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Nisa Agarwal Blog

Mother In Laws Debt Problems

My mother in law had been a frugal woman all her life – she had to be, she was married to a teacher, and was a teacher herself. When she retired, she really seemed to be enjoying life. Her pension was stretching a long way, or so we thought. New clothes, gifts for the family, weekend trips, even a new car. We were so happy to see her enjoying life.

Then one day, at just sixty two years old, she dropped down dead of a heart attack. My father in law was devastated. After the usual time of grief and shock, he began to put her affairs in order. Then we all received a truly devastating shock. When we looked in my mother in law’s closet, there were boxes of unworn shoes, clothes still with the labels on, stacks of purses still in their tissue paper.

We discovered that she had been binge spending. What was worse, she had canceled all her life insurance and also the insurance she carried for her credit cards. She had taken out personal loans, and my father in law, who is a rather unworldly man, didn’t have a clue that any of this had been going on.

It was such an unholy mess, that as a family, we decided to call in the services of a debt consolidator. Debt consolidation was a real blessing. The agency was able to talk to all the creditors, and even got some of the debt forgiven, under the circumstances. Many of the stores where the unused clothing had been purchased were prepared to take items back. The debt consolidator was so kind, he even arranged that for us.

Yes, we did as a family have to pay those debts of honor, but it would have been so much worse without professional help.