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After breaking her hip twice, my mother went into a nursing home for physical therapy. Her insurance and Medicare became exhausted and she was left with an outstanding debt there. She is now financially destitute on Medicaid, unable to pay this debt and I am receiving the bills and threats from the corporation that owns the nursing home. I think they should forgive this last small amount ($ 621) due to her financial state, especially since she used all her small savings paying large amounts to them while there. Am I legally responsible for this debt?
I signed a big stack of papers when she was admitted because she was sick and not up to that, though she would have been capible. I had no idea at the time that her insurance would run out or that I would be asked to pay the remaining charges.
The bills sound as if I was the patient, rather than my mother.
Is there a lawyer out there that can help me?
Paying this debt and others she has would be a hardship, as I am not in a good place financially either.

2 Thoughts on If you sign the papers to get a parent into a nursing home, are you responsible for her debt there?
  1. Reply
    November 25, 2011 at 11:27 am

    I’m sorry. Please forgive me if i sound unkind, but your parent was responsible for YOUR debts when you were young. Can’t you help her out with the $ 621? I mean, this is your mother we are talking about. Not a vet bill.

    The nursing home provided your mother with a service. Why shouldnt they get paid? Why try to cheat them out of it? I set up payments for what was owed for my fathers care, and it was very well above what she owes.

    If you just cant help your mother out, at least try to find someone else that can step up. Get in touch with her Medicaid caseworker. See if they can help with past bills. If they cant, then ask them for a list of people/places that can.

  2. Reply
    November 25, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    I worked in a nursing home for twenty years. We also had my mother and mother in-law in care. In our area your only responsible if you sign to be the responsible party. I don’t know the laws in other states.
    If she has no more savings they could take her house if she has one. But unless you signed you should be off the hook. I would hope anyway.
    The best thing to do is contact a lawyer. Good luck.

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