My mother died suddenly May 15th. She did everything financially for my father. They'd been struggling with money after several bad breaks. We helped them out several times over the years but I didn't know how bad it was. I was heartbroken to find out that Mom even sold her wedding ring.
We've helped my dad sell the house they partially built to pay it off because he just can't maintain or afford it. We got him moved into an apartment with is subsidized for older people on social security. He's doing very well and is even socializing with his neighbors now.
Our problem is my mother's medical bills. They both spent several weeks in the hospital last year and have been paying it off. We contacted the hospital after Mom passed and made arrangements to cut down the payments so Dad could afford to pay them. They agreed but now we've gotten a letter from an attorney threatening to sue my mother's "estate" for the remaining 7% of the balance. There is no goddamn estate. There's only debt. We want to pay these people but how much should I worry about a lawsuit?
What's really crazy is when we called Amazon to make arrangements for what she owed them, they just forgave the debt outright.
Is this correct - he has little to no assets and only receives social security?
I'd tell them to fuck off. If he has a negative net worth, what can they sue him for? AFIK you can not garnish SS payments and he's too old to harvest organs for repayment. If they have paid 93% of the over inflated debt, they the hospital is not loosing any money, so pops should not let his pride get in the way.
I would consider contacting a lawyer and getting a couple hundred dollar consult on how to proceed.
A couple SIGs and a few others
|Joie de vivre|
When my MIL passed her estate had to stand good for any outstanding debt that she had. What remained was quite small and was easily forgiven.
Although the hospital my opt to sue they won't find any assets and it should die a natural death.
All that said you should get a reply from some of SF members that are attorney's that will shed more light on the subject.
In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man
is a shame, two is a law firm,
and three or more is a congress.
-- John Adams
|Dances With |
My sympathies and condolences to you my friend.
if they are truley broke ,
check to see ( with the head of the billing dept. In Person)
to see if they have financial assistance available.
not an e-mail, not a phone call
if they have any insurance at all ,
especially if they are a not for profit hospital ,
it may help you out considerably .
and look for a not for profit hospital for you father for the future and see if he is eligible for financial assistance .
check with an attorney to get the home out of your fathers name and in too your's a.s.a.p
get his funeral, grave and such paid for ,
on the day he passes , nothing of any value should be in his name,
get this taken care of long before his time is up
Safety, Situational Awareness and proficiency.
Neck Ties, Hats and ammo brass, Never ,ever touch'em w/o asking first
First, sorry for your loss.
Second I suspect that you received an auto letter that was generated once they were notified of her passing. Basically trying to get the estate to pay them. No research or thought on their part just an auto-pen letter. I understand there isn't any money there, they didn't know that and didn't research it.
Third, if dad only has the SS coming in I'm fairly certain that they can't come after that. I'd find a way to let them know that and then forget about it.
42 years at Social Security so I used to see these situations all the time. As Skins accurately stated, the hospital cannot and will not garnish the SS, so absolutely no worries there. My area was Social Security, not dealing with debt. But I was around these situations enough to learn a few things. Bendable is right on target. My advice, take Bendable's advice. And don't lose a moment's sleep over your parent's debt. Sounds like your father is doing well. That's what is important.
Yes. After the house sells he wants to pay Us back for Moms expenses. After tHt I think he will have a little but not much.
|Just because you can, |
doesn't mean you should
As others have advised, check with a local attorney. Where I live you can apply for something called a "years support" and shield some assets.
Basically that means he could shield the minimal things he may have. There may also be a way to keep them from calling or contacting him. Hopefully your state has something similar.
I suspect they are just trying to scare your dad into coughing up some money. It may not be the medical providers themselves but a collection agency they sell hard to collect debt to.
They can't get blood out of a turnip.
I don’t know if this is a direction for you, I just always communicate with people, especially in a hard time for you to go through.
Best of luck to you.
not just any lawyer, contact one with elder law experience, may get assistance pro bono.
|Seeker of Clarity|
I wonder if this is some scam deal. If you've negotiated the debt with the hospital, I would think they may not be aware of this BS. I'd contact them.
"Whatever you spend your time on, it's all you have". -- Faramarz
When my dad died last year, my mom just told every debtor that he passed. She never got any threatening letters of anything that's I know of for medical bills credit cards etc.
What are they gonna do?
My guess is they are bothering you because you've been paying. I bet if you had told them to pound sand from jump, it would have been different.
|thin skin can't win|
This is where you need actual legal advice. Assuming she was a joint owner of the home, he may run into issues if he sells it, takes the equity and stiffs her other creditors. I know it sucks, but to protect him and you, get some clarity on how best to proceed.
I agree with the others that if it was as simple as they were both and jointly broke the creditors can pound sand, though you could try to pay them something out of fairness. I actually went through this with a relative who died upside down by thousands, and we just walked away from it all. House with reverse mortgage, car in the garage with perhaps $1K in equity, furnishings, etc. We just pointed creditors toward the estate, which didn't exist. I couldn't clean up 40 years of stupid.
Your case is different with dad still around and apparently some equity in the home. Just make sure he's not exposing himself to issues down the road.
You only have integrity once. - imprezaguy02
|Hoping for better pharmaceuticals|
If I understand, your mom had no assets. Your dad sold their only asset being the house. The estate cannot pay any debts unless your father pays from his SS check. I don't think that he has to worry. The attorney trying to sue will have nothing to get. He probably doesn't know the financial state of the estate.
Best bet - check with an attorney. I don't think anyone can garnish SS payments so he may be able to stop the payments all together.
Last option since all he has is debt, File Bankruptcy.
Getting shot is no achievement. Hitting your enemy is. FFL(01) NRA Endowment Member
I regret your loss. Your dad SS will be ok. In general, For most types of debt, including credit cards, medical bills, and personal loans, Social Security cannot be garnished to pay the debt. If you owe money to a creditor, the creditor can go to court and get an order to take money from your bank account. If your Social Security check is directly deposited in the bank, the bank is required to protect Social Security benefits from garnishment. When a creditor tries to freeze a debtor's bank account, the bank is required to look at the debtor's previous two months of transactions to determine if the debtor received any Social Security benefits by direct deposit. For example, if you receive $1,500 a month in Social Security, the bank is required to allow you to use up to $3,000 in your account.
Also, In Oklahoma, a creditor with a court order to collect a money judgment cannot touch most pensions or take consumers' homes unless you don't pay your mortgage. Sometimes there are 'exemptions' or reasons that the bank cannot garnish your account.
”At pretium libertatus“
امّا شما مشخص خواهد شد كه با همه شما را ملاقات کنند
Thank you all. That is helpful.
|No good deed |
If the OP contacts a lawyer, it needs to be one with probate experience. The issue here is the hospital filing a claim against the estate. And yes, sometimes estates are all debt. The rules about debts, claims, and what a creditor can recover are completely state specific.
When my alcoholic father died, my mother thought she was required to pay off all of his medical debts. They had been legally separated for over 25 years. He left nothing upon his death, not even a will.
She managed to pay the debt off by selling his junk car and from her meager social security.
In hind sight I wish she had contacted an attorney about it.
You're not that special unless you walked on the moon or received the Medal of Honor.
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