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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last year Lisa, at 21, needed a new car, asked me to help her out. The car went in my name (stupid ain't I) and she was making the payments. She was living with us at the time so I could monitor what was happening.

She promised faithfully never to fall behind with the payments because it meant too much to her and I had no reason at the time to think differently because she ahd always paid me any money she owed me.

In July she moved out because she was tired of my nagging her to get up for work. I was uncomfortable with her taking the car and told her if she did anything stupid with the car, like drink and drive, I would take the car.

Then she got let go from her day job, she had and still does have a part time job at Sears, because of her time keeping. She was very surprised. Then the payments started being late and short.

She dropped out of high school and has been half heartedly going about getting her GED. She will take the math course but not the test, then she wioll take the English but not the test and she knows that without her GED she doesn't have too much choice in the jobs she can get.

About a month after she left us to go home to Mom, I told her she had to get the car out of my name and she had a year to do it. She said that's fine it shouldn't be much of a problem. I didn't agree with her.

I had also told her that if she fell behind even one payment I was taking the car back. Okay, I understand she said. She is 3 payments behind and about 2 months ago I told her she was behind and that we needed to talk. She has been avoiding me since. She finally stopped by the house today, when she knew I wasn't going to be home, I had left her a letter saying I wanted the car back and why and that until she repaid me the 3 payments AND got a loan to put the car in my name it was staying with me.

She called her father at work and screamed at him saying it wasn't her fault she couldn't get a job, she didn't have her GED! And a few other choice words! Her father is on my side, has to be - we pay our bills together and I have done a lot for this particular daughter, and he told her she was the one who dropped out of high school and sat around not looking for a job not us, and to get over it. So she told him the car will be home tonight and hung up on him.

There is more to the story than this and believe I am aware I have done some stupid things regards this subject. I have learned some lessons.

Tonight there is a strong possibility that world war 3 will be at my house.......................
 

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Go and get your car.

If you back off from this, she'll lose every shred of respect for you. You've given your word that A + B = C. If she finds out it DOESN'T mean C, she'll go on forever thinking that she can play with A + B and never pay the piper.

Let her bellow at her Dad and Mom. It's a financial transaction, no more no less. A BANK wouldn't listen to her whining, would it? A BANK would have repo'ed the car months ago.

Go get your car!
 

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Dan's right. It's a hard lessoned learned,and I'm sure she will someday appreciate what you did.
 

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WWIII will be the best thing that ever happened to Lisa. At 21 it's time she grew up. It sounds like she plays Mom and Dad against each other; I'm assuming you can't get Mom to help the two of you provide a united front?

It was nice of you to try and help with the car (and when has niceness ever gone unpunished?) but how come her Dad didn't put it in his name? Seems to me like the kind of thing that stepmoms should probably stay out of.

Good luck to you tonight. Hopefuly waiting and worrying about it will be worse than the actual event.
 

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You're lucky it's in your name - you, as the mean stepmonster, can take the car back more easily than if it were in her dads name - who would be mad and upset, but probably never take his daughters car away from her. Get the car. You've already passed by some ultimatums.
 

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I agree with everyone here - go get the car. If she isn't responsible enough to attend highschool, keep a job and make car payments, then I say the plug gets pulled. Let WWIII rain down - you guys have every right as parents/step-parents, and more importantly, legally.

Good luck. My thoughts will be with you.

Maybe as a side thingy, her dad could write her a contract - she attends school and makes enough $$ for 3 months of car payments up front, plus the 3 missed, then maybe, just maybe she can get the car back. (I'm assuming you'll be keeping it, since you have to take out a loan on it?)
 

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I agree with Dan. The bank would have repo'd the car.

Just an aside, my brother and his wife had a similar situation with his stepson. I think the deal was that he had to pay the insurance or something like that. They finally had to draw the line, car sat in the driveway, so there was lots of grumbling at home. Well, my nephew joined the Marines and my brother and his wife distinctly remember getting a call home from boot camp from my nephew on what wonderful parents they were. ;) Guess a change in situation resulted in a different perspective.
 

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If the car isn't home by 10pm I would make a midnight run and go get it. I hope you kept a set of keys. Take the car it is the only thing that is going to get her off her duff and get her GED. In fact I think I would make that a condition of getting the car back...payment up to date and her GED.
 

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Ditto to everything everyone else has said. It's time for Stepdaughter to learn responsibility, and she'll never learn it until she's faced some consequences. You were very nice to have done that for her, but she's not living up to her end of the bargan, so it's by-by time for the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks everyone!

Yes tough love is the only thing that works. Especially for her. We joke about me being the mean stepmom. I am the one she calls first for any support. I was the first one she called when caught in a gas station robbery a couple of months back. I was the first one she came to see when her boyfriend broke up with her. She knows I love her.

Her mother is a piece of work and, right now, is either telling her off for losing the car and for not getting up for work and/or trying to work out a way to get DH into court to make him pay for a dental bill for Lisa. A whole other story.

Suffice it to say she raised both the daughters by screaming you can do whatever you want when you are 18 until then suffer. No life skills taught at all, but then she doesn't have too many either.

I didn't see Lisa, she saw my MIL who said she broke down and cried and started trhowing up she was so upset. This is Lisa. She then dropped the car off and it was in the driveway when I got home. I don't think I will hear from her about the car, she doesn't like confrontation with her parents or with me. She knows once I put my foot down it's all over.

It's such a shame, she is such a lovely girl and a lot of fun but she has the mentality of a 14 year old. She will probably never get the car back, and no, we can't sell it because we won't get the amount of the loan but DH's name will go on the insurance and he can drive it.

She also left this month's car payment. God love her, I have tried so many times to help her but can't be used and abused byt her anymore.

Thanks again for all your support. Where would any of us be if we didn't have people to turn to?


Lisa at Halloween....

had to edit a couple of times!
 

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Having worn the 'evil stepmom' hat myself, I was pleased to read that dad took your side!!!
 

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I think you've done the right thing. If no one stands up to her, she'll continue to walk all over people.

And really- WTH was she thinking dropping out of high school?? I really hope she does get her GED. Without it, she's stuck. She looks like a nice young girl- it's too bad at that age they think they know everything without having even lived.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
she has said she regrets dropping out, but she knew it all..... can't tell her a thing.........

DH has always supported me in any and all dealings with his daughters, in this case he had to because it was my name and money! He couldn't do it. Wish I hadn't sometimes! LOL!
 

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My "evil step mother" was my best friend and the one who expected the most from me! Unfortunately i lost her 8 yrs. ago, but will never forget her! Stay tough, it will be appreciated in the end.
 

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Another one here with an "evil step-mother" who I absolutely adore. If I was in your step-daughter's position, I may avoid you because I knew you were probably disappointed in me-more than because I was mad. I hope it works out for her. Sounds like she's got a great step-mom :) And I'm glad Dad took your side too.
 

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I would never had gotten her a car if she dropped out of high school. How is that teaching her to earn anything? My philosophy is help them not hand it to them. I understand she was making payments but if she not responsible enough to stay in school (a basic thing) how is she responsible enough to pay for a car?
 
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