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Dave Says
Advice from Nashville's leading Financial Aid Advisor Dave Ramsey
Author of Financial Peace and The Total Money Makeover


My brother is financially out of control!

Dear Dave,
My brother is living in my travel trailer. I’m treating it as rental property for now. He went ballistic on his finances. He got behind on his bills and took out a second mortgage. Then he signed up for every credit card offer he received and maxed out those cards. My wife and I offered him the trailer as a place for him, his wife and their child to live when they were just days away from being homeless. They moved it into a trailer park. Now the child has gotten them evicted from the trailer park by vandalizing other people’s property and I don’t think they can get into any other rental property.
They went about nine months without any kind of jobs and living solely on handouts from other family members. We finally collectively put our foot down and said that was going to stop. So both he and his wife now have jobs. However, at this point he’s been evicted twice and I don’t see anyone renting to him. He’s at the point where he’s going to have to start living in other people’s houses. I’ll be honest, I don’t trust his son around my kids and I don’t want him living in my house. I’m just wondering what I can do to help them find another place to live. Should I send him to a state agency to see if he can get some sort of government housing?
Mike in Grand Rapids, MI

Dear Mike,
It sounds like this whole family is out of control. First of all, understand that none of this is your fault, so it’s not your responsibility to find him a place to live. However, I understand that you want to help him.
I agree with checking with state agencies to see if they might be willing to supply him with a place to live. Also, every single apartment complex doesn’t dig deeply to check references and credit. It’s possible he could find some “mom and pop” apartment where he can sit down with the owners and explain that he’s had bad credit, as well as other problems, but they both have jobs now and are trying to work their way back out.
If he can find someone who’s willing to talk to him like a person rather than just going by what his credit report says, he may have a chance. An individual who has a property that’s a little harder to rent – maybe out in the country where the drive to work is longer – might be more open to renting to him.
- Dave
1/31/2005

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