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93 year old mom will be going into a private pay nursing home in the near future. She has a monthly pension and Social Security almost $3,000 combined. We will use that to help pay for the nursing home. No will, no estate/property. Has 4 credit card bills with $20,000 combined total balance in her name. Do we still pay the monthly payments which comes out to around $1,500 of her $3,000, or should we contact the companies, explain she is in a nursing home, and stop all payments? This is a big area of discussion among family members.

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IRT BarbBrooklyn. The nursing home does not take Medicaid patients. Since it takes only "private pay" patients, we have to pay out of pocket.  Hawaii is one of the most expensive when it comes to nursing home, elder care.  
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The wrinkle is that if the CC company cancels the debt, they issue a 1099, which has to be reported as income.
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I had a similar experience! Recently moved my mom with dementia in my home. Got a letter from a CC Co. saying she's behind 6 mos. I made every effort for 2 months prior to closing the account, to depute many fraudulent charges. They refused to return my calls. They sent a letter that account was sent to collections (big deal), my mom owns nothing. I called & told them she has dementia, was instructed to send diagnosis date, doctor letter, and I included the doctors' signed form confirming incapacitated patient.
I agree with (surprise) that CC debt is "unsecured debt" , you can't be forced to pay!
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You mean tell your elderly parent that?

I guess whoever wrote that has never dealt with an elder with dementia, who believes what every phone scammer and deadbeat relative tells them.
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Dave Ramsey, the Christian budget guru, deals with this weekly on his radio show. He is super ethical. How about giving his show a call if what his website says does not thrill everyone? I agree with Barb about an eldercare attorney for the Medicaid aspect as well, but I respect anyone's decision not to take government money if that is an issue.

I searched for his name with no space and dot com, and the words "elderly credit card debt" - the first result had almost your exact situation. This is what it says (from daveramsey dot com):

"You need to tell them that if they ever borrow money again it is considered stealing because they have no way to pay back what they owe. You have to be willing to have that talk with them first and foremost. You also need to take their credit cards and close the accounts since you have power of attorney. You also need to explain your parents’ situation to all of these companies. Your parents are considered “judgment proof,” which means these credit companies aren’t going to be able to get any money from them. They can sue them or trash their credit, but it won’t matter because it is uncollectible debt. If you and your siblings want to get together to settle this debt in order to keep your parents’ name in good stead, you’ll probably be able to settle for a very small amount – probably pennies on the dollar. Just make sure you get the settlement in writing before you give them a dime."
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Are you applying for Medicaid on her behalf? How is the balance of the NH Bill being paid?

The answer to this is best answered by an Eldercare lawyer who is familiar with
Medicaid.
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