Here is a rather long email I sent to my mom to try to summarize her (pretty dire) financial situation at the beginning of 2010:


Your Best Buy credit card is now completely paid off. If you get any more bills from them, please let me know. When you get the next statement from them — which should show a zero balance — let me know so that we can call them to cancel that account.

Your car insurance with Infinity is paid up through (as far as I can tell) the end of March. That cancelation notice you received was sent the day before they received the automatic payment from the bank.

That cancelation notice you sent me from Bright House was from early December. I have no idea why you were just sending me that now, but that bill is current and is not late or anything. You don’t owe them any money right now.

I paid the $135.00 you owed to Radiology Associates (Port Orange / Daytona Beach) so you shouldn’t owe them anything else now.

Earlier this month (February) I paid some money to State Farm to cover the (minimal) medical expenses of the man from the car accident. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you hoping that State Farm doesn’t try to go after you for any damages to his vehicle. You need to let me know immediately if you hear anything from them.

For right now I am going to ignore this $519.00 bill from University of Florida Physicians. Unfortunately you simply don’t have enough money for me to pay everyone that wants money from you, and since it’s a doctor’s bill, they can wait. I’m also looking at the fact that the statement date is July 12 of last year, so I can’t understand why you are just sending it to me now. (Do you have a stockpile of bills there that you have been ignoring and are just sending to me arbitrarily every now and then?)

I’m also currently ignoring the $621.15 bill I have here for ambulance service in Alachua County from May 30 of 2008. Again, you simply don’t have enough money to pay all your bills. That will probably be the first one we try to pay once you have a job and some income, but for now they will just have to wait.

Paying $80.00 each week to Mr. Garber for counseling is certainly putting a serious dent in your cash reserves. (That’s $320.00/mo, which is quite a bit for someone with no income.) I’m going to give him a call next week to see if he can do anything to minimize that; but I think you need to keep seeing him, especially if you feel like he is helping you get back on your feet. Please — PLEASE — stress to him that dealing with 50+ years of depression and hypochondria, and working through the multitude of issues you have with your parents is truly important, but it is nowhere near as desperately critical as helping you get to a place where you can get a job and start generating some positive cash flow. That should be your number one priority every time you talk to him.

Right now you have $7,500 remaining in your CD. That should last you just about two more months at your current “burn rate”, so you will be unable to pay your rent (or any other bills) starting in May. At that point if you have not started earning at least $2,500/mo then I do not have any idea what we will do.

Please, please understand that I am *not* telling you these things to scare you. I have no incentive to do that and there is no benefit for me to make you any more worried than you already are. I am very concerned about what is going to happen. I love you with all my heart and [name redacted] and I are both praying for you to recover from this situation.

Please reply to this message — RIGHT NOW — so I know you received it.

Love always,

David Vincent Gagne

I should note that I was paying these bills with her money and not with my own.
She never did reply to that email.