Ask Terry Questions House/hospitals bills –help!

House/hospitals bills –help!

By Terry Savage on May 30, 2015 | Financial Planning / Retirement

My mother and I purchased a house together. Purchase price $217,000. We have been here 12 years. Mom has never worked. Down payment came from inheritance from her mother. Balance is about $77,000. Mom had two strokes and now owes close to $10,000 in hospital bill. I am now unemployed and no real savings. I was wondering if the debt collectors can come after the house. Any suggestions to help our situation?

Terry Says:  OK, well only the mortgage lender or the tax assessor can come after the equity in your home —  and that will happen IF you stop paying the mortgage or property taxes.  That could happen quickly if you are unemployed!  I suggest that you IMMEDIATELY call Consumer Credit Counseling Services at 800-388-2227.  That number will connect you to the nearest local office.  They can help you work through this situation.

Here’s what I am thinking– but double check with them.  I don’t know how much equity you have in your home.  But the home will probably have to be sold.  Your mother certainly qualifies for Medicaid, and that would have taken care of the hospital bill.  I’m wondering why you didn’t make that arrangement.  The credit counselors can help you with that.  If your mother has had two strokes, the best place for her might be a Medicaid-funded nursing home.  I’m assuming she has Social Security, (or you never could have gotten a mortgage if she hadn’t been employed) — so that will give her enough money for basic personal necessities.

You are the person who will be left out in the cold — without a house, and maybe with only half the net proceeds from the sale of the home.  So you need to be very involved in the counseling process, and worry not only about your mother’s bills and living arrangements, but about what you are going to do with the rest of your own life.  I know this sounds cold, but facing up to the situation and dealing with it NOW could save you a lot of anguish and money.  Make that call TODAY!  800-388-2227

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