Did something i never thought I’d do

I did something I never thought I’d do: go to somebody in authority in my town to see what he can do about my out of work situation.

He told me there were no jobs, just crossing guards and other more or less day workers. He referred me to social services – I only went because he asked me to go.

This was a big sacrifice of dignity and pride: I have lived here my entire life and I own a home and I am “pretty well known”. It is still a smallish town and lots of people still know each other.

She told me to apply for foodstamps and that I could use the food pantry. She told me there were a lot of people in town with homes that are on foodstamps. I don’t see how. This town doesn’t have a “poor section” — it’s mostly middle and upper middle class homes and a fair amount of condo developments. I don’t know how many people are subsidized or section 8 but anyway — that is what she told me to do.

She is in charge of “finding jobs” for the townspeople. I had no idea she was given the task; the last person who had the job was the woman who never called me after I left her my resume; long story with that and I got into a battle with her because she didn’t call me. I guess that makes me a terrible person. Ha. Who cares.

My situation is compounded because a sibling owns this home with me. (for the record: we did not purchase this home, unless you want to count the $1 we bought it for from an uncle) Curious chap; 54 years of age going on 12. He has never grown up. He lies constantly, he tells stories and when he’s caught in his lie, he screams at you because you’ve found out the truth and he does not like it that you did.

He has been trouble for years.

He does not live with me he has the apartment upstairs.

He also has not given me his half of the money for property tax, homeowners insurance or the water bill and has not for a good 6 years. The payout stopped when he wanted to apply for Chapter 11 and that never happened. That payout stopped in 2007, right around the time I started that job.

He works retail and I told him years ago – at least 8 years ago — to get a better job because there is no way he can keep up with expenses on this home on a shit per hour and commission.

He’s had his car repoed twice – when he had the other car – and his credit is so bad he pays $350 a month on a shitbox. He’s in debt up to his eyeballs (I know how; don’t ask) and 6 years back he wanted to apply for bankruptcy. Don’t ask me about the war I got into with him over that one. He’s had a chronic (and pathological) spending problem. I don’t understand how that is — despite the enablement, the both of us were taught how to save a dollar. It never worked with him.

He’s got a problem and a spending addiction. This is heavy shit and I am in the middle of this disaster. And I don’t know how to get out of it.

He has not paid me money for taxes or anything we share expenses on (homeowners insurance and water) for about 6 years. This is all up to his unemployed sister to pull the load and hold the damn bag. He’s a baby and he’s got zero character. How dare you do this to somebody.

We grew up without a father and he’s been stuck at emotional age 12 since chronological age 12. I don’t know if it was the fact it’s no father in the house or my mother enabling him when she was still alive or what, but he’s a mess and I cannot stand him right now and I do not wish for him to live here any more in MY HOME. How dare you leave me holding the bag and not give it a thought.

Everybody from classmates to teachers to the school principal has used a key word to describer him: baby.  The principal expressly said that to my mother when she went to the school for a conference. And you know a conference with a principal is bad news indeed.

PECULIAR CHAP, as I have said.

As you can see, I have my hands full. I don’t even know where to go or what to do.

I asked social services if I could get help with keeping my health insurance. She said no. I asked about other expenses – big deal, chick: I already knew about calling the gas and electric’s special number to get assistance with paying that invoice.

The last 2 interviews I had was last week. No great shakes. One place was paying $15 an hour; I knew this was a hole in the wall so I dumbed down my resume and sent it — I asked for $18. Maybe the owner doesn’t like the fact that I asked for 3 bucks more and that’s why this place was a no.

And forget the other place. This was the outfit where the guy who interviewed me abruptly lost interest at the 3 minute mark; I was kept 10 whole minutes.

I tried to get a therapist/counselor 2 or 3 years ago; no luck and no success. Maybe I will see what my health insurance carrier has in the way of therapists or mental health people. I can’t take this anymore. We could lose this home — I was told by the guy in authority that “they don’t just take a home away from you; it takes a long time.”

Really? In 2011 we were behind 4 quarters and in November I got a nastygram from the tax collector telling me that if I didn’t pay up the whole 9 grand by the middle of December the house would go up for auction. Gee, I guess he doesn’t know that. (Sarcasm here)

the only thing that will save this mess for me is a job offer like TODAY.

OR for me to win a big big chunk of change totaling a couple of mil or more in a state lotto drawing.

OR for a former employer to rehire me or for somebody who interviewed me in the past to call and offer me a job right now.

This is a mess and a big one. I don’t know what to do; time is running out. The guy in authority said he’d speak to tax about not having this place go south? Sure. I’ll bet that can happen.

I have a sinking financial situation and a nutbag of a brother to boot.  If this place goes down I will never ever speak to his ass ever again.

There has to be a way for me to recoup the money he owes me — I am going to contact an attorney to see if I can’t sue him and/or have his wages garnished.

In the past I have been told the only 2 options to get Bro out of my hair are Buy Him Out and Sell The Home and Part Ways and move on. Neither is possible and neither is an option.

I am tired of having my bank account drained, tired of his lack of character and tired of being the good time Charlie that’s footing all the bills here, all because he isn’t finding a way to pay what he is supposed to pay.

What’s happening here: I am being taken advantage of. He can go and get a job on his mornings off and his days off — and use that money to help pay what he owes. OR better yet, yeah, he needed to get another job when the getting was good.

13 thoughts on “Did something i never thought I’d do”

  1. You can sue him in small claims court. It will cost you about $100 in fees. There is a filing fee, a service fee (he has to be served a subpoena), either in person or by mail, and a registration fee for the judgement. Winning in small claims court does not get you paid. You have to register the judgement and have his pay garnished. You can ask for reimbursement of the fees as part of the judgement, and the judgement collects interest until it is paid. You have the advantage of knowing where he is. It is more expensive to have him served by the police or a process server, but it might get his attention better.

    Your best-case scenario is that he doesn’t show up and you get a default judgement, where the judge will award you what he owes (plus interest at a rate set by the court). Then you have to go through the process of registering the judgement and getting his pay garnished. It takes time, but it is not that difficult to do.

    http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/civil/civ-02.htm#FileFeeSC

    There is a limit on the amount of money that one can sue for in small claims court. This is outlined in the link above.

  2. I cannot let him get off scot free with this.

    He is a very big problem. I am certain he’s got a mental problem — the constant lying is a pretty good idea he’s got problems. If not something mental, it’s a sign of vast immaturity and insecurity.

    He is no longer a kid. The sad part of this all: he is 54 and a middle age adult.

    If this was better times and I had a job, I’d buy him out and he can leave. I cannot own a home with him and how dare you have somebody else pull the entire load; what that person’s employment status is *really has nothing to do with it* but even so? This is like some kind of double indemnity that he is doing this knowing full well the other person has to pull her savings to pay HIS share of what he is supposed to be paying out of his own pocket.

    1. One option is to win the judgement for past bills that you paid on his behalf, then get a home equity line on the house and offer him a fair price less what you won in the judgement. The difference in cost between service by mail and service in person is about $30 in Colorado, and likely about the same where you live.

      Bankruptcy is a funny thing. You have to earn less than the median for your family size in your county to qualify for Chapter 7 (discharges debts), but if he owns half of a house, he has a substantial asset that could go to creditors and that does not enjoy much protection under bankruptcy, forcing YOU to sell for a fire sale price. The homestead exemption in New Jersey under bankruptcy is the federal exemption, a little over $21K. This is one reason to get the judgement for what he owes you.

      Were I you, I would check to see whether there are any liens on the house, If he was considering bankruptcy, chances are pretty good that he has defaulted on one or more loans, and there may be liens on the house that you do not know about. You can find that out at city hall or wherever you pay your property tax. You might not be notified if there is a lien on the property, but it would have to be registered in the registrar of deeds office. A title search would discover most liens, and these have to be cleared before he can transfer his interest in the house to you or anyone else. It is possible that there is more in liens on the house than the house is worth. Winning the judgement in small claims court also gives you the opportunity to put a lien against the house for whatever you win plus accruing interest. You would convert an unsecured debt to a secured debt.

      1. This is all muddled up and muddled up beyond all imagination.

        I never ever thought I’d be doing this — as it stands right now, I detest him. And detest him big time.

        I have a good idea how he got into debt: he also had a sizable amount of cash and somehow he frittered that away on God knows only what — and he still got his ass into debt.

        I have no idea why I let this go on for as long as I did — I feel like the universe’s biggest asshole and patsy.

        There has to be a way to get his name off that deed and seize his ownership; *just* buying him out or selling this house cannot be the only 2 solutions.

        And who is to say he will even accept a buy out??? He could refuse to go. And no way he can get me out via a buyout; what bank would be dumb enough to give HIM a loan??? He’s had his pay garnished and he’s in a lot of debt; he will not fess up why he is in debt or how much it is. It’s got to be a whopping huge amount.

        He has a chunk of change on the way; I can get that frozen and put a lien against that amount so that I can get the entire amount of what he owes me in one fell swoop.

        You can bet your bippy he’s going to be furious with me. Tough toys, as somebody I know would have said. I have to watch out for Number One and I cannot afford for this to happen. He can’t drain my assets because he refuses to do what he is obligated to do.

        I am going to obtain a very good real estate attorney. I can’t tarry on this; time is of the eseence.

        My heart is broken? No, it’s gone. my life is now trying to find a job and trying to get this damn mess rectified and cleaned up. I do not want him here anymore; it’s imposible for him to be permitted to own this home anymore.

        1. There are protections for debtors that place a cap on the percentage of pay that can be garnished per pay period. The question to ask is where you fall in the line of people who are owed money. Often the rule is “first in line”, so he may have other people who are entitled to payment before you, depending on when the liens were executed. At the moment, your debt is unsecured and it’s your word against his. It is probably easy to come up with six years of tax bills and utility bills, along with your cancelled checks or bank statements to show that you paid those bills. You will need them for both the lawyer and small claims court.

          Chances are that the house is deeded as tenants in common, so you have equal standing in the house with respect to the law. If you wound up buying him out, what you would need is do is to place the money owed on any liens into escrow, leaving him with only the net amount in excess of the liens. The problem that you have is that he has to agree to any solution, unless you manage to sue him and be awarded his interest in the house in exchange for what he owes you and the assumption of any liens.

          1. And if there are liens, who resovles them — ME?????

            What a nightmare.

            HIs ass needs to go and go now — if I can sieze his half of the house and take him to court to pay the liens, I’d rather do that.

          2. Read about “perfection of liens”. If one “perfects” the lien, they go to the head of the line to collect, ahead of third-party lenders, and it even gives you protection in bankruptcy. . The property has to be in one’s possession to perfect the lien. My guess is that living in the house would count as “possession”, because there is a doctrine in law called “adverse possession”, which is where you live on a property and make improvements to it, and if the owner does not object for a period of years, you then own the property.

  3. Even if you filed in small claims court today, you wouldn’t have a court date for somewhere around a month because you have to allow time for him to be served the summons to appear in court. Someone who is not a party to the lawsuit must serve the summons.

    Under the law, you cannot get a lien of more than what you are owed, plus interest and fees, and possibly your attorney fees. Your task is to become better informed and get better advice than I can give you. Another task is to round up you your receipts, because you have to be able to prove that you paid the money.

    Were I your brother, I would tell the judge that you just wrote the checks and that I paid you in cash for all the taxes and utilities because my credit is too shot for a bank to let me have an account. Were I the judge, I would tell your brother too bad, because he has no receipts, and presumably, you do.

  4. Suppose that you got his interest in the house in exchange for assumption of the liens and an amount of money that would allow him to relocate. You would probably have to call the sheriff to get him evicted from your house.

    You might have trouble borrowing enough money to satisfy the liens because you are out of work or cannot show much income as well, or the conditions of the loan may be lousy.

    Once he is served, the danger begins for you, because he will not consent to leave the house of his own volition. You will go through something not unlike a divorce. If he raises a hand to you, I’d have him arrested immediately and prosecuted, but it might not be that easy. You’ve got to expect him to be seriously pissed off, because he’s gotten to live free for about six years, and now he faces the need to come up with at least three months of rent for a place of his own for security deposits and the first month’s rent and deal with landlords who will kick him out in a heartbeat. Landlords have begun to levy security deposits based on people’s credit score. Some years ago in Maryland, I was charged $99 for my security deposit on a $900/month apartment. This was the least that the landlord charged, and they were VERY quick to evict people for late rent.

    1. I can’t believe any of this happened to me.

      What do I do?

      Let him live here free for nothing and the both of us lose this house?

      I can’t do that. I have warned him repeatedly that he cannot do this and why. He hasn’t budged on it. Does he think I am getting the money off a tree? or from a pot at the end of the rainbow? Or some goblin from Harry Potter’s magical world is providing it???

      I have asked him “If something happens to this house, where do you go and wher do I go? Nobody can and will take us in! Our parents are dead, remember?” To this he says nothing.

      I can’t go down and I cannot permit him to take advantage of me. I already lost a week; my attorney has not rung me back. I called twice this week after I left the original message and I was told “he’s in court; he’s got that message.” Now I have to find somebody else.

      This is a very large sum of money he owes me — just from 2009 up until now, has to be about 20 grand — I am including the interest that was accrued ont he property tax because we were late — and the town tax collector told me there are no liens on this house.

      I am guessing he might find solace with one of his ladyfriends — one of them is a real jerk, an even bigger one than he is — that is a cute story in itself —- personally, I don’t care if he moves in with Charlie Manson — I don’t care where he goes.

      And I will call the police if he even so much as raises his voice to me. I can’t let him scare me. I’ll get an even bigger dog to protect me; I have one already.

      1. There are no remedies under the law that will make him cough up the money quickly. The first step is to get a court to rule in your favor concerning the money that you have laid out for taxes, utilities, and other house-related costs from which he has benefited. If you are equal owners of the house, you should be able to sue for half of the amount that you laid out to house expenses plus interest and costs. The next step is to get his pay garnished or his bank account attached or a lien put on the house for the amount of the judgement and your costs to get the judgement so that you get paid. We don’t have debtor’s prison anymore, so there re few incentive to make him pay up. If he is already deeply in debt, he has developed a certain tolerance for being in debt, and it bothers him a lot less than it bothers you.

        One reason that the lawyer may not have called you back is that your brother is largely judgement-proof. One can attach a lien to the house, but that doesn’t necessarily get paid quickly. They can sit there for a long period of time, and the only time that they are paid is when the house is sold, which is looking like your best option increasingly. The problem is that your brother would have to agree to sell the house, and he would have to be prepared to satisfy the lien from his accumulated debt out of his share of the net proceeds of the house sale.

        1. One reason that the lawyer may not have called you back is that your brother is largely judgement-proof. One can attach a lien to the house, but that doesn’t necessarily get paid quickly. They can sit there for a long period of time, and the only time that they are paid is when the house is sold, which is looking like your best option increasingly. The problem is that your brother would have to agree to sell the house, and he would have to be prepared to satisfy the lien from his accumulated debt out of his share of the net proceeds of the house sale.

          ————–
          I wanted a hollaback from the attorney so that I could get a referral from him for a real estate attorney.

          That attorney I called can’t represent me anyway since he knows the both of is.

          I cannot wait for him. I will find a real estate attorney on my own; I already lost a week of crucial time.

          As I said, Bro has a nice sized chunk of change coming to him — better I get that amount of money frozen and have my money taken from there.

          He owes me a great deal more than nearly 10 grand — when all is said and done, it is probably closer to 18K or maybe even 20K — let them freeze that money and I can get it from there versus a garnishment. I am going to ask if I can include the last 71/2 years instead of the last 4. I am 100% certain this has been going on since then. Damn it to hell — I should have stopped this mess when he started it. NEVER let it go this far.

          This house is behind in taxes for 2 quarters. You cannot sell the house unless you are up to snuff and paid up to date on your property taxes. I don’t know how I am going to get the money for these 2 quarters — I am strapped.

          As I said there are no liens on this house. The tax collector verified that for me the other day.

          I want him the F out of here. Paying me off is one thing; he will continue to not pay his share and this is where the buck needs to stop, so to speak. I am having a hard time affording my own expenses — I have to cover his, also? Positively wrong.

          1. It is good news that you have no liens on the house, but you have to have the judgement before you can get the lien and he may not cooperate with the interrogatories, where he discloses his assets and where they are located. We don’t have debtor’s prison, and I doubt that a judge would find him in contempt of court for not cooperating with whatever judgement that you get.

            Some information on wage garnishment in New Jersey:
            http://www.consumerbankruptcylaw.com/Bankruptcy-Articles/Wage-Garnishment-in-New-Jersey-A-Debt-Collection-Tool-of-Last-Resort.shtml . It looks like you can garnish at most 10% of his wages because he earns so little. If he quit his job, you would have to find out where he is working and inform the new employer.

            Selling the house with outstanding property taxes is simpler than it looks. It is probably sufficient to put into escrow an amount sufficient to pay the property taxes and any late charges at settlement, and pay that amount directly to the city or town by cashier’s check. It is common to pro-rate taxes between tax due dates when a house is sold. Where I live, they collect taxes in arrears, so I got a payment of something like $117 from the seller of my house to pay me for the taxes that had accrued, but that would not be due until the end of the year. My property taxes for the year are about $650.

            You might want to take a look at a HUD-1 form, which lays out the sorts of expenses that are common at a real estate closing.

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