I sent this email to my mom’s friend from her church. This kind woman did just about everything she could over the last two or three years of my mom’s life to try to help her get organized, to try to help her get back on her feet. She took her grocery shopping and to doctor’s appointments. She took her back and forth to church. She helped her with her pets. She and I frequently spoke on the phone and emailed about what we were both doing, along with my sister, to help my mom.
Hi [name redacted],
As far as I can tell there’s no way for me to determine if she paid first, last, and security deposit when she moved into that apartment. If my sister doesn’t recall then I think we’ll be forced to get mom to find her original lease agreement and / or any receipts; or to ask the property manager what the original terms were.
Her auto insurance with Infinity Auto Insurance was never configured for automatic bill payment, so there is nothing for me to cancel there. The last time I paid that bill was on 4/08 for $274.00. (She most likely has an overdue bill in her apartment somewhere.)
I canceled her car payments last week so that $430.00/mo to Ford Motor Credit will no longer be debited. If I remember correctly it is rather complicated to repossess a vehicle so they probably won’t come to take her car away until August at least.
Brighthouse Cable was never configured for automatic bill payments. The last time I paid that bill was on 5/24 for $150.00, but I don’t know if that was a payment to cover the previous month or the upcoming month.
Right now the only remaining automatic bill payments configured are:
(1) Halifax Health
She owes them several thousand dollars and is paying them $94.00/month.
(2) Household Bank Mastercard
This card — like all of her credit cards, as far as I know — has been canceled; though she still owes them quite a bit of money. It is set to automatically debit $40.00/mo.
(3) MJ Altman Companies
This is a collection agency working on behalf of the Alachua County Fire & Rescue Services to pay for an ambulance trip to the ER she made in — I think — 2008. She owes them several hundred dollars and is paying them $25.00/mo.
I have canceled the automatic bill payment to Nelnet Student Loans. She had been paying them $62.00/mo.
She has, no doubt, multiple other credit card balances and hospital bills of which I have never been informed; sadly I have no information to provide about any of them.
If you recall from our last telephone conversation, you had asked me to make sure there was at least $99.00 in her checking account so that you could pay the security deposit at the new apartment. I said that, unfortunately, there is no way for me to do that — because she spends money from that account without ever checking with me — and you would need to call me in advance so that I can transfer money. At the time of that conversation there was a little over $100 in that account. Since then she as spent about $96.00 at the pet store, $15.00 at a gas station, $12.00 at Wal-Mart, and $4.00 at Publix. That put her balance into the negative and I was forced to transfer money into it this morning from the account I use to pay her bills.
On an almost daily basis I had been pleading with her to let me know *before* she spends any money. She always promised that she understood why this was important and that she would not do it again. And then she would do it again the next day. After three or four months of this I gave up and simply do my best to check the balance each day or so to transfer money into it so that the balance isn’t negative.
Another thing to consider is that — although she was tragically fiscally unaccountable for the previous year or so — she did not start acting so completely helpless and irresponsible until (a) I insisted that I start managing her money and (b) she learned that my wife is pregnant. When you couple that with the tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, ambulance and emergency room visits, doctor visits, and counseling she has received in the last ten years that have *all* confirmed that there is absolutely nothing wrong with her physically, and her family’s long history of *not* experiencing any sort of dementia or loss of mental faculties, it is nearly impossible to conclude anything other than that her problems are psychosomatic.
Unfortunately — a word I use depressingly frequently — if I am to believe what she tells me (which is probably unwise), we have seen little to no progress from her visits to the counselor, Andrew Garber, she has been seeing for the last three or four months. He has not returned any of my calls in months; she tells me that it is because of doctor-patient confidentiality regulations, but I have little reason to believe her. Perhaps if you call him you may be able to learn something new; or perhaps you can convince her to tell him he can talk to me (or you) about her. I have asked her a dozen times to give him permission to talk to me and, although she promises she will do so, I have yet to hear anything. His number is [redacted]. But at this point I cannot even know for sure if she has actually been seeing him. I have seen no payments deducted from her checking account to the counseling center where he works in a long time; she says it’s because he’s stopped charging her because he understands her financial hardship, but whether that is true is a mystery.
Once again I thank you sincerely for all the help you have been providing. Please let me know what you learn.