Only biological seen I had a father, and he does still owe me a pile of money due to alimony…
I think the title of the post says it all briefly and succinctly. Sure, biologically I must have a father but I always have drawn a line there. I don´t see him as a real father because to be a noteworthy father, it takes more than just the biological part.
I never met him because he never wanted to. He had the obligation to pay alimony for me to my mother and he never did so as well. My mother never got financial support from him but in Germany and I bet it´s elsewhere not much different, you need to support the mother and the child even if there is no relation between the parents anymore. This would make no one free from obligations here. But he seemed to think he would have no obligations. This resulted in a pile of debts and I am the creditor. You will be shocked if you hear about the sum that he does basically owe me including the interest that did add to the amount over time, I am talking about over 30.000 Euro. Well, he never paid and this is the total sum today and it could be even a little bit more after a recent calculation.
I have a document that proves the total sum, it is legally binding and created by a curt decades ago. The document is 20 years old and the total sum there was 16.000 Deutsche Mark which would be 8.000 Euro in our todays currency. But he had still many years of obligation because I was 11 years old at that time. This resulted in the earlier mentioned sum of 30.000 Euro including the interest that was calculated some time ago. I though I never would see the money and did not keep track of it, because I am not a lawyer and life did always keep me busy with other stuff and I didn´t want to think much about my father anyway. Maybe it was also because I always did suppress that my biological father never was interested in my life.
Now, a few months ago, I had the first contact with him but not with himself but instead with his advisory service for debtors. He has his own judicial documents too and if you are debtor in Germany, it can be quite difficult to conclude agreements because your name is in a database to protect other institutions or companies to trade with you. This is the only reason I saw when I got a mail from his debt advice service. I bet he wants to clean his debts just because of this reason. It´s not about me, otherwise he could contact me directly and it would not be much of a problem to get my address, because he could prove that he is my biological father. It was another reason, he simply wanted to clean his debts I guess. I never contacted them, the agency contacted me.
The paper of his advisors were written quite aggressively. They basically mentioned the total sum that he owes me, following by a statements that he will file an application on personal insolvency and that this would mean debt relief after 6 years running insolvency and I would see nothing. In the second paragraph they turned the coin around and wrote that I would be well-advised if I would stop by to sign an extrajudicial agreement. In the next paragraph they mentioned the benefits because he would offer me with this agreement to pay a not defined amount of money to a monthly maximum of 20 Euro over a period of 72 months that could lead to a small amount that they think would be better than nothing. Right, a not defined amount of money and I though they are kidding me. In other words, if he has 1 Euro left over he would pay it and maybe he can even spend 20 Euro another month. It´s all open in this agreement. The fact that his first attempt to get in touch with me happened through a dept agency, that did upset me already. But the fact that they wanted to play games with me, did upset me even more.
Fifteen years ago or so, I secretly wished he would try to contact me but he never did so. And even before he would have had the chance. Back then I asked myself if I should contact him but was too afraid to get refused because I thought there could be a reason why he never did so. I never contacted him. How I think about it today, I clearly see that he had the higher maturity level to make this decision back then, not me. Now, when I am already 32 years old, he comes back to me with help of an agency, to clean his debts with a hilarious agreement and I should take this serious?
This is the way he wants to be off the hook? It´s easy to forget someone you never met, and it´s easy to be upset about this person if something like this happens.
I never thought much about him but after this letter I had to do so. I did think about this for three days at that time. Should you give someone who did it wrong such a bonus? I maybe would have done if he ever would have been interested to meet me. It was never about the money, it was about my roots. Fifteen years ago if he would have met me, I would have told him exactly this. It´s not about the money it´s about my roots and there would have been opportunities for a father and son relation but he never tried this route. I wouldn´t have cared about any money, I simply would have been happy to meet my father, a father that some other people had and me not.
Today it´s too late. He never belonged to my life, and now he never will because today I would refuse it. My life is complete considering that I have my loved ones. I know who belongs to me. It´s my family and my friends and he is neither of them. The irony is that even the fruit dealer next door is a much greater part of my life because I see him and his family working everyday when I buy my cucumbers and tomatoes or something else there and we always have a chat. They are actually not strangers to me, while my father is. That is the reason why I started to think that I don´t really have to reply to the letter of his advisory service for debtors.
Soon, maybe weeks later, I got a second letter from this agency and they clearly highlighted again that it would be much better for me if I would accept the private settlement. One of the other reasons was that I wouldn´t even want to negotiate with them, considering that the initial offer was a complete joke. Also I simply did not have to answer because the debts would be still there. They couldn´t just say that there are no more claims because I didn´t answer. This is not how it works. I now saw it on this way, there is a pile of money and even if I didn´t negotiate with them, I clearly have my claims on it.
Weeks ago I then called a lawyer and explained him the situation. He told me that I should let him run directly into the personal insolvency, if I have no problems with it, and after that I should stop by and the lawyer would explain me all other steps. Today I visited my lawyer because days ago I got a letter from the district court that my father really applied to personal insolvency. I did let him run into it because I thought that I couldn´t have mercy with a stranger. As our town here is not too big, people usually know most streets or did drive by at least once. This is why my mother and me know that he lives in a very good house. Another reason why she knows that he has this house is, that she did warn him for attachment of a claim decades ago when I still was teenager and he did subsequently sign over his property and other values to his wife. He even did tell it my mother to show her that his property is save now and she thought she wouldn´t have a chance to claim anything now. She told me later that she also didn´t contact a lawyer because she knew that they would have childs and that the failure to pay child support could get him into a lot of trouble. It was not to give him a bonus, my mother didn´t chase him with a lawyer because his other childs he has with his wife, and which are today grown up too.
Today I told all this my lawyer in detail. He said that my father is wrong advised. First, a personal insolvency can help to get rid of debts if there is no other way, but if you owe something to the state, it´s a complete different case. If you have tax debts, a personal insolvency will fail and you won´t get the benefits. I asked why he is telling me this and I later got his point when he said that the obligation to pay alimony is based on a law as well. It´s basically not about states, it´s about obligations that are set and enforced by the law and if you don´t pay taxes, it´s a crime. Alimony is one of those obligations set by law too and the lawyer said that he can´t get rid of the total sum with a personal insolvency because if somebody never paid alimony, it´s a crime as well. Debts based on a “criminal act” will not lead to debt relief through a personal insolvency. I got his point now.
Then he told me that my document is valid over 30 years from the date of the document. He said that 20 years are lapsed in my case but 10 years are still open which means I have still claims on the total amount that was accumulated for my teenage and that are still his debts. The claim will be always extended with 5 years if a bailiff stops by to prove if he has values. This means my claims would be extended to 35 years, 40 years, 45 years and so on, always if a bailiff stops by. But since I still have 10 years of claims, this is not the main reason why he would suggest me that we send him a bailiff. In my case he suggest it to prove if there are values and the extension of my claims is just a nice side effect that can be helpful later on.
My lawyer told me that it can get worse for my father. If my lawyer did send a bailiff and if he would find values, also if my lawyer would really find out that my father did sign over his property to his wife in the time period of existing claims for child support, then the shifting agreement would be declared as invalid. This would cause that the property would go back into his ownership and it would be instantly subject to distress. According to my fathers debt advice service, I am with 100% the only creditor. My lawyer said this is in this respect interesting as the total amount that comes together because of the sale of any property, would go on an escrow account and usually all creditors would get a part of it, but since I am the only creditor, I would get everything until the total debt sum is reached and the opposite would also pay my lawyer. My lawyer now wants to prove in what extend my father has values since this never has been documented but there could be evidence that he is in a not too bad financial situation even if his agency said. If there are values, and a shifting of property, then there is a second crime because this method is called fraudulent trading.
To be honest, the statements of my lawyer came like a bombshell. I now directly noticed how much impact my decision could have on a life. I basically just visited my lawyer to get help to correctly fill out the printed form that I got from the court due to the personal insolvency of my father. I contacted my lawyer so that he can correctly stake out my claims as required in the form. My father seems to have a nice life in his house with a very new and expansive roof, two cars as some told me and it could happen that he will lose a part of his living standard because I still see claims on the alimony that he never paid.
I never did hang for a so long time on the phone like today. I called my trustful friends to talk about this and I also called some family member and they told me that I should ignore his living standard because fault is fault and fraud is fraud. Well, that is how I saw the whole case too before I talked with this pit bull terrier of a lawyer. He did instantly teach me what it means to have claims on anything. It means you could get something and the other person could lose something, I mean if there are really values. Even if I assumed I would already have thought about this possibility, today I noticed, I clearly didn´t think so far.
Why could it interest me if he would lose something? Do I plan to contact him or to meet him? No, as said, this train passed by and there is from my side no chance that it will ever happen. Am I religious and think I should be able to forgive? No, I have no problems with religions but I am not very religious. Do I worry out of humanity? Yes, maybe much closer. It´s maybe the good-nature that comes through and makes me worry. I maybe ask myself if I should be good-natured, but on the other side some people are clearly not and my father is one of them. My mother told me he always thought about himself, I clearly can see this pattern when he did delegated this agency to negotiate with me, possibly to get a clean slate, to get rid of the debts that interrupt his future financial opportunities. Maybe no more contracts of purchase possible on easy terms? No matter what, but I believe there is a reason that he wanted to negotiate with me but I still believe it´s more about him than about me. Also if he really did shift his property to his wife as my mother said, it would have been indeed intentional legal disadvantage of me as a creditor and therefore fraud as my lawyer said.
No matter what, one thing is sure. People have to pay taxes and why should a single person be allowed to not care about this rule? Same for alimony, if parents don´t live together anymore, one of them might need to pay alimony while the other one does the parenting that is connected with costs as well. If this is a rule by law, why should someone think that he is an exception? My father clearly thought that he would be, considering that he never did pay. Neither did he want to support me and my mother with money, nor did he want to be a part of my life or seeing me grow up back in the days when I was young. This is maybe the reason why I met a lawyer, but I simply didn´t expect that it could set off an avalanche even if it is a logical consequence.
I think I could still stop the avalanche and it´s the classical story of the angel and devil fighting on my shoulder. I have mixed feelings. If you ask me, the devil is at the moment stronger. The angel does only jump in to remind me about the consequences that could hit my father under certain conditions. If you ask my family, they feel the same. It´s basically my money and nobody would think that I am cheeky because I didn´t cause the situation that there is still today such high sum that he does owe me. Same for my friends, they did suggest to let my lawyer hunt him down. But as I do, they also thought that this is an awkward situation for sure.
My lawyer did say he saw a lot in his career. He saw people who had debts of up to 2.000 Euro or even 5.000 Euro due to obligation to pay alimony. But he was totally shocked as he never saw that someone would have debts of round about 30.000 Euro due to alimony and he said this is not a single month support of my young life back at that time. He said that it wouldn´t be cheeky to have claims on this amount, he said it was cheeky that my father did stockpile the debts while he was aware to be in obligation and that it could bounce back one day. He said, he never saw something cheekier. Then he said again that if he will find out for example with the land register that he really did shift property, it will really fire back on him, no matter if it happened decades ago. He said you are not allowed to shift values if you are in debt.
Ah, I am not even sure why all this keeps my mind busy now. As said, I don´t take care anymore who my father is. My lawyer will prove and manage all the things related to his debts now. I could stop him but I wonder why I even have this in my mind. It´s maybe the one part in my head that hates to take something from someone else even if it is absolutely legit in this case. Until my lawyer didn´t prove the earlier mentioned material assets, it´s not even clear if there is something to take from him, though there is a chance as said because he has this house and other things as we know. So if there is, it will be possible unless I call the lawyer back. No matter what, the claims will exist despite that he requested personal insolvency and even if he has no values, we will be able to extend the claims. It´s all about me now and according to my lawyer, his strategy won´t work.
It´s maybe not me who should think about it too much. It´s maybe true when people and I told myself that I have claims, lawful claims. I am not sure why I visited the lawyer to get the ball rolling without thinking much about the consequences that could hit him, it just keeps my mind suddenly busy afterwards but it didn´t before. I maybe was aware about the possible consequences for him, I maybe just didn´t let those thoughts come very close to me. I simply had to express the claims, I mean it´s not often that you would tell a stranger that you won´t claim the debts. I just got this damn printed form from the court that I have to fill out timely so that they know how much I claim and a lawyer could do this correctly. Should I have made the decision in days that I gift the debts, that I don´t claim it anymore? No matter how, this is one of the decisions don´t that you don´t make everyday.
Mercy is maybe really overrated in this case. Maybe I should just let my lawyer do this job and stop thinking about it. He will now anyway unless I stop him. At the end my father is just a stranger who owes me money. I never thought about him much, I mean how could you think about someone you don´t know? This is why I wonder, why I did this today. It´s maybe just the good nature in me that blends my thoughts and makes me think that I also could waive the claims as another possibility. It´s maybe even more because of the reason that anybody could owe me such an amount of money and I would have problems afterward with the fact that my lawyer could get them into real trouble. This is what keeps my mind busy afterwards. It´s really odd. The situation is simply too odd.