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Mom has credit card debt. I am worried that if we pay them off she could run out of money before the private pay period for Medicaid. I hate the thought of not paying her debt but I also do not want to jeapardize having enough money for the private pay period either. I know this is best suited for a financial planner or lawyer but I don't have one right now.

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Mom charged up a few K on her credit card (not from QVC, but charging her meds-by-mail). She eventually went into a nursing home and I sent a letter (properly, to be signed by them when they got it) saying she was in a nursing home, her SS and small pension all went to the nursing home except for $50 a month spending money. Her house was in the relatives' names, from long ago, and is being rented out right now. She had no savings, no valuables, no nothing. The credit card companies AFAIK are out of luck and I don't think they have any recourse....I do get nibbles from collection agencies now and then, but I throw them away. My mom can't pay them, *I* certainly am not going to pay them, there is no more water in the well.
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I am currently going through that with my mom. We are in New York and I just had mom approved for Community Medicaid. Once everything is in place with the trust account for the spend down, etc. the attorney will be sending letters to the credit card debtors letting them know mom is unable to continue paying due to her placement on Medicaid. Medicaid only allows mom to keep a certain amount of money, which is not enough to cover everything. My understanding from my mom's attorney is if the debt is old debt then mom is not required to pay it. If it's new debt, then it would be paid through the trust. So, again it depends on the state and the Medicaid rules/regulations.
As someone mentioned above, you can usually find an elder care attorney that will give a free 30 min consultation or something so that you can get some answers to know what you need to do next.
Good Luck. Take care of yourself.
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If you try to do a settlement (partial payment of a debt considered paid in full) she will receive a 1099 for the "forgiven" amount. She will then have to pay taxes and it will be a negative against her credit score. She may want to consider filing bankruptcy if she cannot afford to make payments on her accounts. If she is going to talk to an attorney, I would go to a bankruptcy attorney for guidance.
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You should get an attorney.
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Call Medicaid and run it by them. I would think a debt could be part of the spend down. Not fair to the debtors if there is money there.
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You must have an eldercare attorney who can answer this question. This is a tough one and I don't want your actions or non-actions come back to bite you. You might also "inquire" of the credit card company what they expect one to do and what the laws are.
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Find an elder lawyer and get advice....one meeting is all you need for answers for your state.
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gladimhere -- Thanks for the info about the possibility of a lump sum payoff.
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Have you tried to negotiate with the company for a lump sum pay off? Sometimes the amount owed can be drastically reduced. They would rather be paid something than have to write off the entire amount later when there is nothing left.
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