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My mother passed away in July after being in the NH for about ten months. No ne ever told us about MERP. Now we have received papers from MERP saying we owe like $28,000 for Medicaid. They wanted to know about my mother's house and vehicle. I told them we had already sold them and they asked for how much. I told them and I am now waiting on a call from the case manager. What should I do? I have one sibling that lives on disability and there is no way they can pay back their portion of the estate. Like others of us have used that money to pay for personnel reasons. There is an will but we never had it probated because we thought there was no reason to do so. What should we do? Is MERP going to sue us or what. We sold the house before the papers ever got to us. We sold the house for less than the county has it valued because it was not worth $13,550 like the county said it was. So we sold for $10,000 and the vehicle for $1500. What do you think they MERP do to us if some of us can't give the money back?

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Also usually in order for the value of real property to be valid to be different than that value placed by the tax assessor, you would need to have a licensed residential appraiser ($ 300-700) do a report on the property with their license & seal on the report to document why. Often a house inspection ($300-500) is done as well by a licensed inspector. Neither of these are DIY to be valid.
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JessieBelle - well for TX, one glitch is that MERP is a class 7 claim against the estate. It's not a traditional lien. So it doesnt necessarily show up on the paperwork chain filed at courthouse. MERP how it was written for TX is supposed to be done within TAC (tx administrative code) to be a probate process. As you need a sign off either by probate judge, affidavit or muniment or lineal heirship to legally transfer property of the deceased. By not doing probate or the other options, these folks have both MERP problems and a whole host of issues in the "sale" of the house IMHO.

Freqflyer - your right suing NH is worthless action. NH forwarded mail to whomever was on file as DPOA or family contact. That is all they are responsible to do.

LS - Within TX Medicaid application is a blocked in " achnowkedgemnt of participation" statement & agreement that refers to MERP. Whomever in the family who did the application or was the DPOA & was the contact person for TXDHHS for your mom -(if the application was done after march, 2006) - had this within the application which someone signed off on. Also TX does an annual renewal that has it as well. The "we didn't realize" excuse doesnt work as the acknowledgement is there. The ? then becomes who in the family was moms point person or DPOA for Medicaid, that is the person who should be taking the lead in all this. If it was you, then find the paperwork for moms admission into the NH to review all this.

So just exactly When was the house & car sold? Was this done when she was alive & signed off by the DPOA? Or was it after she died? I've reread your posts & it's not clear what the timeline is on all this.... If this was done after grannie died, I just don't see the sale of the house being a valid sale as you have to go thorough some sort of legal process (probate, muniment, affavavit, lineal heirship) to get a release to do this. Your lucky that this is a super low value property so the amount you all can be sued for by the son of a friend who bought it is low. The buyer is going to be really not happy as this property that they in good faith bought has clouds on the title so no clear title available to them to get a HELOC or other equity lending on the house.

Or was the house & car sale done before death? And family split $? And Medicaid was not told of the sale?

Which path was done (sold before death or sold after death) will make a huge difference on your options in this hot mess in my not-an-atty opinion.

I hope the atty has experience in both probate, real estate & MERP.
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This is a bit of a mess, since the house should have had a lien on it, so title could not transfer. Basically, the state would own the house and car if $28,000 was owed and the house and car were worth less. I would not be surprised if MERP requires repayment of the money.

Who is given as the executor of the will that was not probated? Whose name was on the title of the house? I am surprised that the title could be transferred without probating the will if your mother was the owner.
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Lsmithnana, do you know when your Mom had first signed up with Medicaid? All that information regarding placing a lien on a house to help pay for her care would have been discussed at that time, and probably in any paperwork that was given to her or whomever was with her. Thus suing the nursing home because it took a couple of weeks for the mail to transfer would be mute.
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I think I will ask my lawyer about suing the business office at the nursing home because they had our phone numbers and addresses but never once tried to contact us. Plus they changed business managers three times when my mom was in there and they opened our mail.....
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Spoke with a lawyer on the phone and we are going to have to wait and see when the MERP case manager calls me back and I get all the papers I need. Like copy of the will and deed and the sale of the house and car. But I will be taking all of this to the lawyer I spoke with this morning.
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Your best bet is to seek legal advice immediately. Most states require wills to be probated, especially when there is real estste involved and multiple heirs. I am surprised a lawyer would right up paperwork on the sale of a decadents home that has not passed through probate. If MERP is involved, you definately need legal advice.
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Yes I found the questionnaire in the paper work just now. But that was sent out in September and the other on October 15th and they sent to the nursing home and the nursing home just sent it to my sister's house yesterday.
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No I have not received any questionnaire. No we didn't do anything like probate or an affidavit. All we have is my mom's will that was written and notorized when she was in the nursing home. We sold from word to mouth to a friend of the family for her son but she had her lawyer right up the paper work of the sale. The last tax assessor total value I believe was like $13,550. There are five heirs. There is one of my sisters and her husband that live on disability. I have one sister that I am not quite sure how much she makes but I am pretty sure it is not more $35,000 a year. Plus she is raising a grandson. My oldest sister doesn't have a job nor do I. My brother does have a job but I am not sure what he makes. My sister that is raising her grandson is not married. I am married and my husband works, my oldest sister's husband works and my brother's wife works but what my siblings income is I have no idea.. I just know what my husband makes. I hope this helps...
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There will be 9% interest on the amount btw as well. HMS is the outside contractor for TX DHHS for MERP.

So you were the one who got the"letter of intent" from HMS right?
Have you gotten the one with the questionnaire & filled that one out with the sale details, her banking & insurance details and mailed this one to HMS as well?

Ok couple of ?'s:
You say you did not open probate, so did you do a small estate affidavit or a muniment of title instead?

How did you "sell" the house & to whom?

Was this a FSBO or with a Realtor & MLS listing? Or sold to one of those " we buy ugly houses" outfits or to family or a neighbor?

What was the last tax assessor total value on the property. Like the one mailed out last October for the taxes due January of this year?

Who were the heirs and are any besides your brother federal low income or disabled. Like do you work & get an income?

Yiur answers will make a difference in what could happen.
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