My husband did not inform me of his huge credit card debt after he retired a little over a year ago. Am I responsible for his debt?

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He has early stage Alzheimer's. We are trying to get him Medicaid eligible so he can stay at home and get services. He has nothing in his name but social security and a very small pension. He has been paying on these credit cards and has racked up unbelievable interest on these cards. He is making minimum payments. Am I responsible for his debt? They are not in my name. I don't want Medicaid to be denied because he lied to me about these debts. Thanks

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Be very careful choosing a credit counselor. Some are for-profit, and will only increase your debt without helping your situation at all. Look for a state or federal department of consumer protection to get advice on finding a good one!
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speech, glad to see this again, been wondering, glad to see you have an attorney, really wish hub's aunt and uncle did, she keeps saying she's going to but never does, and glad to see he's advising you not to even pay on them, especially no more than his pension is, don't quite understand you saying something turned over to him when his mother died, so is/was it actually hers, so he doesn't actually have one of his own? do you know why the interest rates on the cards increased? from not being paid properly, know that's what happened with ours. my husband's much younger but sometimes I wonder, he has some of them - if not all, gets confusing - on automatic - but then that gets all mixed up with extra checks - but some I do think are on a he has to call system and then sometimes he'll forget. And we don't even have bank statements come anywhere, everything is electronic, which I'd wondered what was going on with hub's aunt, as well, she was telling me she wasn't getting her bank statements, either, and I had thought some banks had gone to quarterly rather than monthly but then think I learned either I was wrong or they went back but anyway then one day she'd started having her paperwork out in the open and I found her monthly statements, so not sure if they started sending them again after she started calling the bank so often or if she'd been getting them all along and just didn't realize it or would forget and since she'd been keeping them put where I couldn't see them I couldn't know but anyway I'd needed at least 3 of them for some help she'd been wanting me to get for her but 2 things, one of them, the last one, had the IRA distribution I'd needed the information about that she also didn't know anything about because it had been set up automatically and also that same one also had a new account that had been set up, apparently by family that had been put on their account, for the very purpose of the help that she'd been wanting me to get for them, that they had apparently also been working on, so still couldn't do anything until we found out what was going on with that, which then led to other things being found out with then later statements, like money being shifted and transferred and then possibly being taken out of their accounts, maybe ostensibly for their help but none has been seen yet and now more money's been coming out of their account that we think we know what's going on now, especially since some other people are ending up being involved, we're waiting now to see about some checks that somehow have wound up at somebody else's house, not the people on the account. It's possible the whole order of checks got diverted until she called the bank to ask about them and then they seemed to mysteriously appear, which I know could be attributed to the dementia she supposedly has but also sometimes people with paranoia really do have enemies and when you do have somebody who really is doing things it really is possible these things are really happening. The problem is, maybe because of the seeming dementia, maybe not, but she doesn't have POA over him, which is somewhat confusing as to whether this checking account is joint - I'm assuming, speech, by what you've said, your husband's was not? which is why you have POA, which how did you get that then? with my dad he put me on his checking account after my mom died, which she says she's on his but speech, so glad to find from you again, had wondered, so glad you have an attorney and that he's advising you not to pay on the credit cards,
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Can you get a Debt Counselor to assist you in negotiating the interest rates down? Is there any chance of him declaring bankruptcy? I would look into that if he cannot pay back the debt. Of course limiting his ability to spend is #1 at this point.
Good Luck
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Had friends who got in debt early in their marriage. They were able to get a consolidated loan. The loan paid all the creditors and then they only had one payment at a lot less interest. I wish they taught kids in school how Credit Cards worked. I found out a lot when I was late by one day.
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Forgot to mention. My husband gave up driving ( not something he wanted to do) right after he retired. He had an accident several mos earlier and months later drove through our closed garage door not realizing it wasn't open). This affected his mental state even more bc he lost his independence : retirement and no longer driving. More depression and frustrations. While he was still driving all his business bills were being sent to a PO box at our local PO. So he was able to get his bills and hide them from me that way. I finally cancelled the PO box bc we really didn't need to be paying for it and had all mail forwarded to our home. Guess that is when he came up w the idea of having the bills sent to his friend instead of here. He really got himself into a financial mess!! I still cannot believe he convinced his friend to let the bills go to his house.
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Hi again. Sorry. Couldn't find this thread - finally back to ans questions. I appreciate everyone's responses. My husband's pension is $192 a month. Very small. Something that was turned over to him when his mother died years ago.
Our Elder Atty has advised not paying even the minimum amts on the credit cards. He said to send him any letters that may come from the credit card companies. Very grateful he will handle this for us even w his fee. My husband's Alzheimer's may have started long before I realized it esp when it comes to financial errors w his business. I knew his business wasn't doing well the last couple of years but he kept telling me he was managing. I offered to help pay any bills as he was getting ready to retire. He did let me pay some but kept the rest hidden from me bc he was afraid to tell me. He figured he could pay those cards off gradually w his SS. Except the interest rates were unreal and it increased on all 3 cards very fast. He diverted the bills to a friend w me not knowing. The friend would either rip them up or give to him when they saw each other. My husband would do a phone call to the credit card company to pay on them monthly. Even his checking acct statements stopped coming in the mail to our house. I kept asking him why. He had changed the address on those too!!! So as much as his dementia has affected our lives, he knew enough to lie to me about all these debts. I finally went to bank w my POA paperwork and the bank filed it so I now have access to see his checking acct. he had numerous overdraft fees and insufficient funds!!! I hit the roof which of course had emotional affects at home. They almost cancelled his checking acct. I added a little money so he would have a balance. Now his direct dep of his SS and small pension will still be there and he has a positive balance.
Thanks so much to all of you for letting me vent. We are both seeing a psychologist.... Me for stress. he has seen one for years : depression, anxiety and OCD.
So grateful for his caregivers forum. Thanks again to all
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ferris, I understand that in typical situations, yes, but in this case, I really don't think the interest accumulating is even the issue, and I still believe in situations like this they're going to want his wife to then be responsible, which is the very thing she's trying to avoid; she's not wanting to take care of these bills and I don't really blame her, since she didn't know anything about them; she's got her hands full just trying to take care of him now, but she does need to find out about this pension
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You contact the credit card companies debdaughter to stop the interest that keeps accumulating. It is always a good thing to communicate what is going on in your life.
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why would you contact the credit card companies? they're likely then to want to make her responsible, but you do need to find out about the pension
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Above all else, contact the credit card companies, explain the situation and they probably will "write-off" the debt. After all, it is unlikely he would be able to pay them off due to his diagnosis. Best wishes!
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