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She died after three years in nursing home, on Medi-cal to help with board and care. I have lived with and supported financially both my mother and stepfather for 18 years. Stepdad promised when she passed and he sold her house he would even things up with me financially. House sold and since we were in deep financial trouble, paid down mortgage, paid off credit cards, etc. No knowledge of estate recovery. Got a bill for $136,000. Claimed hardship but my stepdad did papers, not well, was denied. Didn't go to appeals hearing, too nervous, he has anxiety, overwhelms easily, head in the sand kind of guy. Then I took some bad advice, was told the bill would probably go to collections I could work out a discount, or the state might just drop the case. Wrong. Didn't receive anything from the state for years, seriously thought they dropped it. Then real estate agent appraised the house and found a lien. This was in 2018. 10% interest had been adding up every year! Anyone stuck like this? Is there a way out? I haven't seen an attorney but you know what they cost and I haven't two nickels to rub together. My mom died so stepdad and I on the deed. If we sell and pay back loan, we will be poor. I worked long and hard and now this. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Worried in Cali - do you have any idea if CA is doing their ER by state employees from DHHS or Atty Gen office?; OR is CA using an outside contractor like HMS or PNG? Or it’s a shared Recovery collections system with state employees doing beneficiary $ work but the OC doing property & land?
And if OC under contract when did CA turn ER to contractors?

And is CA is a TEFRA (predeath)? or non TEFRA (post death)? system for lien or claims on property? To me that will be imho big factors as to how all this runs and how easily dealt with by heirs and their atty’s.
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JoAnn29 Jun 8, 2019
Not sure what your saying, but it sounds good.😊
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I reread ur profile and sort of understand what igloo says. My problem in, where do u come in. Inherited Moms half of a house? A home SD and Mom owned together or StepGmas house.

Because when all is said and done, Dad owes the money and its his half of the proceeds that will be taken. Unless, from the death of his Mom everything was done wrong and you are out half of a house. You really need a lawyer to straighten this all out.

This is why everyone involved with Medicaid has to know the rules.
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worriedinCali Jun 7, 2019
how can you possibly determine the step dad owes and that it’s his half that will be taken? Again this is NOT medicaid MERP. This is medi-cal which is very different than Medicaid in regard to ERP. The MERP claim is sent to the survivors which is why she got a bill. Again there isn’t enough information here to determine that the step dad is the only one responsible!
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Your timeline as you’d described it is super confusing....
ok is it actually this:
- your mom’s remarried & her MIL owned a property but MIL was on LTC Medicaid which your stepdad was his mom’s POA. MIL died 2012.
- Your stepdad upon his mom’s death transferred property ownership to him & his wife (your mom) as he was his mom’s heir like in 2012/2013. Just how was the transfer done.... like he filed a small estates affidavit as he had a will naming him; or did a muniment of title; or just what was done to get it recorded? This is imo kinda mucho importante as that transfer could be invalid due to Medicaid lien if he signed off on his mom’s LTC Medicaid application & renewals and did not open full probate requiring published Notice to Creditors for them or anyone else to file a claim against the estate as however CA probate laws are done.
- Somewhere in this clusterF you entered the title & recording at the courthouse to become an owner on the property along with your mom & stepdad. When was that? So did you actually pay any $ for your share on the home? Your post reads that $ from the “sale” was used to pay off debt. If you paid $ for your share and he did not actually own property (due to Medicaid lien), then you get a real estate atty to take action against him and get a judgement on him that is placed on the property. All costs you paid on his share is part of what you sue him for. Yeah it’s harsh but being all gonna ignore it is NOT the solution. Your own mom is dead so it doesn’t affect her anymore to do this against stepfather. Once judgement placed has to be paid to you to get a release to have property sold as it will be needed for a clear title to ever happen. This is bad witch guerilla level stuff & you need an atty. who is a Pitt bully for your interest. Not a DIY.
- judgements and leins usually have a Statue of Limitations for time. Usually states require them to be filed @ CH & updated & refiled up to the SOL. All this has costs to do. Ofter creditors with judgements & or liens don’t do what is required by exact state timeline . You need to find out IF there is an SOL for CA and if it applies for all creditors and lein or judgement holders. Your at maybe year 5 or 6, it may be at or close to SOL.
- But into all this will fall as to whether CA is Tefra lien or post death lein - and if state did it’s NOI (notice of intent) as required based on that. They are dealt with very differently and how to get it released depends on your states laws. Again it’s not a DIY.

as an aside on all this, property does not have to get sold. If stepdad & you can continue to pay minimal for upkeep & property cost, it could go on till whenever your wallet allows for it. The option to hardball this is out there.... like you pay utilities but not taxes, insurance, repairs, maintenance and till you find another place. If you personally did not sign his moms Medicaid stuff, it’s not your issue, it’s his as he was his mom’s poa. If you stop paying property costs, then this becomes a problem for county/ city and the state to work out

really you have to pay for an atty. I’d go with a experienced probate atty who does litigations and has a real estate law partner Or associate.
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You contradict yourself. You said the house sold, then you say u have a house.

As the Community Spouse Dad could have stayed in the house. A lean would have been put on his half of the house, not yours if u owned the house before the five year look back. If u continued to reside in the house, when stepDad passed, u may have been able to stay in the house. The lean would be satisfied when u passed or sold the house.

You r not responsible for this bill, ur stepDad is. Dad only owned half of it.

I wish when someone goes on Medicaid and a house is involved the Community Spouse is made aware of what happens when Medicaid recipient passes.

The lean probably incurred interest because u didn't pay it when the house sold. Usually, this doesn't happen while someone resides in the house.

You will need a lawyer to straighten this out for you. He has to be versed in Medicaid.
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worriedinCali Jun 5, 2019
This is medi-cal not medicaid and medi-cal estate recovery especially in regards to houses is very different than Medicaid. not all of this info is accurate especially if the house was not in the step-dads name. We really can’t determine that the OP is not responsible because we don’t have all the facts here.
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You need an attorney. No way around that unfortunately. Your stepdad sure did mess things up and drop the ball. I am so very sorry. The only way to get out of this mess is to get an attorney to sort it all out and try to clear you from responsibility.
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Sorry, but you need an attorney to figure this out since you’re dealing with the government.Maybe a bankruptcy filing? Dad certainly did make a mess of things. Too bad you weren’t aware of this before it blew up.
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