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My elderly father lives on Social Security and has no other means of income or support. He has accumulated about $15,000 in credit card debt. He pays the monthly minimum now. However, if he were to go on Medicare/Medicaid, and enter a skilled nursing facility, what happens to his credit card debt? His credit cards are in his name only. What happens to that debt when he passes away? Many thanks for any advice anyone can offer.
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What happens to that debt when he passes away?

If he has any estate, that will be taken out of the estate. After that, its gone.

It is not your debt, don't do anything that could make it your debt, and it will not be your responsibility.
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Debt is not inherited. It is not your responsibility.

He could declare bankruptcy and make all or most of it go away. Given his age, health, and income he would never have credit again which under the circumstances is an acceptable outcome.

If he has no other assets, his other option is to just stop paying them. Collectors will harrass him for awhile which might be reason enough to declare bankruptcy. They can't attach Medicare/Medicaid benefits and have limited ability to attach Social Security payments.

Debra
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DW's grandmother is in a similar situation. A few years ago she entered a nursing home, which quickly wiped out her remaining assets, and she went on Medicaid. She carried a small amount of cc debt as well. DW's father holds power of attorney, and contacted her creditors. First they tried to get him to pay for her debts (yeah, right!), then they gave up and just wrote off the debt.
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DW's grandmother is in a similar situation. A few years ago she entered a nursing home, which quickly wiped out her remaining assets, and she went on Medicaid. She carried a small amount of cc debt as well. DW's father holds power of attorney, and contacted her creditors. First they tried to get him to pay for her debts (yeah, right!), then they gave up and just wrote off the debt.
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Just b/c the creditors couldn't collect on a legitimate debt isn't really cause for your celebration. Its kinda like getting away with cheating.
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<<DW's grandmother is in a similar situation. A few years ago she entered a nursing home, which quickly wiped out her remaining assets, and she went on Medicaid. She carried a small amount of cc debt as well. DW's father holds power of attorney, and contacted her creditors. First they tried to get him to pay for her debts (yeah, right!), then they gave up and just wrote off the debt.

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There might be an argument for giving the collection agencies Grandma's telephone number at the nursing home along with inside dope that she is loaded with money, but only pays it out if people are sweet as pie to her.

She might develope some new friends among collection agency staffers for a while.



Seattle Pioneer
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Just b/c the creditors couldn't collect on a legitimate debt isn't really cause for your celebration. Its kinda like getting away with cheating.

I'd really like to know at what point you think I'm celebrating. The entire situation is rather unfortunate. But exactly how would you expect an old woman who has no remaining money, no income, and is in poor health to pay off even a small CC balance? Do you think someone else in the family should step up and cover those debts?
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