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We're not going to subsidize your gambling debts
  #1  
Old 12-05-2017, 04:09 PM
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Default We're not going to subsidize your gambling debts

SC came in yesterday to ask for a loan. He needed $1500, he said, to pay some bills and get his furnace repaired. He had the title to an older van, but it was titled in his wife's name as well. When I mentioned she would need to sign the security documents to use the van as collateral, he said she had dementia. So I worked it out where we could do the loan unsecured. He had enough income and was willing to do automatic payments.

But this morning, when I looked up his checking account info, I saw that he had items hitting his account that would make him overdrawn. What are they? Over $1000 to the local casino. I looked at his account history. Since the beginning of the month, he's paid over $2500 to the casino. (And it's only the 5th.)

I discussed it with my supervisor. He agreed that we could turn him down if the reason he wanted the loan was to cover his gambling debts. So when SC came in, I tried to get him to give me a better idea of what he needed the money for.

Me: "Can you tell me, again, what you'll use the proceeds of the loan for?"
SC: "I need to pay some bills."
Me: "Ok.... Well, I can see on your checking account that you've got some payments to the casino coming through today."
SC: ...
Me: "Is that what you were going to use the money for?"
SC: "Part of it."
Me: <internal sigh> "We don't normally do loans for that sort of thing."
SC: ...
Me: "You mentioned your furnace before. If you have an estimate for what you need done, or if you have a specific bill you need paid, we could make a check directly to them."
SC: "... My insurance is coming out of my checking..."
Me: "That's not the same thing. I can't deposit the loan proceeds in your checking account to cover the payments to the casino."
SC: <almost whispering> "I fell off the wagon."
Me: "I'm sorry. I wish there was something I could do to help, but we don't do loans for this sort of thing."
SC: "You do what you gotta do."

So I turned him down for the loan.

I do feel kind of sorry for this guy. He seemed a little embarrassed when he admitted that he needed the loan to cover his gambling. But if I were to do a loan to him to cover his payments to the casino, I would just be putting him in a worse situation than he's already in.

This is going to be a hell of a lesson for this dude. Maybe don't take your debit card to the casino if you go? Maybe find a different pastime?
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2017, 04:47 PM
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"Fell off the wagon" is an expression used by or of alcoholics for when they go back on the booze after quitting for a while. Sounds like he's a gambling addict, and has been trying to quit, but has started again. If you loan him the money, it will just enable that.

  #3  
Old 12-05-2017, 06:01 PM
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Yeah, that was the biggest reason I didn't want to do the loan. I feel sorry for the guy, but he needs help. Giving him more money won't help, it'll only make it worse.

Plus, there was the bit where he initially lied to me about what he was going to use the money for.
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2017, 06:28 PM
Shyla Shyla is offline
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I would feel sorry for him too. It sounds like he needs help. But as a bank you can't be the one to subsidize his gambling.

  #5  
Old 12-06-2017, 01:02 AM
Slave to the Phone Slave to the Phone is offline
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I feel sorry for him as well, but he already admitted that he had a gambling problem, AND that he was willing to lie to support it.

I feel that you were actually very kind to him, Ghel. Lending him money would have hurt more than it helped.

  #6  
Old 12-06-2017, 01:36 AM
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Quote:
Quoth Nunavut Pants View Post
"Fell off the wagon" is an expression used by or of alcoholics for when they go back on the booze after quitting for a while. Sounds like he's a gambling addict, and has been trying to quit, but has started again. If you loan him the money, it will just enable that.
Yup, this exactly. Not just enable it, but accelerate his power dive into hell. He'd have ripped through that money in less than an hour and probably ended up three times as much in debt. The tragedy is he doesn't look at it that way.

I feel bad for the guy; he'd better get a handle on it quick before it completely ruins him.

  #7  
Old 12-06-2017, 01:14 PM
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I bet there's already an ad for that van on Craigslist...
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  #8  
Old 12-06-2017, 02:16 PM
Mental_Mouse Mental_Mouse is offline
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For future reference, one thing you can do is to refer him to Gamblers Anonymous -- some states also have their own agencies for treating gambling addiction.

  #9  
Old 12-06-2017, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Quoth Mental_Mouse View Post
For future reference, one thing you can do is to refer him to Gamblers Anonymous -- some states also have their own agencies for treating gambling addiction.
I wanted to, but while I was talking it over with my supervisor, he said that it wouldn't be appropriate for the bank to suggest he needs that sort of help. So I didn't.
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  #10  
Old 12-06-2017, 10:35 PM
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Never gambled more then I was willing to put on the floor and set fire.
Turns out it was $20.
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