How to help elderly parents who have credit card debit they can't repay? - AgingCare.com

How to help elderly parents who have credit card debit they can't repay?

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Please note if a business forgives a debt, in the eyes of the IRS that forgiven debt is now *income* even though the money isn't in ones wallet. Sometimes if the amount is large that is being forgiven, it could mess up Medicaid qualifications if the elder is currently using Medicaid.
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Most county office of the aging include debt counseling for seniors, and the service is free. Call yours.
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If their only income is from social security and they have no other assets they are what is called "judgement proof". Their social security cannot be garnished to pay unsecured consumer debt. If you do a search on my name you will see my posts. I had the same situation with my dad. I got POA & informed his creditors that he had no means to pay the debt. He was sued by Discover & Chase. He got an "acknowledged judgement" for Discover. That means that he agrees that he owes the debt but has no means to pay. Chase is still pending and I expect the same outcome. Legal Aid was happy to help with the suit.
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Good advice above. If they have issues with dementia you or someone in the family should get control of the finances. Might need POA or guardianship if they are not agreeable and incompetent.
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Are they able to make the minimum payment each month on the credit card? Most of the time it is around $15... that will help keep the bill collectors at bay.

In the mean time, gather up those credit cards and have your parents pay by check, if they are still able to deal with balancing a checkbook, etc.
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