Friend Filing Bankruptsy and forclosure...spending Without a Care

Updated on December 25, 2010
M.C. asks from Saint Paul, MN
17 answers

I have a friend who I met a year ago. Not long ago I find she is filing bankruptsy and forclosure. To be honest when I first met them I thought they were loaded. They spend so much (on card of course) it is amazing. She constatnly wants to go out to movies, eat ect with me and I finally broke down and told her I couldn't afford to do it. That is when i found out what situation they were in. They have no care in the world about money anymore and are going on shopping spree's etc now and I can't help but have major anger towards it. They know that they will not be evicted from their home until after the winter is over so of course they pay no bills etc. It pains me to see someone take advantage of the system like this, then to think about the fact that their must be thousands more who do this also. Being someone who has worked so hard to stay within our means I find myself not wanting to be with them even thought they are for a part good people. How do I get over this, am I being silly about this. I mean it is my tax dollars and many others going to waste. I guess maybe I don't know what I am looking for here. Maybe just needed to get it out of my system.

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone for your thoughts, I really am glad to hear all sides of the matter. I didn't go to far into the details but the details don't matter too much. Yes they were young made some not-so-wise decisions, I know that this will most likely never end (as far as their will always be people like this) and their are all diferent sorts of people, I am not perfect myself. But yes their decisions althought not just theirs does effect my life in many ways. Once again thank you.

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answers from Anchorage on

I would not be able to remain friends with them, their morals are just too far off, and accepting that does not make you a bad person. Move on.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Maybe they're not the "good people" you think they are? I don't think you will be able to get past it. I know I wouldn't be able to. You know what though? I always thought that if you did go on spending sprees after filing for bankruptcy, there is a very good chance that the debt that you create after filing will NOT be forgiven and you will be required to pay that debt back. Which is exactly how it should be. So they may get their just due after all.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Spokane on

I actually had friends who "worked the system" as well, and it bothered me too! Especially because my husband and I were doing everything in our power to do things "right" and still ended up losing our two houses, having to move two states away from my family, and are now living paycheck to paycheck after spending his entire retirement on trying to "save" our mortgages. Just thought I'd jump on here and agree with you, and say that I just don't think it's worth your anger, find new friends who are morally compatible with you. Even if these people are "nice," I wouldn't consider them "good."

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answers from Pittsburgh on

It's unethical and immoral to do what they are doing.
You need to mind your own business. They will deal with the repercussions of their bankruptcy for a long time. Your tax dollars are being wasted on a LOT more than that.

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answers from Portland on

If you are serious about wanting to get over this, you might hold in mind that we all have our foibles and habits that shock or outrage somebody, and we all have our ways of gaming the system, though we may be quite blind to the fact.

Just a few common examples:

Some people have excellent health insurance coverage through their employers that allows them to get expensive elective medical care, thus driving up premiums for everyone. This means less well-fixed families who buy their own insurance may have to raise deductibles or even drop their policies.

Here's one that all of us probably do at times: We buy more food than we actually use (Americans throw out staggering amounts of food). This, too, drives up prices (the law of supply and demand), wastes resources and energy (producing, harvesting, processing/packaging and transporting all that food), and so ultimately affects the well-being of all humans and other species.

We all game the system when we buy "cheap" as opposed to buying quality or buying local. Some of what we purchase is creating sweatshops, child slavery, pollution and toxic waste overseas. We also dispose "cheap," and much of our toxic waste (like heavy metals in electronics) is being shipped to undeveloped nations where the toxins poison groundwater, air, pregnant women and children.

We might think nothing of jumping in the car for simple convenience, making many more trips per week than necessary, polluting the atmosphere, increasing traffic pressure, and driving up gas prices.

We might drink, or smoke, or eat, or party, or buy, or do any number of things that make us feel better when we're down or anxious or frustrated, and not see them as compensatory behaviors. I'll bet that a fair amount of modern buying is compensatory. I know I've done it at least a few times. I know people who spend as a way to fend off despair and depression, or even hoard "stuff" as a hedge against future loss.

It may also help to remember that even if your own money habits are stainless, you probably have other personal quirks that are not. Your friend may have terrible finacial behaviors, but not have some of your personality flaws. (And her spending WILL catch up with her, as other moms have pointed out.)

Finally, I don't see how this person's financial crash will directly affect you as a taxpayer. This is between her and her creditors, which are private corporations. They will, indirectly, pass increase costs on to other consumers, and make loans incrementally harder for other people to qualify for.

Finally, I've discovered that most people are decent, and reasonable, and have no evil intentions, even if they are not educated on the same facts I am. I am happier when I live in that knowledge. If I spend my hours fretting about other people's poor choices, or being furious that not everybody has nice motives, I am missing my own life. Since this is the only life I'll actually get to live, missing it would be sad.

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answers from San Francisco on

what goes around comes around. She will not be without accountibility---she will not get away with all this spending because of bankruptcy. The court could order her to owe a certain amount if they see she is taking advantage. My thought for you as friends is to stay out of her financial business and just be her friend. If you cant afford going to the movies or what ever she is suggesting, ask if she would do something else. Life is too short to be worrying about someone elses' decisions or problems. We have enough of our own. I would just let it go and know that if she is doing the wrong thing, it will come back to bite her....


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answers from Chicago on

well trust she won't get any more credit and if i understand correctly they will still have to pay it back.

and most importantly. vote. i did, but it didn't help. LOL

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answers from Cincinnati on

as some of the others i am also confused on how this effects your tax dollars, and even if they are not evicted intill after the winter they will STILL owe that money. if they are filing bankruptcy how are they spending money. once you file you can't use your cards and inorder to apply for credit you neeed to go through the bankruptcy court (intill after you bankruptcy is paid off) how are they taking advantage of the system? yeah they are being stupid with money, but its not like anyone is going to pay these things for them they will still owe the money. when you file bankruptcy you are still paying towards that debt you are just paying a little less because your attorney works with the creditors about it. I want to add that my husband and i filed bankruptcy eariler this yr. we were being sued by a creditor for 16,000 and if we hadnt filed they were going to sieze our house and sell it to pay the debt. some people need to file!

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answers from San Diego on

Your friend is being short sighted, not because she doesn't care, but because she is probably is so much pain. She is spending and acting as if because she is in so much trouble. She's thinking about now because thinking about others, tomorrow, reality, is too frightening.

You can get over it because we all cope in ways that aren't necessarily the healthiest. You may be financially responsible, but there may be other areas of your life that may be less that responsible: (I don't know, just throwing this out there, but here are some common ones...) The person who over eats: but individual lifestyle impacts other's medical costs, disengaging into TV/internet: but withdrawing from family can lead to neglect impacting how children perform in school, etc etc.

I'm not condoning what they are doing (I plain don't like it) but I find that I can empathize with the self destructiveness we are all capable of. All individual self destruction impacts the greater society, so you can be a friend by allowing her mistakes... or not.


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answers from Colorado Springs on

It's frustrating to see people do this. What are they taking? Where are their brains? Is it possible to untangle what is going on? Are they in denial? Are they people who have always lived this way and don't know any other way to live? Are they addicted to spending and unable to stop? Facing financial disaster is scary. Are they running away?

Whatever it is, they are to be pitied. Yes, it certainly does cost the rest of us money indirectly, but it's going to cost them more in the long run. And if they have children, what are their children learning? While you're feeling anger, maybe you can feel a little pain for them as well.

Whether you distance yourself from this woman or not, stick to your guns about being a person of financial integrity yourself. One of these days she might need someone like you to teach her how you do it - when the bubble has burst and she has no future, no money, and nothing that money can buy.

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answers from Denver on

A. If it's so upsetting to you why are you friends with her? You can't be part good people - that's like being kind of pregnant.
B. It's not your tax dollars that is/is not doing anything. Are you jealous?
C. Why do you care?
D. All of the above

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answers from Lincoln on

To the ppl who say it won't affect her tax dollars - that may be true but it will affect other dollars. The money has to come from somewhere so the rest of us that bust our tails end up having to pay more - whether in the long run higher loan rates or costs of items. And I believe it's more the principal of the thing. That they are purposely creating more debt. Spending money they don't have frivolously.
And this is a new friendship - only a year old. She is working thru these "habits that may shock or outrage someone" (as someone put) and as she said needed to get it out of her system. That's how one decides if a friendship is worth holding onto. Which is really why she is here. And that may take a little time. Once I worked with a girl who was committing insurance fraud and doing the same thing racking up the credit cards because she was going to file bankruptcy. No it didn't directly affect me, but it did indirectly affect me - but after talking it over with a few ppl that didn't know her that's when I realized that was not a person I could associate with. And i actually turned her into the insurance company and our human resources. From there, I don't know what happened because she got fired and so obviously that ended our "friendship".

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answers from Minneapolis on

This is a MAJOR pet peeve of mine. We know a few people who are doing this same thing right now. One is in a neighborhood near us. They live in a McMansion w/ huge pool in the backyard, 2 luxury SUV's, a big boat, and 2 waverunners. When I saw their foreclosure notice in the paper I was shocked! In the following months they didn't try selling their toys or even their house, they continued to throw lavish parties and took their boat out every weekend. My husband and I are pissed! It seems that that old saying "nice people finish last" is true. We work hard and spend within our means but others seem to take advantage of the system and get whatever they want. UGH!
Another neighbor got foreclosed on and we found out through realtor friends of ours that they didn't move out and into something affordable, they built another huge house and just moved in! How does this happen???!!!!
So yes, you're not alone in being ticked about this. I don't know how these people are getting away with this.
And to those who say to mind your own business and it doesn't effect others, I disagree. These people stay in their homes knowing they'll be forced out eventually, sometimes trashing them and dragging down our house values. All the foreclosures in our neighborhood have have dropped our house value over $100K! I understand some people lose their jobs and fall on hard times, but there are still many that over-spend and don't care about anyone else in the meantime.:(


answers from St. Louis on

A couple we are friends with did the same thing. Shes a sahm, her hubby laid off for a year. She refused to get a job to help out. She even told me she was going to go out and max out the credit cards because they were filing bankruptcy. :( I too have to tell her a lot that I cannot do things because we are on a budget. Earlier poster asked if you were jealous? Well to be honest with you, these friends of mine filed bankruptcy, had their parents pay their house payment for a year, and the other day told me how they are planning a trip to Mexico in May. I dont think its jealousy, it could be, but my husband and I work our tails off, while they sit at home and plan vacations after all thats happened. It does bother me that other people always have to pay their way. Oh well, what can you do?



answers from Milwaukee on

Ugh I don't blame you. I'm as tree-hugging-lefty-liberal as they come and a huge supporter of social welfare programs BUT I get SO ANGRY when I hear stories about people abusing the bankruptcy system. The great thing about this is she will probably be screwed. Bankruptcy isn't such an easy way out if you're not smart and a decent human being about it. I have a friend who filed and foreclosed when she and her ex went through a divorce, but she spoke with an attorney at the first signs that they might have to go that route and was very careful about NOT spending any money. The banks CAN and WILL make your friend pay back some loans on items obtained recently - despite the bankruptcy, they wont' get out of that. That hopefully makes you feel a little better for now and you can focus on whether or not to keep your friendship alive later on.

Also, there was another person who mentioned that there are so many Decent people out there - and I think that's so true! Sometimes the bad apples skew our perception and we believe that there really are "thousands" or people like that - but there truly aren't!

Most people are genuinely good and not out to screw the system. My husband and I are credit card debt-free and it feels awesome! I think that most people would much much much rather be debt-free then swimming in it. It might not seem that way with your friends on the surface, but it's eating away at them deep down I bet. Focus on the good decent people around you and what they're doing, how they navigate their consumer world. It's a much happier prospect :)


answers from Cincinnati on

I too had a friend for years like that. She had all the newest and best purses, clothing, great things for their kids on holidays, nice car, and it was all a lie. $40k of cc debt and broke as a joke. It's sad that people have to pretend to be someone they are not. They're selfish and they don't care about consequences. And they certainly don't care about how they're effecting the system. I cannot imagine having nothing to be proud of.



answers from Minneapolis on

Unfortunatly they are living the lifestyle they might have once been used to. They are sddicted to what they want and used to be able to buy.
Our neighbors recently went through the same thing. In the beginning I felt very bad for them and tried so hard to help them out. Then I saw how out of control their spending was and realized they have a huge problem. They are now living with their parents (along with their 4 children) It will eventually catch up with them. They might be in their glory right now spending freely because they have no mortgage. It will catch up with them though. Their credit will be shot, therfore they will no be able to own a home again for a long time. They will have a very hard time renting if they filed for bankruptcy. Their credit is pretty much shot. Expect to be the friend who is there when she needs a shoulder to cry on in about 6 months.

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