Has anyone in GA had a nursing home place a lien on a patient's home prior to their death?

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4 years after the death of the individual, the patient's home was sold and lien was paid. Now Medicaid is claiming that the death wasn't reported, which it was. Medicaid is saying they should have been paid first, even though they didn't ask for anything right after the death. What is aggravating the Estate was worth less than $25,000. We have been trying to get someone to help us because the lien was placed illegally in the first place. The lien was $21,158.62 including penalties and interest. We are not financially prepared to get a lawyer to fight the lien. Pro Bono Lawyers don't take Probate cases and Private Lawyers want $20,000. Legal Aid Lawyers won't help either. We don't want anyone else to be taken advantage of in such a way.

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Since there seems to be so much confusion. He was not on Medicaid at the NH that placed the lien. He had insurance that covered what Social Security (his checks were going directly to the NH) and Medicare did not cover because he was recovering from a stroke. His insurance company requested certain information from the NH and the NH failed to provide that information. The NH stopped sending statements to the insurance company so the ins. co stopped paying. As I said before the person with the POA should have handled the problem but they didn't. So the claim from the NH that his insurance had lapsed was incorrect. The person that had a POA died four months prior to my FIL's death. The reason we feel like the lien was placed illegally is because after he left the NH that put the lien on the property he was put on Medicaid b/c he was expected to be there for the long term, so they should have had first rights to the property. However, since my FIL's assets were less than $25,000 in the State of GA Medicaid can't take anything. We have talked to two different lawyers and we have been told that they could have got the lien dropped but it would have cost $20,000 for their services. The amount gained is hardly worth the trouble. Sorry for the confusion.
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igloo572 Aug 14, 2018
Hank, thanks. For the addl details,
-any idea to whom the MERP NOI (notice of intent) letter and questionnaire was sent to? Noi may have gone out maybe 3-9 mos after FiLs death. It’s usually a large envelop abt 12-15 pages.
- the letters..... are they coming from a division of the state of GA (like maybe a defined legal division with the state Medicaid offices in Atl) or are they coming from HMS (outside contractor for MERP. If it’s hms, what’s the postmark?
- If there’s phone calls, is it with state or HMS?
- the 21k NH lien, was it placed cause it was done via a judgement against FIL for nonpayment of NH private pay bill?
OR did NH actually file a claim against fIL Estate in PC?
You said “NH claim for placing lien”, it’s not just semantics but there’s a different pecking order between lien from judgement and lien from probate claim.
- regarding probate, is it closed? and is/was hubs named an independent administrator for probate? This would be likely specifically read that way that in the Letters Testamentary issued by probate court.
- for hubs costs to open & deal with probate, did he file executors expenses report or executor claims against the estate in PC?
- property sold via a warranty deed & with title insurance, right?
- the probate atty, is where in all this???
i have a suggestion for you based on the answers.
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The NH claim for placing lien was that his insurance had lapsed which it had not. As I said previously the person handling the POA at the time dropped the ball and did nothing to help stop the Judgment that brought about the lien. Everything has been handled properly that my husband has done.
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BTW Everything was done by the book. My husband used a lawyer to probate the will and he used a lawyer when the property was sold. Nothing was done illegal by my husband.
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The lien was place on my FIL's property 11 mos prior to his death by Golden Living Nursing Home. My husband was Executor of his will. The will was probated. When my husband sold the property, the closing attorney tried to get the lien dropped or at least get the penalties and interest dropped and the nursing home's lawyer refused to drop anything. The closing attorney tried to tell them that the property was not worth that much and that it was going to place a hardship on my husband and his family, still they refused to drop the lien. The original lien was for $14,192.38. During the 4 years, we paid all taxes and upkeep of the property, plus since my FIL had no life insurance we paid for his funeral. The lien was placed at a time that someone else held a POA and was suppose to handling my FIL's affairs.
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?’s.... you post is unclear, so.......
-the lien for 21k was placed by whom and when?
- how were you able to legally sell or transfer the property? When someone dies there has to be some sort of legal document presented to allow a heir to transfer or sell a property formerly owned by the now deceased. In order for sale to be valid, there had to be good paperwork. It cannot be done by the old POA as that power is gone. Like it could sold as an action within probate court (so judge signs off), OR as a muniment of title OR as an affidavit of heirship or whatever spin on this GA does for property transfers. So what did you all use to sell the property?
- was title insurance done for the sale?
& if not was property sold to someone within your family?
If you “sold” it 4 years after she died and did not do this correctly that sale is flawed, there will be clouds on the title and the buyer can go after you for damages unless they were in collusion with you on this. I’m guessing that the whole sale is super murky and why any atty wants a hefty sum to deal with this cluster..... cause if this is the scenario it’s not just the Medicaid lien that’s to be dealt with but accountability for Probate laws and likely also a Quiet Title Action to get through the clouds on the property’s title and doing a “Quieting” needs weeks if not months to be beyond any challenge.
- how did the 21k get paid? Like it was withheld from the settlement funds at the Act of Sale and deducted from sale amount & paid to lien holder?
- by the “state” are you referring to correspondence from the actual State of GA & if so which division? or it is actually from HMS, the outside contractor for MERP / Estate Recovery for GA?
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Reply to igloo572
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What lien was paid? Regardless as previously mentioned between NH and Medicaid, esp since 4 years has passed.
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Reply to shad250
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A lien may be placed by Medicaid at any time after Medicaid is approved and money is going to the nursing home. So the lien was not illegally placed. What kind of lien was paid? Recovery cannot begin until after the person dies.
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JoAnn29 Aug 13, 2018
Medicaid does not put a lien on a house till after the residents death.
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Sorry, a little confusing.

I would think the only way a NH could put a lien on a home was if there was a lag between the time the person was placed in the home and Medicaid took over. Meaning the person didn't private pay for that time. So yes, I guess the home would be in the right to put a lean on the house. First come first served in liens. Except, I guess, when the government is involved.

Yes, the death was reported, probably by the NH. They have to so no more funds come from Medicaid. Was the home sold after death? Who was the Executor? Did Medicaid have time to put a lein on it, was the Executor aware there could be a lein on it. Medicaid puts leins on property after death.

I was aware there would be a lein. I requested a letter from Moms caseworker telling me how much was owed. Mine was only 6k but this gave me an idea what I needed to get for the house to pay Medicaid and unpaid taxes.

I guess you could play dumb. Read the paperwork received when Mom applied for Medicaid. Her house should have been listed as an asset. Is there any clause saying that if the house not sold till after death that a lien will be placed on the house at the time of death. Is there anything saying that you were responsible to contact them about a death.

Then the sale, there is usually a title search. I guess no liens came up other than the NH. Did the house sell at market value? After the lean was satisfied what happened to the rest of the money? Moms funeral?

If you have proof the death was reported and they stopped paying the home, that is a big thing. Because, somebody didn't do their job at Medicaid. If you can find nothing in the paperwork saying a lean would be placed on the property at death then don't think they have a leg to stand on. Like said, if the NH was in the wrong, then Medicaid can go after them. Get everything together and see if a Medicaid lawyer will do a consult just so you know what your rights are.
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unless you spent it for something other than the patient’s care, it is not your problem. If you sold it and spent it on something else, it is not your problem. It is between the nursing home and Medicaid.
The nursing home can require payment if the patient was living there for the time before Medicaid kicks in. But not from the family unless you were spending the patient’s money up to 5 years before Medicaid approval.
It took 4 months before my Dad’s Social Security check was directly deposited into the nursing home accounts after he was Medicaid approved. For those 4 months, he had to pay the nursing home the amount from his social security checks as they were deposited in his bank accounts.
Hope this helps-your question was a little unclear.
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Reply to PrairieLake
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The lien that the NH placed was illegal?
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