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Experience:  Attorney in the practice of Bankruptcy Law since 1996
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Mother in nursing home. She has some charge card debt. The

Customer Question

Mother in nursing home. She has some charge card debt. The administrator told us that as a nursing home resident with no income (she's on medicaid and her entire social security check goes to the home) she no longer is responsible for her charge card debt. I cannot find this anywhere in the credit information available on the internet. Can you confirm?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  JoeLawyer replied 5 years ago.
Customer

I do not believe you will find anything confirming the assertion that your mother is no longer responsible for her credit card debt, since I do believe that is legally the case, but it is realistically the case.

In other words, the credit card companies still have a legal claim against her, so if she happens to win the lottery or inherit money from a long lost relative, the credit card companies may seek to pursue her more aggressively. There is no event that occurs that makes them disappear (other than bankruptcy, their voluntary forgiveness of the debt, or payment/settlement in full), so if she comes into money later, they are able to pursue it.

However, she is realistically "judgment proof," which means she has no assets that can be attached, or income that can be garnished, so there is really no way for the credit card companies to collect from her.

I cannot give legal advice online, but I have seen several clients send a letter to the credit card companies explaining the debtor's situation, and sometimes the credit card companies discontinue collections. Sometimes. If they hire collection agencies and become overly aggressive, one can send a letter similar to the one toward the bottom of the page, here.

I hope this helps and a positive feedback is always appreciated if this was useful to you.

LEGAL NOTICE: I am only licensed to practice law in certain state(s) and I cannot give legal advice to someone who does not reside in a state in which I am licensed, nor shall anything I say in the above answer or elsewhere on this site be deemed legal advice, even to someone who resides in a state in which I am licensed. Fees I receive for answering questions are paid for information, not for legal advice. This forum is designed to provide general information only, and information herein is not warranted to be correct or applicable in any way since laws may have been misinterpreted herein, since laws change from time to time, and since the impact of those laws on any particular situation varies. The information presented in this site shall not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Persons accessing this response are encouraged to seek independent legal counsel in their jurisdiction for guidance regarding their individual circumstances. Do not take any action or inaction based on information presented herein since it is informational and may not be accurate or applicable to you; it merely attempts to give you a basis of knowledge to help you formulate questions to ask a legal or other professional in a face-to-face meeting in your jurisdiction. Joseph Ross does not hold himself out to be a specialist or expert in any area, regardless of assertions made by any third party, and any implication of being an expert or specialist herein is made in error. I hope the information presented above is useful to you. Answer above is (c) Joseph Ross. All rights reserved.



JoeLawyer, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 767
Experience: Attorney in the practice of Bankruptcy Law since 1996
JoeLawyer and other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The letter you mentioned is not at the bottom of the page. Or, perhaps I just didn't see it? I don't believe bankruptcy is an option because she is unable to appear in court, though perhaps I could as her power of attorney? Plus, she took out cash advances a few months before entering the nursing home to pay the family back quite a bit of money she owed them and get her house repaired.

 

She thought she had a terminal condition, now we find out she doesn't and we are stuck making the payments on $30,000 she borrowed. WOW !!!

 

What a mess.

 

We realize you are not licensed in Florida but this is "general" stuff and if you could just give us an idea of what we might think about, we won't hold your feet to the fire. We just need some guidance.

 

I realize I'm asking some additional questions and will add money to my original fee to pay for your time.

 

Thank you !!!

 

 

Expert:  JoeLawyer replied 5 years ago.
The letter at the bottom of the page is under Question #25, starting with:

The following sample letter is designed to be mailed to a collection
agency
by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, with the sender
retaining a copy:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Copy and paste between the "------------------" at the beginning of the letter and the "--------------" at the end of the letter and modify as appropriate.

Keep in mind this letter is only good for collection agencies, not credit card companies undertaking their own collection activity.

When a person is judgment proof, generally they just send a letter to creditors but no more payments. If she owns real estate, however, then if the credit card companies sue her, their judgments may attach to her real estate as a judgment lien, which could cause a problem.

I have filed several cases for people unable to attend a hearing (deployed overseas in military, in jail, in nursing homes, etc), and I have usually been able to arrange telephonic hearings. The last client I had who was in a nursing home, I simply went to their room in the nursing home and called the trustee from there and we did the 341 hearing telephonically (with prior notice to the trustee, of course). Different trustees have different requirements for this sort of thing, but it usually can be overcome.

Bankruptcy may be a good option for her to protect the real estate, but of course I cannot give advice online.

You do not need to pay more for these follow up questions, but thanks for offering =)

Any more questions, let me know!

LEGAL NOTICE: I am only licensed to practice law in certain state(s) and I cannot give legal advice to someone who does not reside in a state in which I am licensed, nor shall anything I say in the above answer or elsewhere on this site be deemed legal advice, even to someone who resides in a state in which I am licensed. Fees I receive for answering questions are paid for information, not for legal advice. This forum is designed to provide general information only, and information herein is not warranted to be correct or applicable in any way since laws may have been misinterpreted herein, since laws change from time to time, and since the impact of those laws on any particular situation varies. The information presented in this site shall not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Persons accessing this response are encouraged to seek independent legal counsel in their jurisdiction for guidance regarding their individual circumstances. Do not take any action or inaction based on information presented herein since it is informational and may not be accurate or applicable to you; it merely attempts to give you a basis of knowledge to help you formulate questions to ask a legal or other professional in a face-to-face meeting in your jurisdiction. Joseph Ross does not hold himself out to be a specialist or expert in any area, regardless of assertions made by any third party, and any implication of being an expert or specialist herein is made in error. I hope the information presented above is useful to you. Answer above is (c) Joseph Ross. All rights reserved.

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