Three years ago, my daughter had no job, no car and no credit, but she had a brand-new college degree. I helped her purchase a car so she could conduct her job search.
I agreed to make the first three monthly payments of $343 each. I set up autopay to bill my bank account. But I put the car title in her name. I didn’t want to be liable if there was an accident.
Well, duh. That was a big mistake. After three months, even though she was working, she asked for an extension, which I granted. She continued asking for extensions citing myriad excuses: Her cats got sick and she had big veterinary bills, her rent increased, she had to replace a cell phone, etc.
Three years later (on a five-year loan), she’s never taken over payments.
She eventually stopped bothering to make excuses and called me selfish and a “nag.” She felt entitled to the car because “you have a BMW and enjoy a life of leisure.” (I’m retired after 43 years as an elementary school teacher .)
I was never asking for reimbursement, just that my daughter would be responsible for payments going forward. She knew three years ago and knows now that the car was NOT a gift.
The car dealership finance department said they couldn’t even talk to me because the title isn’t in my name. The bank said if I stopped payments on the bills, the car would be repossessed. I’ve already paid more than $17,000 for the car.
Now my daughter and I no longer speak. Meanwhile, she lives beyond her means. She is a big disappointment to me. My other two children transitioned to adulthood and financial independence quite easily.
As I age, I’m incurring more medical expenses. I need to rein in my spending.
What can I do to extricate myself from this situation?
Editor’s note: Dear Penny is on vacation this week. This column was originally published on Nov. 17, 2019.
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