Will my mother be stuck with a credit card bill when she has no money?

Q: Is my mother responsible for a credit card bill when she will be put into a nursing home in a couple of days? Medicaid will be taking all her small SS and retirement to pay for the home. She will have absolutely no money to pay for the credit card balance. She has absolutely no assets and the card is in her name only. Can she just inform the company and let the balance go?

A: Basically, they can sue her but will never collect, assuming as you say she has no money or real property. They can bring a claim against her estate when she dies but they would be behind the boys from Medicaid. If there is an estate when she dies and if there is money remaining after Medicaid takes their share, and other priority claims take their share before the credit card company. These priority claims are for taxes, administrator fees, lawyer’s fees and medical expenses incurred for services within six months of death. If any money remains after that, the credit card can see the estate for the balance.


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