Chapter 15 - A decision to be made
The time was approaching fast when she would have to make a decision, her finances were ebbing away month-on-month. She had had an appointment, a few days previously to see the bank manager Mr Strong, where she outlined her predicament. He was very apologetic and had already heard of Albert’s accident and confided to her that he had expected to see her for some months and it was credit to her stoicism and good budgeting and housekeeping over the years that had allowed her to remain independent for so long. Indeed, her husband must be most proud of her. He then had turned to Albert’s father who had acted as guarantor to the original loans.
‘Well Mr Burns, My Senior Clerk has furnished me wish all the account details.’ His hands which were clasped were opened in a gesture a kin to parting the waves to reveal a number of papers laid out on his desk underneath he continued.
‘Due to the law as it stands, Mrs Burns is not a signatory on any of these documents, however as the wife of your son, all properties and goods in her possession remain the property of your son until such time as when your son has been assessed as to be incapable to manage his own affairs.’
The implication was as expected the debt would continue to run until either Albert died or he was committed to an institution. As Albert’s father was the guarantor, this would ultimately result in his bankruptcy and the loss of his own modest house, as the bank would seek to ensure that it incurred no loss. There were two loans which Albert had taken out; the first was for his house and the second was for his half share in the boat with Derek, this loan was only a year old, as they had had to replace their old boat which they had bought second hand when they had started their partnership. Mr Strong continued.
‘The two loans are for the mortgage on the property at Kimberley Street and the loan for his half share in the boat. May I be so bold as to suggest that you approach Mr Beech and see if he is in a position to take on the full responsibility? Please make Mr Beech aware that if he cannot take on the responsibility for the entire boat then the bank will under its obligation be required to repossess the entire craft for sale.’
There was nothing for them to say other than to agree to everything that Mr Strong had talked about. She pondered the thoughts briefly in her head and began.
‘I will talk to Mr Beech on the Matter of the boat immediately, I would also like you to start sale proceedings for the house, I know that you know the correct parties who will act for us in this Matter.’
‘I will write to Mr Beech and your husband explaining the debt and its cost of transference. I will also inform Lambton’s in regard to the sale of your property, before they enter into the sale arrangement however, if your husband is not coignant to take part in the sale, then I must state, that you or your father must be placed in a position of guardian to him and his financial affairs. I may not act on either the sale of the house or boat until I receive confirmation of this. Might I suggest that you arrange a meeting with your doctor to begin proceedings at your earliest convenience?’
The meeting was concluded, the debt would continue to rise. She would try to sell before all was lost - it would mean finding cheap rooms - which would be easier said than done with no job and the children in tow.