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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 110470
Experience:  Experienced in Trust and Succession Law, including Louisiana Laws
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I am living in a house that was owned by my late father. He

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I am living in a house that was owned by my late father. He willed the house to me, but it is encumbered with a huge amount of debt, including medical assistance that he received. We are wanting to stay in the house because we have a low income and nowhere else to go. I have no idea what to do. I live in Pennsylvania.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

While I understand you want to stay in the house, you must make some deals to repay the debt that has liens placed on the house, even though you are low income I am sorry to state. Legally, before the heirs of any property can take the property the debts of the estate have to be paid off. Normally, if someone has a house, if they try to file bankruptcy to extinguish those debts, they are going to lose the house as part of filing bankruptcy, so that is not an option for you here either I am sorry to say.

Unfortunately, legally you are bound to pay the debts of the estate if you want to keep the house, so your sole recourse on this matter is you have to start calling all of the creditors and try to make a deal with them to reduce the debts and remove the liens by informing all of them that if you have to place the estate into bankruptcy and walk away from the house most of them will get nothing at all (which they do know is true) and that you want to negotiate a payment plan and reduce the debt to something you can afford to repay and remove the lien.

Typically, in these cases (depending on the value of the house and the amount of the debts of course) the creditors, especially the medical assistance, will usually take about 10% of what is actually owed and sometimes less and some may just agree to write off the debt.

I am sorry though, but under the PA laws, this really is your only legal option available to try to save the house.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am actually most concerned about the medical assistance estate recovery aspect of it. What do you know about hardship waivers?


Thank you for your response.

Yes, what I was referring to when I was telling you about negotiating with the creditors on the medical. Depending on how low your income is they can reduce it to 10% or even eliminate it based on what you prove to them about your income situation, but that is why I said you need to contact the medicaid office and negotiate this with them and that will include having to prove your income and hardship. They can and do reduce and even waive medicaid reimbursement regularly.
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