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jdescartes

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My parents want me to sign for their mortgage...can you help me explain to them why I can't?
My parents are 64 and 52 respectively, and moved to the US many years ago. Their first condo, purchased almost 20 years ago, was lost when they declared bankruptcy. They sold their second home ten years ago when my mom became sick and couldn't work. Now, they want to purchase a new home and want me (age 30) to sign all of the paperwork for it. They claim: "they have no savings, we should keep it in the family, they can't do it because they will die soon, it's better for my other siblings for savings (ages 25, 19 and 16), so and so did it for HER parents" (a cousin of mine), etc, etc.

Now, I am trying very hard not to be selfish, but financially, it is not smart for me to co-sign this mortgage. Risk, my own savings, my own goals, etc. I have said no many times, but they keep bringing it up, like I'm obligated to do it because I'm the oldest child. I recently was in a car accident where I received a large settlement for my car - they were quick to bring up the mortgage question again (my own mistake for telling them how much the settlement was). Because they are not listening to me, I was hoping I could gather responses from others so my parents understand why it is a) not reasonable for me to sign for a mortgage that's not mine and b) why they should stop asking me to do it. I'm hoping that I can just print off the responses and hand them to them, lol.

Any feedback would be much appreciated (c:

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Yow, I don't envy your position.  I'm not real clear on the question though.  They want you to be a co-signer on their note or do they want you to purchase the home and they make the payments?  Also, do you already have a mortgage?   

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Thanks Addison,

At first, they wanted me to buy it and have them make the payments. I made it perfectly clear that that was never going to happen. So now they mostly ask about co-signing. Not, I do not have a mortgage, never have. 

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When you co-sign an loan, you become liable for the full loan if your parents fail to pay.  And co-signers don't usually find out there is a problem until the loan is in default and facing foreclosure.  This can wreck your credit and your own future.  Even if they don't default and make all the payments on time, it may be difficult for your to obtain the credit you need because of the mortgage being on your report.  

I know this probably won't fix your situation, since your parents would obviously plan on making the payments etc., but what if one of them became ill and had unexpected medical expenses?  There are quite a few scenarios where they could run into financial trouble and you end up holding the bag.  Sorry there isn't an easy answer, all I can say is stick to your guns.  Perhaps you can help them repair their credit so they could qualify on their own?  If they don't know their FICO score already, it can be purchased at myfico.com.  I think lenders (in TX anyway) are looking for FICO score of 650 and above.  Good luck.

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