My mom has a $9,000 debt to a magazine clearing house company. How liable is someone with dementia for outrageous bills like this?

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My mother had $1000 and I thought that was bad, but I found it early and cancelled her credit card.

This is truly outrageous. Your mother must haveput it on a credit card - can you call them? You may want to go to the Better Business Bureau about the magazine company if they won't cancel this or at least negotiate.
Carol
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When my Mom had to go into assisted living, she had quite a bit of debt. There were a few credit cards that she hadn't used in years (but were still accruing interest of course!). She has nothing coming but a small social security check which all of it goes toward her apartment except a very tiny amount. I was able to pay off a few of the small ones, but not the bigger ones. I took an Accountant friend's advice and wrote letters to the Creditors stating why my Mom couldn't pay them, along with my Power of Attorney paper. They still wanted their money, of course - and I don't blame them - but just had to keep calling and sending requests thru the mail till they realized the debts couldn't get paid. I got my Mom Caller ID and she only answers #'s she recognizes (now, she rarely answers phone period due to advanced dementia). The Accountant friend reassured me that even though I have Power of Attorney, this will not affect my credit at all unless my name is on the cards (it's not) and even though it should have affected Mom's credit (doesn't matter if it did at this point), she still gets lots of credit card offers (which I shred) - go figure. I felt guilt about this debt for quite awhile (even though I had no part in acquiring it - didn't know she had been using it so much before I started doing her finances) but had to make myself realize that I couldn't solve every problem that my Mom's aging has produced. This just happened to be one of many.
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My dad now has a Time Life subscription until the year 2021. Lets see who can top that one. HA!
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I have the same problem with my mom's debt, most of it from calls she made on the phone ordering stuff. A lot of it was trying every remedy she could find for her back pain and congestive heart failure, she was so upset that she didn't have any energy from the heart problem that she was willing to try anything. She is now in a nursing home, I was sick of trying to hastle with these places that are still trying to run charges through, finally my sister just turned it all over to her attorney to get some results. At first mom was really upset when we took the cards and checkbook away, she was even giving out her checking account number over the phone, so we finally had to get guardianship to get control over her finances. Of course now all she has is $50 a month and I have control over the checkbook, she uses that just to get two or three wash and set hairdos a month, she was used to going once a week and a permanent every two months. No more permanents now, her hair is falling out now due to all the permanents. Sometimes you have to turn this stuff over to an attorney.
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My dad had several magazines arriving at his house long after he was able to read them due to dementia and losing his eyesight.

I wrote to each of the magazines sending a copy to billing, customer relations, and fraud dept (don't know if they have one but mark it FRAUD DEPT)
In each letter I told them they had been sending magazines to a blind man and billing him. In addition I added he obviously did not and could not have okayed any subscriptions or renewals.

I told them my father could not pay them or deal with the fraud they had commited on him and for them to send any further bills they had to the attorney general in the state of XXXXX to the Elderly abuse and fraud department.

I never heard from any of them again and dad received no more bills or magazines. He had stacks of unopened magazines and mail.
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wittnitt - so you know what you will be inheriting, right?

Time LIfe sells music, documentaries, books etc... do they sell magazines too?
Is it a Time Life -magazine or one of those get a new war documentary every week?

The only tv show episodes you could extend out until 2021 would be Gunsmoke episodes!
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Sorry I guess my mind is going too. Its not Time Life. Whoops. Its just Time (news magazine). But I am sure there will be others that I dont catch before he gets them. Oh Well. Its just money....right? HA!
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I think this was a great discussion topic because in impacts on a large portion of those suffering from dementia. My wife is in a nursing home now, but the same thing (on a smaller scale) happened to her when she was living at home. Everyone who has a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia needs to be aware that there are telephone solicitors for magazines, the Canadian lottery, etc. who prey on folks with dementia. The victims are particularly vulnerable in the earlier stages when they aren't supervised all the time. If you have a loved one in this situation make sure you check their credit card bills, etc on an ongoing basis to prevent a huge accumulation of this kind of debt. If the bills are paid via credit card, complain vehemently to the credit card issuers that they should disenfranchise outfits that run these kind of scams. Also complain to legiislators and ask them to develop laws to prevent this kind of thing. The abuse is only going on because the banks that issue credit cards are making lots of money and they minimize their role in this rip off.
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Another problem in this area.

I sat down with my dad and we called and canceled a few things that were recurring on his credit card that he had never signed up for.... and one item that he had okayed.

One item was something the credit card company themselves had added for "credit protection & credit score checking" they had been charging him $ 5.99 a month for several months!
My dad has NO credit history and he has no credit to protect so this was really awful.
Another item was a monthly charge for "girls gone wild"
which he'd okayed. How he read them his credit card info I will NEVER know. Anyway,,,both the GGW people and the guy with the credit card affiliated "credit history protection" were very adament that he keep their services.
I finally had to get on the phone with the "credit history protection" people and make it CLEAR he had no use for it.

The next month my dad started getting multiple charges for vacation clubs and all kinds of monthly items that were . 99 cents, 1.99 cents, 5.99 and he started getting all kinds of paperwork in the mail for his trial offers!

The first month there were about 10 charges the next month most of the charges went to 9.99 or so and more kept coming.

One of the two original people we had canceled services with did something to sign him up for all these other items and my dad was completely nice to them on the phone but he was too nice and I did have to get on the phone and say... he really, really absolutely is canceling.... and I always ask for their names which makes them mad for some reason.

So some maniac with my dads credit card info did all this crazy stuff!

The card had a $ 500 limit so that was the limit.

It was a pain and time consuming to fix and I finally just filed a FRAUD report with the credit card company and canceled the card and that took care of it.

They wrote a letter apologizing and fixed it.

It was very obvious that what someone had done. I hope the credit card company knew who and did something about it.
But my guess is they canceled the charges and just let whoever did it get by with it.

I would say my dad deserved it for subscribing for the Girls gone Wild trash but ... I am the one whose time and nerves it stressed!
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Thank you for your reply, SoAlone--I will start the letters on Monday!
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