Monday, October 12, 2009
Help Me Howard: Mamma did what?
Who do you trust most in this world? If you are lucky, a few people but most people would agree at the top of their list is their own mother. That's what one man thought. Now, he says that trust has ruined him and its why he called Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- I have heard of a lot of wild stories, but never one like Eric Nesmiths.
Patrick Fraser: "This is your mother. I have never seen anything like this in my life."
Eric Nesmith: "I never thought this would be even possible, even happen."
Eric joined the Navy and in 2007, before he deployed he did what many servicemen do.
Eric Nesmith: "You have to sign the power of attorney to the person that you trust just in case something bad happens, you die or something."
Eric gave power of attorney to his mother so she could sign any legal documents for him..
Eric Nesmith: "I trusted my mother."
Then after his tour of duty ended Eric came back to Florida to a stunning surprise.
Eric Nesmith: "She took out an $88,000 credit loan in my name."
According to this paperwork, Eric's mamma took out an $88,000 line of credit in Eric's name by using her power of attorney to sign his name. She did it on Nov. 10th the day before the power of attorney was set to expire.
Then, Eric says she then went out to spend the money.
Eric Nesmith: "50,000 Corvette."
Patrick Fraser: "Paid cash for it?"
Eric Nesmith: "Most likely."
After he got his sea legs back, he immediately called dear old mamma.
Eric Nesmith: "I asked here why is there an $88,000 line of credit in my name and she denied it."
The news gets worse. His mother quit making payments on her house and the loan in Eric's name falling into foreclosure.
Eric Nesmith: "My credit is messed up right now."
Patrick Fraser: "Messed up is a nice way of putting it."
Eric Nesmith: "Yeah."
It tough for Eric to smile. He is getting a business degree hoping to go back into the Navy or Homeland Security, but with his credit in ruins neither will take him.
Patrick Fraser: "So not only are they ruining you financially..."
Eric Nesmith: "They are ruining my career."
Patrick Fraser: "Ruining your career."
After refusing to answer Eric's calls, his mamma finally responded in writing saying "Eric volunteer to co-sign on his loan and mail me power of attorney papers the end of October," actually Eric gave her power of attorney in April before he deployed.
Eric Nesmith: "This is the worst predicament I have ever been in, and I wouldn't want anybody to go thru this."
Patrick Fraser: "Been betrayed by a lot of people, but your own momma?"
Eric Nesmith: "You wouldn't think it."
Well Howard, what can Eric do?
Howard Finkelstein: "This is a tragedy for Eric because when you give someone power of attorney they can borrow money in your name, they can spend money in your name and unless you limit the power of attorney you have to live with their decisions."
We called Theresa Dawson several times, she would not return our calls. We then called the Navy to see if they had experience in this type of mess they said they could help Eric. They only help active servicemen. Eric is now looking for an attorney in South Florida or Orlando to save his career.
Howard Finkelstein: "An attorney would need to show that the mother violated what the law calls a fiduciary relationship, in other words, a relationship of trust. In this case a lawyer might be able to get the car back or the value of the Corvette. As far as clearing Eric's credit or wiping his name off the loan, its not possible."
Eric faces a terrible task legally having to go after his own mother.
Eric Nesmith: "Its difficult it's very difficult. I have to, I have no choice but to."
Patrick Fraser: "Now, if you give someone power of attorney you can protect yourself by limiting it for example, put in that they cannot borrow money. You can write in whatever you want and if you decide to give them complete control, hopefully the person you trust wont betray you.
Feeling powerless? Need to deploy a solution? Trust us, we have a lawyer, oh, never mind.