Spouse responsible for medical debts?
(Colorado Springs, Co)
My husband had a few surgeries before he comitted suicide. The hospital and bill collectors say I am resposible for thousands of dollars on his medical debts. They say a law in Colorado requires me to pay since I am his wife. I am trying to find out if I am responsible or not because I am left with three kids and no kind of life insurance. There is no way I can pay all these medical bills and I really don't want to file bankruptcy.
Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:
We are so sorry to hear of your husband's death. This must be an incredibly difficult time for you.
There are really two issues here. One is whether you are personally responsible for your husband's medical debts. We can't give you legal advice, but we can point out that while Colorado is not a community property state, there are states in which spouses are responsible for their spouse or children's medical debts. In a moment we'll tell you how to check this out.
The second question is, if you are responsible for those medical bills, what can they do to collect? Given what you are telling us it sounds like you may be judgment proof - and if you are, they can try to collect but there may be nothing to go after.
Our recommendation is that you set up a a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney to find out whether you are responsible for these medical bills and to learn your options if you are.
Hopefully this will help relieve some of the stress you are experiencing from these collectors. Make sure you also use our Free Debt Collection Worksheet to keep track of any phone conversations with these collectors.
We also recommend you read our deceased person’s debt FAQ page.