SIL And BIL Nightmare!

Updated on October 29, 2011
M.H. asks from Belleville, NJ
21 answers

Okay, here we go. My SIL & BIL live on the second floor of a house we share and that was given to us by my husband’s parents. Because of the economy my BIL lost his job. They are a family of 6. For the past 2 1/2 yrs. we have been caring them. Having to take out two mortgages on a house that was paid off! They claim they do not have any money since now he goes from making $70,000 a yr to $25,000 not counting tips. He is a parking attendant where my husband works. My husband is the General Manager you could say.
When we first took over the house we both paid $500 rent we call it for the taxes in a house account. Now it’s gone up $700 because of the loans. My BIL pays when he feels like it. This is the way I see it. He brings home about $350 wk. not including tips. My husband and I argue a lot over this. Because he said you can't change people and make them responsible. My BIL gets bailed out of finances all the time either by us or their parents. Last year we had to take a loan out to pay his Taxes $35,000.00 because when he had his business he didn’t pay taxes and now it caught with him. Last December he said he was going to pay us back rent when he got his end of year XMAS tips. $1,500.00. We did not see a penny of it. They went and bought a dog for $600 and used the rest for their house bills and XMAS.
This puts a strain on me because we have to pay his part of the taxes and the mortgage or else we lose the house. Because of the mortgage and the house now being in our name due to his brother getting a lien put on the house when it was in his name and parents name. Long story. We cannot afford a new house now. His brothers don’t feel he owes us anything! HUH! Are you kidding me? They do nothing around the house. She doesn't work there kids range from 3,7,9,12. When she does get a job she can’t never hold on to it because of her attitude. If they gave us $75 a week it would help pay for something. They toss their trash out the window and get it on the bottom because they are too lazy to walk it down and the same with the laundry she tosses it out the back window on my back steps to bring it into the laundry outside my kitchen door. My in -laws are coming in November. They think I am wrong for being upset. What?! They say I have the attitude that I should be more understanding. What!? Yes my husband and I have good jobs. We have 4 children ourselves two step from his first marriage and two together. 4,9,18,20. The 20 yr old in college that we are paying for. What about our struggles. They don’t see that, they just see what his brother is going through.
Now, we are having Thanksgiving in my house this year. His parents live in PR by the way. Know I have to deal with all of them. Am I wrong for feeling this way? My SIL is so nasty and lazy. I wanted a peaceful holiday. Normally they stay in their home and us in ours. Now with the in-laws coming, it’s always in my apt. I don’t know if I can stomach them anymore. What can I do?!

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your great advice. I am going to try and push to sell. The house is now under our name. We took out the loans to help pay everyone debt. Mostly ours and take the lein off the house, which was his brothers fault. We pay the mortgage because they agreed that when the house is sold all the debt they owe will come out of there share. The rent was not part of the deal. THe rend is what we used to pay the taxes. Unfortunely, the debt is more then the house is worth. If we sell now, we owe them. Do you believe that! My husband said 2 to 3 more yrs so this way, we can walk away owing nothing. I pray that my family can hold itself together for 3 more yrs. It's so hard! Again, THANK YOU! I thought I was crazy and alone for being so upset over this. You guys are the best. :)

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answers from Houston on guys had the free house...and now it's all screwed up....if you continue to live there you will be engaged in this battle forever...because nothing will change. Why were leins taken out on the house and who took out 2 mortgages??? Who got all the money? And you are worried about Thanksgiving?

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Get something in writing prepared by a legal professional. SO when you sell they don't end up saying they get 50% and then actually getting it.

Get a legal document drawn up!!!!!!!!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Who owns the house?
If you do--you need to sell. Let your BIL and SIL actually survive as tenants with a landlord.
If you in-laws own the house, then move out & rent an apartment.

Truly--you cannot expect anything to change as long as you remain there.

As for the peaceful holiday--I wish you the best--but I wouldn't count on it.

NEVER mix money and family! It has a way of always leaving a bad taste in the mouth.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Wow, how toxic.

If it was me, I'd make it clear to hubby that you refuse to let your credit and future financial prospects be destroyed by his family. I'd then make it clear that he needs to find a way for you to live without them. In fact, I'd suggest he finds the money to buy his brother out. Then, they can either be proper renters or they can move elsewhere. That when you married him, you didn't marry his family and their financial problems.

The problem with big gifts likes houses from parents is that it tends to encourage laziness in their children.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I'm sorry you are in this horrible situation.

I want to address just one key part of it, since others have addressed much of it.

Your husband is not, as someone else put it, on the same page with you. I assume you mean he is doing nothing about the situation and does not have any intention of sittiing everyone down and saying either "We are evicting you" (IF you have that legal right -- I'm not clear on whose names are on this mortgage) or saying "You must pay us X amount in rent or...we are evicting you" or anything else.

You need your husband on your side -- the side of actually taking an action, rather than letting this living arrangement go on and on and on. Here's an idea: If your husband won't listen to YOU about this, do you think he might actually wake up and listen if a third party tells him what a stupid deal he's making with this living situation? Some people won't listen to close family or friends, but WILL sit up and pay attention if a professional tells them the same things.

Go to your bank. Set up an appointment with a financial adviser there, someone with knowledge of real estate and taxes. Banks provide this for free! Go in yourself the first time, lay out the situation but be unemotional and don't badmouth anyone; just term it as "We want to know what risks we are running here." Be sure to bring all the documents -- the mortgage; any written agreements (have there been any? If not, you are not protecting yourselves!) between your family and the SIL/BIL regarding rents etc; the documents for the $35,000 loan your family took out to cover their family's taxes; everything. Then at a second meeting, you AND your husband sit down and ask the financial adviser: What are our risks here? How do we get ourselves out of this situation?

I think any good financial adviser is going to tell you that your whole family is at big financial risk here in several ways -- ownership of the house (still not clear to me if it's your family's or jointly owned with the other family), the fact you now owe a large loan on debt someone else incurred, etc. Find out what your risks are and have the adviser make clear to your husband what the consequences will be to YOUR family if the other family continues this lifestyle: You could lose the house completely if you can't afford the mortgage due to SIL/BIL's refusal to pay rent; you could lose it if your repayment of the loan falls behind; there could be tax issues involved in your paying off someone else's taxes; and much more.

Your husband needs to understand that this situation puts his children's futures at risk; could take the roof from over your heads; could jeopardize any college fund you hope to save for your kids; and could put you in legal or tax troubles as well. You are far too entangled legally and financially with these relatives.

If he hears it from a professional at a bank sitting in an office, he may finally wake up. This may all end up even with the adviser sitting down with all of you, including SIL and BIL, if they are willing to work out a payment plan etc.

The important thing is getting your husband to come around and realize that, though he may think "They're family, we'll just carry them," he is putting his kids' home and future at huge risk. Time to stop. If you can make it all about "This is what the bank guy says," rather than, "We're sick of your taking advantage of us," it may also be easier to tell the SIL/BIL they must shape up or ship out -- you can put it on what the professional is advising you, rather than having it be so emotional and personal.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Charleston on

The only way out of this dysfunctional situation is if you move out. They are not going to change, they will never pay you back, and they will continue to use you. You will have to cut your losses, and leave. Stop enabling them. Stop being responsible for them. You will have some hard times ahead, but then again, it's not like you're living on easy street now. Good luck. Money and family and friends never mix.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I think that you and DH need to extract yourselves, even if in the short term it is a financial pinch. They cannot force you to take a $35K loan. You did it because you felt it was necessary. Sounds like BIL is taking full advantage of everyone and the only way to stop the train is to get off this track.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

The only feasible answer to this is to find a way that both families do not live in this house. It doesn't sound like it is going to get better if someone doesn't move out. Conversely, can you cut your losses, sell the house and split the proceeds to buy your own house? Not really fair to you, but at least you would be out of that situation.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

They've served you a load of BS and are completely taking advantage of you. Whose names are on the title? If both parties names are on it, sounds like it's time to sell the house. If only your names are on it, BIL and SIL need to move out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

tough love.. kick them out and let them find out what the real world is like.

When I was 21 I was 14k in debt in credit card.. My parents showed me the way to get out of debt.. I am now 35 I have 2 kids, pay my mortgage every month, have no credit card debt, and a little money in the bank. (with 2 kids in daycare, we can not put as much away as we would like) My parents could have "payed" off my debts, but they did not. They showed me how to do it and I have never gone back there. If I don't have the money, I don't do it. Right now we are going a little into debt to redo our kitchen, but we need to do it.. the cabinets are falling apart and we need to put in a dishwasher. But all will be paid off in 6 months.

My cousin had debt as well, her parents bought her out.. she went back there and it was more than double the first time.. Now the second time she had to bail her self out.. now she is doing well financially..

We need to not bail people out.. let them fend on their own.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Reno on

So....if they are both over 18 I think you need to come up with a room-mate agreement have it notarized. In the agreement I would state what bills are to be paid and when, conditions for trash removal(throwing it out of the window is unacceptable), state laundry is also not to be unceremoniously dumped either etc. I would also state that they have 90 or 120 days to find a new place-even if they do adhere to your new regulations. If they do not want to respect the house and terms of the agreement then serve them with a 30 day notice.
Also to encourage your SIL to move I would offer to babysit at a reduced rate while she works, looks for work and fills out applications. Or offer to post an ad on craigslist for her to do laundry and iron, babysit, clean houses etc-see if she can get work when BIL is off to save from paying a sitter. Julie was right you cannot let your credit suffer. I'm all for helping people and not expecting anything in return however when they take advantage of me I am done!


answers from Tampa on

I agree with those who say to evict. You can also pay for a lawyer to write up a lease in which you require $700 a month and if 3 consecutive months are unpaid - you evict, or if 4 single months are not paid over the course of the year they will be evicted.

You need to tell your husband your and HIS family cannot continue to pick up the tab of another family. If you were those people's PARENTS that is different... but you are the SIL and your husband is the brother.



answers from Champaign on

It really is time to try and remove yourselves from the situation. Talk to your husband about your options. You might have to be creative, but it's just not worth the stress to continue living like this. Who owns the house? Who has the loans? If the answer is you in both cases, you might want to seriously consider what the cost of selling the house would be. It might be worth it, even if you take a loss.

Be creative, but try and find a way to chance your living situation. It's not worth the stress, and all of the relationships will be better if you move.



answers from Lake Charles on

IF your husband feels the same way you do then I'd just evict them. Seriously. They don't pay rent and the house is in your name, YOU pay the mortgage, YOU pay the taxes why are these people still there?! Oh, because no where else could they pay NO rent, NO utilities and just sit on their asses all the time.. Maybe even drafting a letter stating you can't afford to foot their bill anymore and lay out their MONTHLY financial responsibilities or face eviction would get them in gear? You are part of a team and if the other part of your team (your husband) is okay with throwing away resources to help someone who doesn't appreciate the help then you need to rethink your marriage (and tell your husband that) who cares if your in-laws tell you you shouldn't feel that way?! Just because they want to be walked all over doesn't mean you have to stand for it.


answers from Hartford on

I would suggest getting a lawyer to see what your options are in this situation. I know the fact that this is family makes it sticky, and that could be why your husband isn't on the same page. Who wants to be the one who kicked family out even if they were behaving abominably and embarrassingly? He may be getting pressure from his mother to be lenient as well as falling back on lifelong habit... and he probably feels obligated to take care of this brother.

But he has to feel more obligation to take care of his wife and children. But because housing is involved you HAVE to use housing lawyers.


answers from Dallas on

Well you might be fighting a losing battle if your husband is not on the same page as you are. As long as he and his parents continue to enable his brother and sil, they aren't going to change. They don't really face any consequences for their actions or the lack of actions, so why should they even try to change? You either have to set up some business arrangement, roommate agreement as another mom suggested. Get it on paper, notarized etc. If they don't follow through with their end of the agreement, then you have some legal ground to go on. As it is right now, it's ya'lls words againist theirs and you see how well that's working out. I would insist on something like that. I would tell them exactly why you are having to do that. Show them what all you and your husband have to pay for out of your pocket. Show them what it is doing to you both financially, emotionally and everything else. You have no choice. Its either that, or somehow sell the house to get out from underneath it, cut your losses and get your own seperate place away from them. Do not help them anylonger. I'm all for helping those who help themselves but they aren't even doing that, so that's when I would say no more. I'm a b**** when it comes to stuff like this. It doesn't matter who they are. We've had to do this with my adult stepson. As a result he is finally standing on his own two feet because we forced him to become self sufficient. If you don't do something this may hurt your marriage. If your husband refuses to do anything you have a decision to make for yourself. You may have to be the bad guy here and say enough is enough. I certainly hope it doesn't come down to you having to do something drastic but if your husband won't get on the same page, he may end up losing his family. All this will do is cause resentment between you and your husband and we all know where that can lead. Express your concerns loud and clear. I personally don't think I would have Thanksgiving at your place with all that going on. But then maybe they will get to see first hand what it's like there. Let them see for themselves. BTW, try not to care what everyone thinks about you, do what is right for your family. They may hate you in the time being but in the long run your husband will come around and realize that you were right. Good luck!!



answers from New York on

if you cant sell house how about renting it out Also get a lawyer and force him mto buy you out run as fast as you can you are being enablers



answers from New York on

I so empathize with you. I was so sleep deprived with my son for the first 2 years since I wasn't a good sleeper that it really was a challange to feel good. I had also started getting many health and emotional problems (which I do believe stemmed mostly from health and nutritional issues) that started in my twenties; digestive and immunilogical. I can write a dissertation on all this, but I'm going to cut to the chase. If you can get some more help with you kids so you can take care of yourself and find a really good integrative doctor to work with you. He/she will do nutritional testing to see if you have food allergies, gluten intolerance, thyroid issues, heavy metal toxicity,etc.--all these can affect how we think and feel. I thought I was losing my mind, and it ended up that along with my immunilogical problems, I also had aspartame poisoning (the artificial sweetner) - since I had mono as an adult which affects liver and spleen I became totally toxic from this neurotoxin (check net regarding aspartame dangers and it will blow your mind). Also find alternative healers that do body work such as acupuncture and herbs, reflexology ,reiki, etc. I had all of the same illnesses you had and allopathic medicine had nothing that could heal me--only band-aids. Through self-actualization, my spiritual quest and healing my body (when you don't feel well, the world seems like a different place) my life turned around. I still have my bad days, but I used to have 10 bad and 1 good and now I have 10 good and 1 bad. Best of luck and please keep us posted.


Sorry! I meant to post on another question.


answers from Dallas on

Oh my goodness, you are a saint, I would have lost it a long time ago if I was you... That's not right and BIL and SIL know down deep it isn't but have been catered too for way too long.. I agree with everyone and you should evict them, but I don't think your husband will do that since he paid 35K of back taxes, he needs to let his brother fall on his face and be a man...

Hugs going out to you!


answers from Norfolk on

You have to either evict them or sell the house and move.
When my uncle had problems with squatters in his rental properties he made a point of renovating in January (Buffalo, NY -25 degree wind chills), rip the windows out and they'd be gone within 24 hours.
If SIL throws stuff out a window - board it up or replace it with glass block (lets light in but can't be opened).
She can haul her laundry to a laundry mat - she should not be using your washer/dryer.
Buying a dog for $600 was ridiculous.
I'd sell the dog and pocket the cash.
If in laws want more understanding, they can invite your BIL and family to move back home with them - let's see how far THEIR understanding stretches.
The only way you will have a peaceful holiday is to declare war - and when they are gone THEN EVERY holiday from then on will be peaceful.



answers from Dover on

So, I have more questions than answers, I'm afraid.

If there was no mortgage on the house, then who got the mortgage when you applied? Was it you or them or both of you, your parents-in-law? If it's you, make a rental agreement. If it's both of you, refinance the house in your name only and make a rental agreement. If it's your parents-in-law, then tell them if they don't want to be left holding the payment for half the mortgage something has to change. If the house is not in your name, then you have more power than you think. You can walk away and they can get themselves out of trouble.

The first thing you need to do is have a calm, reasonable conversation with your husband when you aren't pissed off about something they did. You have to list the pros and cons to the arrangement. You have to mention your serious concerns about YOUR finances, YOUR credit, YOUR future. If this destroys YOUR credit, your BIL and SIL aren't going to be able to bail you out, so why are you taking yourselves to dark places to try and save people who aren't trying to save themselves. Then you need to tell him how it makes you feel when his family's feelings and needs take such precedence over your own. He LEFT his family and married you. His first responsibility is to YOU and your family. You need to come to some kind of agreement BEFORE Thanksgiving.

It's too late I know, but I think it bears stating just in case - you shouldn't have paid their taxes, you shouldn't pay more than your share of rent. As long as you are willing to enable this behavior, you are going to be in this poistion. You need to make him be independent.

You also need to have a consultation with an attorney to see what all of your options are to get the heck out of this. If your husband will not go, then you need to go alone. Your first order of business is to protect your family and you need to find out whatever you need to do, or however you need to set things up so that if they flake out, drop the ball, whatever, you aren't left holding the bag. You also need to find out how to get the loan you got for them in their name, or a payment arrangement, or something.

You need to have all this done by Thanksgiving and set up then you need to sit them down together (all the inlaws) and lay it all on the line. It's either your way or you hit the bricks, take the credit damage, and they can all figure it out.

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