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My dad owes all his creditors (and we are just talking utilities, etc) more than he gets in SS. The bank has already collected $600 for this calendar year in overdraft fees. He owes more on his house than it is worth and it is in jeopardy of being foreclosed on. It needs to be foreclosed on as he has dementia and needs to go into assisted living. Where do I start?!?

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Lindy - you, imho, really have 4 different issues going on and you kinda need to get organized for each - although they will dovetail in documents - and not let them overwhelm you: 1. health issues and placement in a facility; 2; homestead that still has a mortgage; 3. other debt; 4. legal issues.

Health - what level of care does he need, is he AL or NH? If it's NH, then apply for Medicaid for him. Now you will need to get items from 2 & 4 in order to do the required paperwork for Medicaid. If his medical need is not at the skilled level needed to be placed in NH, then find out if his state does AL Medicaid waivers so that Medicaid pays for AL for those that qualify. Some states do and some don't and only pay for NH. If he is a borderline case in medical needs, there are approaches you can take to get him more "skilled nursing". Let us know. He's in AL right now, correct? and they are getting paid how?

2. house - sound like he is negative equity on it. Any idea of by what %? What is the real estate market in his area? I'd contact a couple of realtors to see what's what and the comps and more importantly the "days on market" for the comps. this will give you an idea of what it can sell for and how long. If your in a 120 day market, the lender will likely go into foreclosure before it could even sell. If the % is low and it could be a short-sell, they may want him to do that. Short sells can drag onto months and months, in your dad's situation it could be a real bother to deal with.Personally I'd just walk away from a property that is negative equity of over 20%,lower if it's in a high foreclosure state (like Nevada). He's old and his credit is toast so what does it matter. Making any mortgage payments is a waste of probably limited $ resources that you need for facility or to get legal done.

If he qualifies for Medicaid and has a home - the proceeds of the sale of the home will need to go to Medicaid to reimburse for their payments for his care anyway.
This is the MERP program (Medicaid Estate Recovery Program) so doing or spending anything on the house is kinda of no benefit to him or you unless you can afford to pay for all (mortgage, insurance, taxes) etc for his lifetime and then settle with MERP after he dies. I have no idea how MERP deals with foreclosed or abandoned properties - now that should be an interesting conversation.

3. Other debt - this will be a big bother but not an issue for you unless you have signed off on being responsible for his debt or you share an account. If his only income is SS or other federal or RR retirement then it is protected from creditors. You may have to send a letter &/or fax to the bank on this.

Now if he has any other income and all of it goes into the same account, it is considered co-mingled and a creditor could come after it. If that's the case, open up a new account for only SS income to go as direct deposit. Depending on the timeframe, some of his accounts may have been turn over to collection agencies. They are relentless. Is it at this point?

Depending on the facility he is in, they may have it so that this SS can be direct deposit into a general account they have for this. Then from this they set up a trust account that whatever his states "monthly personal needs allowance" goes into for him to go to the barber or get things he needs. This could be ideal for your dad
if his SS is his only income.

4. Legal - are you his DPOA, MPOA? If not, then you need to get that done asap.
I'd also get "Guardianship in case of incapacity" done too - this goes by different names in different states. This is especially good for dementia as they can go on a dementia episode and revoke a DPOA on a whim. You then have a guardianship in case done and if you should have to file for guardianship, it makes it easy to do. Remember for legal, it needs to be paid from his account. If you "benefit" and you paid for legal, and there is family friction later on, they can cite this as your doing a coerced document for dad. Good luck and keep a sense of humor!
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Start looking into the Medicaid process and fill out the paperwork. You can download the application from the computer. Contact your local Elder Services Department for some direction and guidance. They often have lawyers who volunteer time to answer questions. Or ask a local attorney for a consultation, most give the first hour with no charge. Good luck; not easy, I know.
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