Mom went into a nursing home with an outstanding credit card debt, am I responsible to pay it?

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My mother went in a nursing home in 2009 with Alzhemier's. She had an outstanding credit card with JC Penneys and I called them and told them she would no longer make payments. Now I have received a call that they are filing a complaint for the debt. Am I responsible.

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Barb, if a complaint to recover the debt is filed, someone will have to be served, and if your mother's the only name on the credit card account, she would have to be the one to be served.

Given that she has Alzheimer's, she may not be subject to service of process. I recall several months ago doing some research for another question on validity of service on someone with dementia. If I recall correctly, some people who lack mental capacity to defend themselves cannot be legitimately named and served as a party defendant.

I don't recall this for sure though, so it might be time to consider legal consultation.

However, if the debt collector indicated it would name you as a party defendant, and if you don't have liability, you probably would need an attorney as well to file for dismissal as to you.

Debt collectors are on the bottom of the scumbag ladder. The process server may try to get you to accept service on behalf of your mother. Although it's been decades since I've worked in litigation, I don't recall for sure but believe that you can't accept service for your mother. If you're named as proxy in a POA for her, that might change the situation. I don't know for sure (as I write, it's been years since I've worked in litigation), so you might want to start looking for an attorney just in case.

On the other hand, this might be a scare tactic; debt collectors do that.

If they do sue your mother, I'm assuming that she doesn't have any funds to pay, so something you should raise in a conference with an attorney is that she's "judgment proof." I.e., she has no resources on which a judgment could be levied and collected.
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Mailnis forwarded if you leave a new,address.
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vegaslady

Usually mail is forwarded to the new address. The OP called them, which they probably recorded, her mom was not making anymore payments. The company would then try to locate the mom.
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What is the "complaint"? Do you mean they are filing a lawsuit?
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Why would you want to get her agitated with this? And how are the creditors supposed to know if their 'customer moved?
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Why isn't the statement going to the nursing home?
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Barb, familiarize yourself with the Fair Debt Collections Practice Act.

Google it, along with "lawcornell edu". That site has a good, easy to read. I can't post a link because the filters on this site delete URLs.

DO NOT SPEAK to any debt collectors who call. Their calls are recorded, and I believe truncated to edit out what they feel might not be favorable to their actions.

When they send you a letter, follow the instructions of the FDCPA, write to them, send certified, and advise that the debt is not your responsibility and that they cannot contact you again.

If you need help on interpreting or complying with the Act, post again. I've been through this a few times, especially with a nationally known so-called wildlife preservation company that was harassing my father and completely ignored the terms of the Act.
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You are not responsible, but she is. If they continue to harass you, contact legal services for the elderly and disabled.
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If your name isn't also on the card, no, you are not responsible although debt collection agencies would have you believe different.
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