DEAR HARRIETTE: My cousin just got out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The legal process and his financial situation spun out of control, so he just got back on his feet. Everyone thought this crisis would cause him to pull it together and mature quickly. Much to everyone's surprise, he's acting like a teenager, and the entire family doesn't know what to do. He is going out to nightclubs, buying bottles and getting so buzzed he can barely stand. Nobody expected this behavior from him.
I want to step in and help, but I don't even know what my first step could be. I refuse to condone his partying ways, but he seems to be in contact with party people only. How can I help my cousin? No one in my family has gone through bankruptcy except for him. He is in his 30s. -- Save That Money, Atlanta
DEAR SAVE THAT MONEY: You can ask your cousin to get together and then tell him face-to-face that you are worried about him and his seemingly reckless behavior. Tell him the whole family is concerned about his well-being. Given that he just turned a new leaf by getting out of Chapter 11, you hope that he will be able to make strategic choices that will help him to get back on his feet. While you know that it is none of your business, tell him that you worry that his partying may get in the way of his potential success.