Senior in Nursing Home cannot pay credit cards My mother, age 82, is in a…

Senior in Nursing Home cannot pay credit cards
My mother, age 82, is in a nursing home. Her total income is her Social Security; she is without any other financial resources. She owes nearly $13,000 on one credit card and nearly $18,000 on another. I have power of attorney and have communicated her predicament to the credit card companies. She is on Medicaid now; her total income is spent on health insurance and the copay to the nursing home. Should I file bankruptcy for her? What else should I do? What options does she have? My mother is allowed to keep $35.00 per month for personal expenses, but other than that, she has nothing. Thank you for your response.

2 thoughts on “Senior in Nursing Home cannot pay credit cards My mother, age 82, is in a…

  1. Re: Senior in Nursing Home cannot pay credit cards
    The short and general answer is that if the only source of income is social security, the creditors and debt collectors will never sue her because she is what they call “judgment proof” meaning they would never be able to collect a judgment if they bothered to obtain one. Social Security payments are exempt from execution of judgment, therefore the judgment creditor could not get any money from her.

    Do not tell the creditors or debt collectors the name of the nursing home or its telephone numbers. That way they won’t be able to call. I am not certain they would be put through even if they did call the nursing home, but they do not need to call her.

    The creditors and debt collectors may not call you because you have no contractual privity with them and it would be an invasion of your privacy for them to bother you.

    I am assuming your mother has no home and no other assets. If there are no other assets than Social Security, I would not bother to file bankruptcy for her.

    I wouldn’t throw her credit card bills out until after she dies, but I wouldn’t bother to respond to them either. Again this assumes you are not on the cards and that your mother has since stopped using the cards.

    Just enjoy the time you have left with your mother and forget about the credit card bills. There is nothing they can do to your mother based upon the limited information you provided.

    For a more accurate opinion, you would need to take your mother’s financial records to an attorney to review. This is just general information and may not be appropriate for your situation if there are additional or different facts from those stated.

    Grenville Pridham
    Law Office of Grenville Pridham
    2522 Chambers Road
    Tustin, CA 92780

  2. Re: Senior in Nursing Home cannot pay credit cards
    I do not, and cannot, use this service to give detailed legal advice about particular situations. I only give general information about the law. Yes, your mother could clearly declare bankruptcy since you are saying her debts exceed her assets and her ability to pay those debts. Is bankruptcy advisable? Maybe or maybe not, for this you would need to consult with an attorney. I would point out that if your mother’s only source of income is limited, as you say, and she owns no property or assets, then her creditors can probably do very little to collect money from her (it sounds like she has no money to pay them). But declaring bankruptcy would let her wipe out those debts, but I cannot tell you whether that is what she should do.

    Leon Greenberg
    Leon Greenberg Professional Corporation
    2965 South Jones Boulevard #E-4
    Las Vegas, NV 89146

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