Am I Responsible for My Late Husband’s Medical Bills? – Kathy

“Dear Steve,

I am paying medical bills for my late husband because he was on my policy at the time. Although we were divorced at the time of his death, I was told that I am responsible for paying. I have now come to the point where I cannot afford it. Everything has been cut to the bone for years: a 1992 car, no health insurance, having to pay the IRS currently for my husband’s unpaid taxes, fixed income, pinching pennies, unexpected bills like furnace and car.

Am I responsible for my late husband’s medical bills? This collection was made through a law firm, and I had been making $50 monthly payments until 4 months ago when changes such as lowered income came up, things that I am unable to change. I will turn 61 in a few days. If I can’t pay, what can they do to me?

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Dear Kathy,

Just because your husband was on your policy does not make you automatically liable for his debt. The underlying factor here is who signed saying they were liable at the time the service was performed and if the insurance company paid out and is the one trying to collect money back from you.

With things so dangerously close to zero for you each month I’d first like for you to explore bankruptcy to close the door on the old debts and even possibly some of the IRS debt as well. This is the time you need to start protecting yourself for the future and not trying to repair the past.

You can click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney and if you’d like a second opinion about your situation or a personal consultation by another debt coach, please feel free to contact Damon Day.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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