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My Mothers Credit Card Debt
My mother has mid-stage Alzheimers and I recently placed my mother in an AL/MCF 3 weeks ago. Over the past few years I’ve been paying her bills. She has SS and a pension to pay for most of the facility (I have to pay the rest), but it means that there is no money left for making credit card payments. She has a house but it also has a line of credit attached to it which means when it gets sold there there won’t be enough money left over for anything else. I’ve been told by friends and family to just default on the credit card debt, that they can’t attach her SS or pension and even though it would ruin her credit it’s not something that she is concerned with at this stage of her life. Any advice on what to do would be very much appreciated.
Here’s the problem: if the cc companies sue, they can get a judgment + record a lien on your mother’s real estate which would delay/prevent/complicate a sale until the judgment is satisfied (paid).
If there is any equity in the house, this is something to consider. If there is no equity + she has no assets, I would probably default on ALL the debt. Others are right, her credit rating at this point in her life is not something to be concerned about.
You need to consult an elder care attorney. In my state of you need to be in a nursing home and your income is too high for regular Medicaid, There is a program to help. It will pay the difference between income and cost. Which is what you said you are paying.
See an elder care lawyer and find out if your state has a similar program. The cost of the lawyer doing the paperwork would be a good investment for you. The lawyer can also advise you about the house and credit card.
Bring as much information as you have about the house and credit card with you for the first appointment. Accurate information is essential to accurate advice.
Agree default immediately. Stop wasting money on that. That's unsecured debt. They can sue your mother or her estate but it will take a long time. Try to ensure there is nothing left for them by the time they get around to it. My dad ran up nearly $50K and we stopped paying it months ago, so far the only thing that has happened is a bunch of phone calls nobody answers and maybe some letters.
This was the banks risk when extended unsecured credit.