Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I've Got The Power! (of attorney)

OK so. About a month or so ago, I set up a durable power of attorney for my mom. I wanted to make sure that if she was ever in a situation where she wasn't able to speak for herself, or wasn't fully understanding what was going on, I would be able to step in and help her out. Today, I had to step in!

Last year, my mom bought a 2003 Dodge Intrepid. When she went to finance it, the dealer told her she would need a co-signer so that they could get her a lower interest rate and keep the payments low. Enter my uncle, her brother in law. Let's call him Uncle Buck. For some reason, Uncle Buck was listed first on the loan paperwork and on the title. When my mom questioned this, the credit union where she had the loan assured her that as long as she was making the payments, it would be reflected on her credit that the loan was current and on time. So far, so good.

In June, when my mom broke her kneecap, Uncle Buck was over here lickety split to get the car. "You don't need the car", he told my mom. "You can't drive, and what with your mind the way it is, you're not safe on the road." Possibly true, but not the most tactful thing to say to someone when they are not only physically injured, but at an emotional low point. I told my mom then, if she didn't have the car, she should sell it or let him take over the payments. She didn't want to, and decided that if she was making the payments, the car should be sitting in her driveway, not his. Uncle Buck brought the car back, tossing the keys at me when I opened the door. "Give these to your mother", he grumbled as he walked off.

A couple of weeks later, he calls my momma. "My truck broke down, can I drive the car until I get it fixed?" Of course, my momma said yes, and off Uncle Buck went with the car. Cut to this past weekend. On Friday, Uncle Buck calls to ask if mom still wants to sell the car. She tells him that yes, she wants to sell it, as she realizes that she probably won't drive again. On Saturday, Uncle Buck calls her and tells her that she won't have to worry about the car payment anymore. Uncle Buck didn't sell the car, though. No, Uncle Buck took her car and his truck (that suddenly wasn't broken down any more) and traded them in on a new car for himself. How low. How sneaky.

So today, I took a copy of the POA to the credit union to find out if what he did was legit. In Kansas, it is. The title on the car was Momma and/or Uncle Buck. So he could trade the car in or sell it without her knowledge or consent. But. The loan on the car has not been paid off. The credit union won't release the title to the new owner until the lien has been paid. So unless they get the payoff in the next couple of days, looks like Uncle Buck will be stuck with two loans. HA! In your face, Uncle Buck!

What makes me so mad, what hurts so much, is seeing how much this has hurt my mom. It sucks when a family member pulls some sneaky-snake moves on you.

1 comment:

Lola said...

Congrats on getting POA. I'm sure that gives you a lot of piece of mind. Especially when it comes to people trying to take advantage of your mother. Your Uncle Buck sounds like a real tool.