by Deena Coster, Stuff, 15 December 2016
Ms Coster reports on yet another sad case of financial elder abuse, as 73-year old Mary Tihema filed for bankruptcy for “a $13,000 debt she was lumbered with after being talked into taking out a loan in her name by convicted fraudster Helen Christine Williams.”
The debt, which has been hanging over her head since February 2013, often weighed heavily on her mind as she lay in bed.
“I was thinking every night before I went to bed ‘where I am going to get the $13,000 to pay them’,” she said.
Williams told Tihema she needed some extra cash to pay her bills but because of her bad credit history, she wasn’t able to get a personal loan.
It was a decision Tihema had since come to regret.
At the time she agreed to take out the loan, Tihema considered herself and Williams to be friends but now the two do not speak.
“I don’t think I want to talk to her after what she’s done,” she said.
Tihema said if others took one lesson from her experience it was that they should think twice about lending money to family members or friends, as it can end in strife.
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Click here for contact details of Age Concern’s Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention Services.