My mother had a fall, broke her thigh, was not able to recover, and is now staying at a skilled nursing facility. She has early Alzheimers. We had to do the medicaid spend down and all that entails, leaving her with outstanding credit card debts.

I sent the power of attorney info to all of the creditors, informing them they would be dealing with me. Chase sent her back a letter asking for verification of what's happening with her financially, and including verification that she's in a SNF to decide "the best course of action." There's a line about the tax implications if the debt is written off, etc.

My concern is that if I give them a letter from the facility stating that she's there, they might try to contact her there. She has a phone in her room, and the last thing on God's green earth she needs is calls from debt collectors, when she doesn't understand the financial implications of going on Medicaid, that she no longer has any money, etc. Does anyone have experience with this whole process? Advice?

Thank you all very much for your input. I appreciate it so much. I've been having a hard time dealing with these phone calls. Your advice helps.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to DarkSeaglass

As everyone else has not give out her phone # or place of residence. My BIL went through this recently with MIL as she was placed in a facility paid for by Medicaid. She carried substantial CC debt and was about to declare bankruptcy (yet again) when she fell ill. He was advised to ignore all correspondence since these were all unsecured loans....and they were dumb enough to extend credit to someone well into their 90's who already had a less than stellar credit history. When you have zero assets there is nothing to attach. And you are not the responsible party.....ignore them or they will continue to hound YOU.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Abby2018

Agree with mrbill. They will call you non stop. Ignore them. The debt is not in your name. If you have the capacity to block those calls, I would. What you are going through is stressful enough-don’t allow them to make it worse.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Shane1124

I'm with Tacy on this one.  Provide notice as she advised under the FDCPA but add that you are not responsible for the debt, that your mother is judgment proof and the alleged funds owed cannot be collected.   "Judgment proof" is self explanatory:  there's no money for judgments; trying to collect or suits are a waste of time. 

You might remind them that you're providing 30 days notice pursuant to the Act, and that they are prohibited from contacting you based on the circumstances you state - assuming the FDCPA hasn't been amended.   It wouldn't hurt to spend some time becoming acquainted with its provisions.

They'll ignore that, though, thinking they've found a "live one" (i.e., YOU!) to hassle.

As to where your mother is, merely state that you're not at liberty to disclose her location, and it's not necessarily the permanent location anyway.   I'm kind of "up in the air" about providing that information to Chase, but it does sound as if they're considering cancelling the debt.  

But under no circumstances would I provide that information to anyone else; they in fact would start hassling her by calling repeatedly.

Hopefully Igloo will come along and address the issue of debt write-off and tax implications, and whether or not it will affect Mom's Medicaid status.

Be aware that you're entering a pit of vipers, alligators and crocodiles, and with no offense to these dangerous predators, the debt collection industry is a vicious one, with no compassion, sympathy or reason to consider any kind of a workout.

Chase, however, may be different.   I've dealt with them for years on basic accounts, but also Trust account management.   They're more sophisticated than most; the other banks I contacted were ones that weren't even in the ball park when it came to Trust accounts.   But that doesn't mean that they necessarily will write off the debt.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to GardenArtist

Just ignore the collectors she is judgement proof, no reason to spend any more time on this. They will eventually write off the debt.

Don't redirect anything to you, stop corresponding with the creditors.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to DollyMe

The answer really depends on how large the debt is. I am more agressive than most here and dont practice avoidance especially with certain creditors, BoA, Chase, Capital One, etc. . Im not a lawyer but this the template I use for clients:

RE: Acct. #xxxxx

Dear XXXX:

This letter is being sent to you in response to your correspondence sent to me dated XXXXX. Please be advised that this is not a refusal to pay but a request pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC 1692g Sec. 809(b) that you claim is disputed and validation is requested.

This is not a request for “verification”, but a request for “validation” made in accordance with the above named Title and Section. I request that your office provide me with competent evidence that I have any legal obligation to pay you. The proof of the oblibation should be complete and include the following documentation:

1. The exact amount you state is owed.
2. A full and clear explanation of how you calculated what you say is owed.
3. The agreement you have in place with (creditor name) that authorizes you to collect on behalf of this debt.
4. Any agreement reflecting my signature that confirms my acceptance of this obligation.
5. The complete payment history, including the customer ledger, on this account.

Until your office fully complies with my reasonable request for information, I expect that there will be no further effort on your part to collect on this debt. Additionally, if your offices are able to provide the information, I will require 30 days to investigate the information and during such time, all collection activity must cease and desist. If you offices fail to respond to this validation request within 30 days of receipt, all references to this account must be deleted and completely removed from my credit file, the deletion request must be sent to me immediately and no further efforts to collect on it can be made.

I request all correspondence is sent through the mail and no telephone contact.


Tweek it to your circumstances.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to tacy022

No kidding. My mother with moderate dementia living in Memory Care insists on having her answering machine on to record messages. I cannot TELL you the aggravation with getting messages she cannot comprehend or hear, then saving them, telling me about them incessantly, then having me listen to them on my weekly visit.......and they're ALL from scammers or people trying to get her to buy something! I sure wish I could pull the phone clear OUT of the wall most days, but I can't take away her last tie to the outside world. The phone sure does create more confusion and headache than it cures, though, that's for sure!!

Don't give her phone number out to ANYONE, that's my advice! The fewer calls she gets, the better off EVERYONE is!!

Good luck!!
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to lealonnie1

Don’t give the creditors any info. No good will come of it. My MIL had one credit card that wasn’t paid off and my husband contacted them and he’s never been harassed by anyone-not the credit card company or a collection agency. They’ve never contacted him as a matter of fact!
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to worriedinCali

don't give them any info, I wouldn't have given them your name. You can tell them she will no longer be able to pay, but they will keep calling anyway, eventually selling it off to collection agencies who will badger you nonstop with phone calls, regardless of what you tell them. Just ignore them, but unfortunately the calls will be relentless.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to mstrbill

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