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My mother in Virginia had a stroke in September. She only receives about $2700 per month in pension and surviving spouse. However, she has mortgage and high interest loan payments eating up the entire amount every month. My son is her financial power of attorney. He was the only family member in Virginia who could cope with dealing with her finances. Mom begged him to help her as drug addicted granddaughter, her boyfriend and several druggie squatters in her house had stolen her checkbook, password book, used her credit card number illegally and stole cash from her. Mom signed the PoA papers exactly 2 days before she had the stroke. She had been locked into the garage for hours by my niece the day before the stroke. That's another story.

The thing is there are issues with trying to sell the house while applying for Medicaid. Also the high interest loan with USAA was taken out by Mom to fix her car which was used by my niece to run Mom's errands and take her to appointments. We finally got the car back (stolen by niece and her boyfriend) almost completely trashed and unsellable. My brother is repairing it so we can sell it. However, we will never get what is owed on that high interest loan.

How can we stop automatic debits in her bank account? Can the PoA file for bankruptcy on her behalf? We have huge medical and nursing home bills to pay for Mom. We just don't even know where to start.

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Mom has been moved to my brother's house. She is very happy. While he was collecting the hospital bed for her, he gained information from the seller about the Central Indiana Care of Aged organisation. He has already been in contact and discovered he can get lots of help regards her care and information regards getting attorney for the guardianship. Entire family so relieved that Mom is safe and happy.
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araminta, you all have been dealing with so much! And you and your family have some good things in motion. Did you learn anything new with the replies so far? It's sad to think about the conditions you describe, for kids growing up in in that area. So, you, your siblings and your son are the 'survivors'... proving how strong you are. Although retaining (the right kind) of lawyer may seem expensive up front, it might be a good investment. There's another thread going on right now, 'Is anxiety contagious?' that you may like. You deserve new ways to feel great about who you are and what you're doing. God bless you today... do *something* ridiculous and delightful. ❤️ 😀
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The niece has not visited Mom since the stroke. I've asked Mom during video chats and she emphatically shakes her head no. I ask would she like to see her, and Mom shakes her head no with a bit of a guilty look. I tell her she shouldn't feel bad about not wanting to see her to which she nods agreement.

I don't like asking that question as it evidently makes her sad. She raised my niece. Though my sister was only ablock away, niece stayed at grandma's most of the time since infancy. She started falling apart in highschool. Many do in that small industrial town. I almost did, my sister did, 2 brothers did (but they have recovered themselves), many people I knew in school did regardless of socioeconomic status. It was and is a chronic problem and the town is toxic, which is why the 2 brothers will never move back to the area.
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We are working on all these things. Mom's pension is a civil service pension topped up by surviving spouse benefit, so comes from the federal government. We contacted them about moving those payments to a new bank account. They told us only she can do this or a court appointed guardian. Power of attorney cannot do it.
The big problem i think is 3 different people (me in England, my son and hour and half away from Mom in Virginia, and my brother in Indiana).
Brother (medical PoA) works 8 to 10 hours a day and tops that with getting the house ready for Mom. His wife's day is full with appointments for the 2 young kids (druggie niece's kids) they legally adopted. These kids have some mild emotional development issues from being in foster care for 2 years. The plan pre stroke was that Mom would be with those great grand babies who she adores. She recognised them instantly shortly after her stroke. And the older remembered her GG. So this move will be very good for all, especially with the help of my brother's 2 adult kids who live in the same town.
My son (the financial PoA) works 8+ hours as well as work his own buy and resell business which takes his evening and weekends.
I am in England and helping my husband with his parents (hour and half drive away). Mum is pretty far gone with dementia and Dad is 97, has prosthetic leg, is very frail and recently bed ridden. Since before Christmas I have been dealing with all of the stuff Mum squirreled away in cupboards and drawers, Washing, ironing and repairing all of their clothes, towels, bedding and Dad's stumps socks because Dad did not know how to do laundry. Mum was hiding soiled clothes and Dad was using fabric softener as laundry soap. Broke our washing machine doing all this. I had to wash every piece of cutlery and crockery and clear the out of date food from cupboards. I've been shopping online for someone to fix their 3 piece suite as all the springs are sagging and the furniture is too low for them to safely rise from. Husband replaced the nasty carpet tiles in their bathroom with non slip vynil while I made them lunch and entertained them. Husband has been doing all the shopping, financial stuff, contacting social services, getting 24/7 care in (Dad kept sending them away). All the stress is not good for my autoimmune conditions. I am exhausted. So exhasted and busy that I forgot the anniversary of my daughter's death yesterday. So now I have that added guilt.
Old people, much as I cherish them, are making me old before my time. My only consolation is knowing that my immune system will kill me before I become a burden to my lovely husband.

Okay. Now my rant is over. Terribly sorry about that. It's been building for a while.
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Araminta, if the niece and druggie friends were the ones abusing your mother, perhaps if they are visiting your mother in the nursing home they are the ones that are injuring her instead of the night caregiver.
https://www.agingcare.com/questions/suspect-elder-abuse-of-mother-in-nursing-home-198889.htm?cpage=3
And please do as Pam and MANY others have urged you - engage the services of an attorney to sort out the abuse, Medicaid issues with nursing home in Virginia, new issues with establishing residency and Medicaid eligibility in Indiana, and getting banks to accept your brother's financial POA and how to set up the default on loans, etc.
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I would check with an Elder Law attorney about what steps you can take. Maybe there would be an option where you just give the keys to the house to the bank that holds the mortgage, thus washing your hands from the house.

The only concern I would have, and you would need to ask an attorney, if your Mom's mortgage is "forgiven", would that amount now be considered "income" even though it is not in your Mom's pocket. That in itself might cause a major roadblock with applying for Medicaid.

Expensive lesson learned for everyone here. Check on one's parents on a regular basis, even if it means an overnight trip back and forth. We can see things differently then someone who lives close by and doesn't notice anything.
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Forgot to mention she is not in her house now and it is boarded up. She is in a nursing home.
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To start with the abuse prior to stroke. Police and adult protective services were called repeatedly, but when police came to house Mom was so afraid of the druggies (they had been threatening to say she was dealing her prescription pain killers - they were actually stealing them from her) that she wouldn't step up. She had let the druggies in on good faith as renters. They were going to live in her converted basement (it has kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, lounge and laundry) and in lieu of rent help her decorate the upstairs (painting and minor repairs and cleaning) so she could get house ready for sale. The druggies were friends of my niece and her boyfriend. None of them actually moved downstairs. They lived in her breezeway and living room, did no work and only very occasionally gave her a bit of money or bought some groceries. They ate her food, never cleaned up after themselves. So because she had let them in on a verbal agreement as tenants she had to file eviction with the court. That was the police advice. This is when rest of family (spread all over country and across the ocean) got involved. My son lived nearest barring my sister (mother of the drug neice and a druggie herself). So mom asked (pleaded) with Brad to help her with her finances because the phone bills went crazy (druggies) her gas and electric increased and so did her broadband. She noticed payments she couldn't account for going out of credit card and cash disappearing. Because she has back and knee injuries she was dependent on niece for errands and appointments. So she was trying to protect the niece while getting rid of the ragtag. Didn't work. Problems escalated to the point of mom's stroke.

Son (now PoA) has been told by bank he cannot stop the payments no matter what. We would be quite happy for the bank to take the house. But the mortgage is about 10 to 15k more than tax and resale value of house. The mortgage company is quite happy to keep taking those payments. As to the high interest loan it is being taken out via a Western Union electronic transfer to USAA bank. We have pleaded with them trying to explain how mom was pressured by drug addicts to take the loan, that she was elderly and vulnerable and they should never have agreed to the loan, which is true, all to no avail.
We are planning move mom to my younger brother's house in Indiana soon and he wants to apply for medical and finacial guardianship, so he can off load the money pit house and dispell all her debt. But this takes months. And that will interfere with applying for medicaid and getting some carer help in.
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PLEASE see an estate attorney. Stopping the payments will create more problems than it solves. Doing that could trigger foreclosure on the house and garnishee on pensions. You may need to seek full Guardianship, since a POA will not be recognized by VA or SS.
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Also, look up county or state agency/council on aging for reference information and to identify advisory resources. Here's a place to start: http://www.vda.virginia.gov/findservicesintro.asp
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Hi - I hope these various thefts, and the physical endangerment (locking in the garage - omg) have been reported to the police?? As well as being justified, it may be necessary for some of the back-end things you need to accomplish. If your mother disagrees I'd override her, and/or don't tell her.
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Does the POA have access to the accounts? If so, this should be a pretty simple procedure...whether you call the loan holder and tell them to stop the payments, or whether you block the payments on the bank side (either by blocking their withdrawals or changing the account number).

For the bankruptcy this is another ball of wax. The POA documentation, if written properly, will state what the powers of the POA are...some have unlimited power, some are restricted to paying on existing debt/bills and do not allow for things like bankruptcy, selling property, etc. You would need to read the documentation carefully to see what rights the POA holds in this case.

Angel
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