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Mom is on Medicare/Medicaid, in a nursing home. She had a small checking account (my name is on it for check cashing purposes) and I've been paying monthly only on the interest, she owes $4000 (all her medications were charged to that credit card). Now the money is just about gone. What should I do? What will happen? She owns nothing, her pension and social security go to the nursing home. Should I write to the credit card company? Should I just stop paying? Will they be calling me and harassing me?My mother owes on a credit card. Can't pay on it any more, she's in a nursing home, out of money. What should I do?

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arianne777, something I've never heard mentioned on her, don't know if it's still done or done anywhere else, but my dad retired from the state he lived in and he'd always told me he - well, me - was entitled to $5000 from them when he passed away - well, technically, originally it was go to mom, but she ended up passing away first, unexpectedly, which leads to another thing, by - or at - that point, for whatever reason it seemed as if he was incapable of changing his beneficiary and/or understanding giving me POA at that point and then by the time I did get it there was so much going on I forgot about it, plus also, along the way he'd apparently gotten her death certificates - at least according to the funeral home - but we could never find them - and they kept insisting they didn't have anymore, although once he passed away, they seemed to manage; anyway - had to have that done to get her cleared off as beneficiary and then had to get his sent in and then with the check being sent, yes, made out to his estate, which, then, yes, the bank, in order, actually not even to cash it, which I wasn't trying to do, but to just deposit it, at least into an account of mine - his had been closed out by that point, since it had been emptied by then - they had to have the proof that I was his executor, in this case, since he did have a will; however, to muddy the waters even more, since I was in a different state, they either weren't familiar with the out-of-state paperwork - at least they had to contact their legal department and fax it over to them to look at before they would allow me to - well, maybe it was because I was actually opening a new account, but not sure would have been much different had I been trying to do the same thing with an existing one, because I'd already talking to them and it just seemed to be a big ordeal wherever - anyway, before I could open the account and deposit the check - how much any of that had to do with the fact I was also trying to deposit the funds from his CD as well....but it took at least 3 banks to find one willing to even do any of that, or for at least their legal people to do it - one of them took the info and supposedly faxed it to their legal, but not while I was there, so said they were going to but never heard back from them
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Thank you for consumerfinance/older-americans/. I hadn't heard of it, and will save it for future use.
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GardenArtist had good advice. If you do have problems I would suggest contacting this government agency:consumerfinance/older-americans/
They have been very helpful to me when I was owed money by a credit card company - they got the money back, and they can help you deal with the company.
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Re-read Garden artists post & follow her advice as to written correspondence to them. You state her name the account info and that she is in a NH with her income (protected) going to NH as per state laws; that the account is to be closed and no futher payment will be sent. You kinda need to request the account yo be closed, otherwise each mo there will be fees & interest added. Do NOT sign your name but type it as "Jane Smith Jones in her capacity as DPOA for Linda Smith"

If moms income is SS & any sort of governmental retirement, it is protected income by federal law, as so cannot be attached in a judgement by a credit card issuer. The only ones who can get the funds from SS is the IRS or state -they are " super creditors " and as such have this ability.

Now 4 things could / will likely happen:
- they mail back a letter wanting to know more info. Just resend the initial letter and add you consider the letter sent on XYZ date as statement of fact and that this matter is closed. Send certified with return registered (USPS $ 8.00) like you did with the first one.

-they send you a letter that the debt is bring written off. This could be 90 days or a year later. There will be fees & interest on the debt too.

- the account is sold to secondary debt collectors. This can be done even if the debt is written off by the OC (original creditor). These guys are relentless, ruthless scum and you will likely get letters that imply its your debt. To these you have to again send a letter within 30 days that it's a written off debt by the OC and not your debt & the letter is a cease & desist. Again certified with return registered card. it may be sold again & again....endless fun!

- maybe next year or year after, mom may get a 1099-C cancellation of debt from the OC. If mom gets this, you kinda need to file taxes for her and do a IRS Form 982 to show her to be insolvent.IMHO it's not a DIY or turbo tax project, you need a CPA or tax pro like those year round H&R block small business offices. Why file?...well the amount in the 1099 C is considered income (even though it's phantom income) and will take mom over the income/asset limit for Medicaid unless taxes are done to show insolvency if your state does a matchup with iRS. Also if taxes aren't paid, IRS -as a supercreditor - can attach SS and that can snowball issues with the NH getting the required by medicaid co-pay or SOC each month.

Get a little folder to keep all items related to this. Issues on debt like this take a year or two to run its course to cease being sold. Fun!
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Yes Lassie, write a formal letter and mail it or fax it to them.
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I will NOT be intimidated. My name was on my mom's checking account because she was senile and couldn't pay any of her bills. She had a small checking account and we are now getting to the end of it. (Her pension and social security are going to the nursing home, she has Medicare and Medicaid. She owns nothing, her house has been in my name for many years.)... I wrote them one last check today. I am wondering what to do next, because the money is about gone, there is no more, there is no estate, and I am not responsible. Her phone is no longer in service, of course, but the credit card company has MY number and has called me in the past to do a bank transfer if the payment is late..... I do not want to be harrassed, but I wonder if I should send them a formal letter or what.
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The subject of credit card debt reminds me about the reverse; refunds that may be due the survivor of a deceased person. I recently received a refund check for lab work made out to Estate of (name of my deceased husband.) The letter accompanying it said a bank will cash the check only if it accompanied by proof that I am the administrator of the estate or a receipt showing that I paid for the goods or services for the deceased. Since my husband didn't have a POA for finance and left no will, and I can't find the receipt showing I paid for the services, I can't cash the check. I don't mind, because it was only $20. But I hope this information will help someone else who is caring for another person. Keep receipts!
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Be aware that IF you are not
a joint account holder and therefore not liable for the debt -
chances are the credit card company wil try to imply or straight out lie and say that you are. Some of the less reputable credit card companies can become very aggressive and try bullying you. Be prepared to stand your ground and refuse to be intimidated. Sadly, my hubby and I went through this with his mother.
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Much depends on whose signature is on those transactions. Hopefully she was the only one who signed them.
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I had the exact same situation with my dad when he was on hospice and in a nursing home. However I made the mistake of calling his creditors. I was trying to do the right thing but once I called them they had MY phone number. I was not attached to any of my dad's debt but they called me incessantly for weeks even after I requested that they stop calling.

I agree with GardenArtist. Keep all of your communications in writing and don't ever call them.
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Is she the only one authorized to sign on the credit card? If your name is on it and you're an authorized user, you're not personally obligated. However, if you're a joint account holder, you will be obligated as well as your mother to pay the bill.

If you're not a joint account holder, you can notify the card issuer (in writing, sent cert. or reg. mail, return receipt requested) that your mother is in a nursing home and all of her assets are taken by the nursing home. She would have nominal income, if any, to repay the debt. You could also tell them she's judgment proof, which means that even if they sued, there would be no assets from which to collect.

bankrate /finance/credit-cards/sharing-credit-card-accounts-1

Or if you are liable as a joint account holder, you could ask for long term repayment plan if you want to pay the debt off yourself. If you're not liable, you could ask for forgiveness of the debt based on your mother's judgment proof situation.

I don't know, however, whether banks/lenders still issue 1099s (not sure if it's this or another form) for the forgiven debt, treating it as income, which needs to be factored into any tax return.

Depending on the bank (some are more aggressive than others), you may or may not be hassled. If you are, familiarize yourself with the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/rules/rulemaking-regulatory-reform-proceedings/fair-debt-collection-practices-act-text), respond in writing to any debt collection notice sent (send it cert. or reg. mail), and don't take any debt collector's calls. Make all your contact in writing.
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