1. mandyp

    mandyp Registered User

    Oct 20, 2004
    150
    Glasgow
    My mum was out at the shops and happened to be in a shop that my Aunt works in. Having been ‘got’ by another member of staff she was struggling to complete an application form for an in-store credit card. Fortunately (!) she couldn’t remember a lot of the details to be able to complete the form but they had started to process it.

    My Aunt gave the girl a row (not entirely fair as she doesn’t know Mum’s circumstances).

    This has opened up a new concern for me, what if she actually manages to get one and goes on a spending spree? That would be a disaster, Dad has taken all her bank cards/credit cards from her and is in the process of paying them off (he doesn’t need another one!) The other problem is that when I’m with her she tends to hand money over (without really looking at it) and walks away without taking whatever she’s bought with her.

    In theory, she could go out, get a credit card, buy lots of stuff and not even bring it home….leaving us none the wiser till the bill came in.

    Haven’t wanted to worry Dad with this till I’d posted, but I wondered if there’s anything that can be done to prevent this. I’ve often thought that Finance companies are too free and easy with credit but wondered if anyone knew whether or not they’ll take AD into consideration or if there’s anything that can be done to make sure that nobody gives her credit.

    Because Mum is younger, people don’t necessary realise and since she’s had the AD if somebody asks her to do something she’ll more or less give into them without, I think, fully appreciating the consequences.

    I've done the thing that was posted here to get her removed from mailing lists etc but really don't know if there's anything can be done about 'on the spot' stuff!

    Thanks again for any advice,

    Mandy
     
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    I'd guess that if Mum did sign up for a card, and if she has been diagnosed already, then the responsibility would rest with the credit card company. Their credit checking regime is quite strict anyway - as I found out myself recently when I had been similarly pounced upon. They have a list of questions and if any at all are not completed, the credit check will never get through.

    A key question generally relates to bank accounts, and these are generally followed through. So if the bank is primed to reply 'no' to credit if it is requested in Mum's name, then that will probably scupper things.
     
  3. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Hi Mandy, your post hit a chord with me too as we are having similar problems with Mum in Law (MinL) with salesmen at the door etc. She bought a chair for £3,000 last year can you believe! It is a nightmare. Brucie's advice about diagnoses and the banknot honouring etc. seems very sound to me. Love She. XX
     
  4. mandyp

    mandyp Registered User

    Oct 20, 2004
    150
    Glasgow
    How awful Sheila! That's exactly the type of thing that worries me, but Brucie does have a very reasuring point....she has no bank account now, I wasn't thinking! With any luck that should be enough to stop them giving her anything.

    It's really terrible how salespeople prey on vulnerable folk.

    to be honest, I think I got a bit paranoid because when I was a student (after giving up work after 11 years) I was worried by the number of credit card companies offering 'special' deals to students. Despite me informing my own credit card company (several times) that I had no income they continued to increase my credit limit to £3000 which I thought was shocking since, had I spent it, I had no means to pay it back! Needless to say, I've now graduated and have a job...cleared and cut up the credit card, but that doesn't happen to everyone!

    Thanks Brucie, that has put my mind at rest!

    Mandy
     
  5. bjthink

    bjthink Guest

    Mandy, do you have Power of Attorney? I can't remember whether your family do or not.
    I had to take one out as my mother had a similar, carefree, attitude to money which meant that she was defrauded of thousands of pounds by her gardener, and she will never get this back.
    Now, I control all her money, and the bank instructed me and my sister to 'seize' her accounts.
    Her increasing inability to handle money, or understand the meaning of money, was what initially alerted us to the possibility of dementia. It makes her very vulnerable.
     
  6. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    BJ
    POA will not stop credit card companies issuing cards to people with out any money and with AD.
    Nor will it stop door to door sales men signing up folks living alone but with AD.
    I am sure Bruce is right with his explanation but it would be good if we could get a legal opinion.
    Norman
     
  7. bjthink

    bjthink Guest

    Bruce IS right, as ever!:)
    POA also helps, as someone whose accounts have been taken over on a POA, won't get through a credit check.
    But, as you say, door-to-door sales can be a different matter.
    I restrict my mother to £30 maximum cash in the house, pay all her bills myself though her account (so her cash is only 'play'/security money, which she hides and loses), provide her food, and she hasn't got a cheque book, cash card or credit card.
    She has been officially declared to have no 'capacity' in financial matters by her psychiatrist, and is listed as 'critical' by Social Services for the possibility of financial abuse, and the police are involved on an on-going basis, after the fraud.
    Any door-to-door salesman trying to find his pot of gold is going to come up against some major problems!
    x
     
  8. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Door-to-door ripoffs are rife and target the elderly and vunerable so often. Ditto with phone sales people.

    Fortunately I have a wonderful bank manager [past pupil of my father's] who keeps a close eye on their accounts and will not process anything 'odd' until clearing it with me.


    it might be worth having a chat with your Bank Manager to see if unusual payments/expenses could be held over until they are checked out by yourself.

    Jude
     
  9. Sally

    Sally Registered User

    Mar 16, 2004
    114
    London
    Hello everyone,

    this is such a problem for people with dementia; first of all, as rightly said already, enduring power of attorney or receivership can be applied for through the Public Guardianship Office:

    http://www.guardianship.gov.uk/

    However, this will not stop the man at the door getting a person's signature on an order for a chair or a credit card. As long as the salesperson states they had no idea about the dementia they have not really done anything wrong and probably often are not aware of the problem (well, we would like to think!)

    If the person has ordered goods they cannot pay for the company involved ought to have a refund policy. But sometimes families do not find out about the order until the refund date has passed. Otherwise they could just send the goods back or ask the company to collect them (advising the company that they are unlikely to see any payment may persuade them to act sooner rather than later).

    Usually a companies' only redress for goods not paid for or credit card bills unsettled is through the courts. Are they really going to take someone with dementia to court? I suppose they might but the publicity would not be very good to say the least. If someone cannot afford to pay a debt they can make an agreement with the company to make a minimum monthly payment or the company have to write off the debt (or take them to court). I did know of a gentleman once who accepted a £6000 loan but could not make the repayments and was on income support so he agreed to pay the bank back £5 a month. I felt it served them right for being do silly as to offer him the money through the post.

    I will contact the Trading Standards people and get back to y'all...watch this space!

    Sally
    x x
     
  10. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Thanks Sally, that would be very useful, especially if it could also perhaps be a fact sheet for us that we could wave at offenders!! (tee hee, who gets the last laugh now!!) The problem we have is that MinL is still (according to her) totally with it, sadly we know what is happening, so does her GP I think from recent episodes. She is at the silly kind of stage, not as yet diagnosed but unable to see clearly. This I think is the stage where the problems occur. How to deal with it? We do have POA, (unregistered) not ready for that yet, but she still lives alone. She has back up most days, but these people always seem to find a way some how. A couple of years ago, some phone rep from her bank persuaded her to change over a load of money into another account on the pretence of making more money, it doesn't, but she did it. It is driving my husband and his sister up the wall, they see so many of the early signs my Mum presented, but it is still too early to do more than we do. Nightmare, as we all know!! Love She. XX
     
  11. Sally

    Sally Registered User

    Mar 16, 2004
    114
    London
    Hi Sheila,

    how frustrating for everyone! It demonstrates again how the world of finance is not geared to dementia (much like the world of welfare benefits, among other things) - it is such an unusual illness in that, as you rightly say, people may not have the capacity to make sound decisions but they can kick up quite a fuss if other people start trying to make those decisions for them.

    the EPA system is OK but it does not stop people selling at the door. We even had a case where a gentleman had bought a scooter through a private seller using an old cheque book. The chequebook had been cancelled by the attorney of course so it bounced and the person who had sold the scooter was very annoyed, even though he had not exactly had the scooter stolen from him, he kept it of course. But the attorney wanted to know how to avoid such a thing happening again because there were days when his father was perfectly capable of zipping out and purchasing anything up to a four by four! (He should not have had the cheque book of course but it is hard for an attorney to cover all these possibilities). Such a problem.

    At the very least what is needed is what Jude seems to have arranged - a sympathetic and helpful bank manager! But this does not help when someone is aware that matters are being taken out of their hands.

    The Trading Standards people are calling me back so I will let you know what they say.

    Have a good Thursday!

    Sally
    x x
     
  12. Sally

    Sally Registered User

    Mar 16, 2004
    114
    London
    Friendly lady at Trading Standards called me back and informed me of the following:

    when we buy something we enter into a legal contract. Legal contracts can only be entered into if both parties understand or have the capacity to understand the contract being made.
    If the person with dementia did not have capacity at the time to purchase the goods or accept the store card then there is the possibility that the contract can be 'voided' (is that a word?!) HOWEVER, the onus is on the person with dementia (or helpful advocate one would hope) to prove that on that day at that time they did not understand what they were doing.
    The seller ought to be sussing out as part of his role, whether the person he is selling to understands what is going on. As we know, people can present extremely well to strangers, putting all their yes's and well I never's in all the right places to give the impression they are following the conversation perfectly well, so this might be very hard for a seller to assess, especially if they are unaware of or do not understand the nature of dementia.

    The woman admitted that this is a problem but said they rarely get any queries about it. She is going to send me a copy of the trading law that covers this and I am also going to contact the Financial Services Authority to discuss. Re store and credit cards, she wondered if they could have, as part of the reference check, something on the system that flagged up EPA's and receivership orders which would indicate the inability of the person to understand the credit agreement. Definitely worth a thought as I am fairly sure they do not have this facility now.

    Ta ta folks, I'll be back soon (or backsun, if you live in the hundred acre forest)

    Sally
    x x x
     
  13. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Dear Sally, thank you so much for persuing this for us. It is good to know that some thing may now be added to the paperworks these sheisters have to fill in. So many families must have tales to tell about this sort of thing, it is about time there was a way of stopping it happenning to the vulnerable like this. Love She. XX
     
  14. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Sheila
    the whole credit system needs looking at.
    Apart from the dementia sufferers there are people who are totally irresponsible and need protecting from themselves (and the sheisters).
    When we first used our FA he looked at the credit card and "said get rid of that they are evil."
    I suppose used in a proper manner they are ok.
    Norman
     

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