the boat he always dreamed of was that he'd spent the boat fund on her college. If that were the case, would you advise her to go buy him a boat to keep the peace?
  #116  
Old 02-15-2019, 12:27 PM
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I guess I feel like money is fungible. The reason he still hasn't paid off this debt is he had all these other financial problems that he dealt with first.

Is it because the debt it still around that you feel like she owes it? I mean, what if he wasn't in any debt at all, but bitched all the time about the reason he didn't have the boat he always dreamed of was that he'd spent the boat fund on her college. If that were the case, would you advise her to go buy him a boat to keep the peace?
There is a huge difference between Joan eliminating this debt so he can move on and just buying him a boat.
  #117  
Old 02-15-2019, 12:43 PM
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But the reason it's still debt is that he bought out a house he couldn't afford, and then rented an apartment he couldn't afford. If he hadn't done those things, the debt would have been paid off. If he'd structured things differently, that debt would have been paid off, but he'd be living with the debt from the real estate disaster. If he'd done it that way--paid for her college cash, but he still had all this real estate debt that he took on because the cash went to her college--would you feel that she owed him to pay it off?
  #118  
Old 02-15-2019, 01:05 PM
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But the reason it's still debt is that he bought out a house he couldn't afford, and then rented an apartment he couldn't afford. If he hadn't done those things, the debt would have been paid off. If he'd structured things differently, that debt would have been paid off, but he'd be living with the debt from the real estate disaster. If he'd done it that way--paid for her college cash, but he still had all this real estate debt that he took on because the cash went to her college--would you feel that she owed him to pay it off?
Yes, I do.
  #119  
Old 02-15-2019, 02:14 PM
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And if there was no debt, but he'd paid $X for her college education and is less affluent now as a result?
  #120  
Old 02-15-2019, 02:45 PM
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And if there was no debt, but he'd paid $X for her college education and is less affluent now as a result?
I'm not how far into the minutiae it would day. There are infinite scenarios that could have happened. Based on what the OP provided, I think Joan is a selfish, immature person who should help her father out.
  #121  
Old 02-15-2019, 03:08 PM
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*would be.
  #122  
Old 02-15-2019, 03:16 PM
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IIs it because the debt it still around that you feel like she owes it?
I don't think she owes it. "Owe" implies she obligated, and as I've said, that's not my position.

(That said, if I were her, I would feel a sense of obligation to help. Because of everything that I've already explained ad nauseam.)

That the debt is still around matters because people generally don't keep debt year after year unless its hard for them to pay it off. Her mother didn't find it hard because 1) her income was/is high and 2) her parents helped. Dad wasn't as fortunate.
  #123  
Old 02-15-2019, 11:43 PM
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He made the choice as a parent to agree to pay for half his child's college as part of his divorce agreement. That's the only material thing here. I'm under the impression kids don't owe parents what kids didn't ask parents to pay, and I'd lay odds he could have refused to agree to it and still been able to get divorced.
Joan has her own child to care for now, but if in future years she feels stable enough to talk to her dad about contributing to his debt she should approach it as he did - thinking of her family first. Remunerating a parent for having done a parental thing doesn't sit well w/ me.
But what do I know? I don't have kids, I've paid back every dollar I've ever asked to borrow from my parents as well as paid my own way through college.
  #124  
Old 02-16-2019, 05:27 AM
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Something thatís been mentioned but not elaborated upon is how Joanís mother is going to react if she learns Joan took the gift of $30,000 and used it to pay off her fatherís debt. I predict with great certainty that Mom will be furious and may very well decide to end the monetary gifts to Joan. Trying to keep the matter secret from Mom is guaranteed to fail.

If Joan decides to fund Dad, she should never let Mom think that the monies are related. Put the $30,000 into a general account, and pay Dad out of a general account, but never ever ever admit or imply that one has anything to do with the other.
  #125  
Old 02-16-2019, 11:53 PM
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What would I do?

"Wtf are you thinking, Joan?

You can't afford cars that you say you NEED, don't have the down payment for a house--so I guess the Easter Bunny and the Unicorns are going to take care of the baby, huh?"

Seriously, Joan has bigger money management issues than her Dad paying her loan or not.

Come to think of it maybe her attitude about money stems from the fact that the parents raised her this way.

Grow up, Joan.
  #126  
Old 02-19-2019, 10:54 AM
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You can't afford cars that you say you NEED, don't have the down payment for a house--so I guess the Easter Bunny and the Unicorns are going to take care of the baby, huh?"
Huh? Not sure where you're getting so hostile. The couple is living within their means. They didn't ask for or ever say that they NEEDED a second car, but accepted a used one when it when it was offered by one of their parents. They have no college debt to date and have enough in the budget to pay for his Master's. They currently live in a small, affordable apartment and are saving towards a DP on a house. They have budgeted for day care. That's all very responsible.

Yes, they COULD use an unexpected windfall towards a DP on a house. Yes, they could buy newer cars or nicer furniture or better clothes. But it's unfair to attack them for the way that the manage money because they live within their means, have ZERO debt, and are saving money every month. That makes them leaps and bounds better than most Americans these days.
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Last edited by PunditLisa; 02-19-2019 at 10:54 AM.
  #127  
Old 09-19-2019, 09:14 AM
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Update: Joan and her husband bought and moved into a new (affordable) house with their baby, with the help of the great aunt's money inheritance. They still drive old cars, but as of May 2020, they will both have their Masters and hold stable, decent jobs in their fields.

Without prompting from anyone, they offered to assume what is left on Joan's student debt as of May, 2020, which is one month after they will be done paying for their own graduate school. This made her father extremely happy.

Her father also spent a great deal of the summer helping, along with another grandparent, to care for his new grandchild, for which he refused to be paid. This was a great help to the parents and helped mend the tear in their relationship. However, after learning that the great grandparents (mother's parents) established a substantial 529 account for the baby, the father began renewing his attacks on his ex-wife, and started "remembering" incidents to bolster his claim that Joan's mother had been abusive to Joan, and warned Joan not to allow the baby to be alone with her monther. This greatly upset Joan, and so what should have been a wonderful, healing summer was marred once again by the father's bitterness.

So sad.
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  #128  
Old 09-19-2019, 02:15 PM
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Update: Joan and her husband bought and moved into a new (affordable) house with their baby, with the help of the great aunt's money inheritance. They still drive old cars, but as of May 2020, they will both have their Masters and hold stable, decent jobs in their fields.

Without prompting from anyone, they offered to assume what is left on Joan's student debt as of May, 2020, which is one month after they will be done paying for their own graduate school. This made her father extremely happy.

Her father also spent a great deal of the summer helping, along with another grandparent, to care for his new grandchild, for which he refused to be paid. This was a great help to the parents and helped mend the tear in their relationship. However, after learning that the great grandparents (mother's parents) established a substantial 529 account for the baby, the father began renewing his attacks on his ex-wife, and started "remembering" incidents to bolster his claim that Joan's mother had been abusive to Joan, and warned Joan not to allow the baby to be alone with her monther. This greatly upset Joan, and so what should have been a wonderful, healing summer was marred once again by the father's bitterness.

So sad.
Yes, it is sad. But why would her father be upset that someone else established a substantial 529 account for the baby? Shouldn't he be happy that someone is helping with his grandchild's college?
From the sounds of it, Joan turn out a much better person than her father. And her mother is lucky that she got a divorce.
  #129  
Old 09-19-2019, 04:05 PM
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Yes, it is sad. But why would her father be upset that someone else established a substantial 529 account for the baby? Shouldn't he be happy that someone is helping with his grandchild's college?
From the sounds of it, Joan turn out a much better person than her father. And her mother is lucky that she got a divorce.
He can't be anything but nasty about what the mom's side of the family does, but he can't keep his mouth shut about it either for some reason. Sounds awfully insecure, like he's measuring his efforts against everyone else's.
  #130  
Old 09-19-2019, 07:52 PM
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I just read this thread, so I'm very late to the party, but my thinking as I read was that Joan's paying off her father's share of the loan, generous as it would be (and was) wouldn't stop him from bitching about her mother and being a difficult parent. This wasn't a man who got hit with misfortune or made bad financial decisions in good faith. It's a guy who felt entitled to steal $500 from his own child. It's a guy who felt entitled to what he thought he should get on the house instead of its worth. It's a guy who felt entitled to buy an expensive condo he couldn't afford.

She was kind to repay the money, especially since she spent many hours helping him get the house ready to sell.

This was never about Joan--not to him. I only hope Joan realizes she can't please someone who's so self-centered and entitled. She's going to have to learn to accept her father as the messed-up man he is and set boundaries accordingly.
  #131  
Old 09-19-2019, 11:53 PM
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Something not specific to the OP's immediate question - but that I guarantee will come up in the next few years:

Dad is likely getting on toward retirement age.

Given what all has been said, what are the odds he has sufficient money to support him in his retirement?

And who wants to take a bet on whether he'll ask / expect / demand assistance from Joan at that point.

The combination of bad luck (housing downturn, wife cheating) and bad decision (carrying two houses) causing financial crisis after crisis strikes very close to home here as I've vented about in other threads - though at least in our case there was no cheating or theft involved, at least.

But Joan will have a well-paying job, and has an inheritance coming, and I can pretty much promise you that either she, or her father, will feel she is obligated to help support him.
  #132  
Old 09-20-2019, 11:42 AM
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I'd pay off the debt. Beyond that, I don't want to speculate.
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