My Mother is Disabled and Bedridden in a Nursing Home and Chased by Debt Collectors. – Carolyn

“Dear Steve,

My mom is bedridden and disabled in a nursing home for over 5 years. The credit cards she left behind were notified of her phsycial and finaancial inability to pay these debts over 4 years ago. I was told by her lawyer to ignore all communication about her debts which I have done and now they have tracked me down on my personal cell phone number trying to find her. They continue to try to get her to pay and have taken these claims to court. I am now being told to contact them regarding the subpeona for her to go to court.

I just want them to stop but don’t want them to sift through all of her bank records just to come to the same conclusion I have which is the measly $60 per month left over from her social security check deosn’t pay for anything except to buy her treats weekly and getting her hair done monthly…..everything else must be paid for by me. what should I do? CAll them back or ignore them?


Dear Carolyn,

I’ve dealt with these situations many times before. Every once in a while you can get a creditor to listen but for the most part, your story is sadly typical.

I assume from what you shared with me that your mother is not expected to get better, has few assets, if any, and survives on social security alone.

Now, 99% of the time I’m all about open communication but if I made the right assumptions above, I would do nothing and ignore the collectors. Let the case run its course and your mother might get sued but there is nothing to collect on. If your mother were to pass away, the creditors could look to her financial estate to try to collect but if there is nothing there they are shit out of luck.

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Now you could engage in a cease and desist letter writing campaign but why invest any more time in this? I think the lawyer gave you some good advice. I know it feels like the responsible thing to do is something, but as counterintuitive and crazy as it sounds the best thing you can probably do is nothing. Sad but true.

If you want to know how they got your cell phone number, read How to Hide From Debt Collection, the Debt Collector, and Creditors.


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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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