I am being sued for my late husband's unpaid medical bills.

by Karisma
(Hillsboro, OR, Washington)

I am being sued for my late husband's unpaid medical bills.
My husband passed away three weeks ago and a debt collection agency filed a lawsuit against me two weeks ago.
The summons has my name on it because I am the wife, but these unpaid bills are entirely my husband's. He received the services. I wasn't even with him during his hospital visits.
The total amount is around 23,000.

I live in Oregon, which is not a community property state. I work minimum wage. Is it possible that I won't be to pay his debt? Will the judge garnished my income, most likely?

Is there any way that I won't have to pay the debt and my income remains untouched?

Please help--your advice is desperately needed. What should I do?

Comments for I am being sued for my late husband's unpaid medical bills.

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Jun 13, 2015
Hospital sending deceased wife's bills under my name.
by: Clint H

I am in the same situation. At first I was getting bills from the hospital, under my wife as both the patient and guarantor. My attorney advised me to send back a form letter stating that she was deceased and under Missouri common law, I the spouse, are not libel for the debts. I am sure I did not sign any co-guarantor agreements as the only forms I did sign was consent for treatment, since my wife was unconscious and on a ventilator so I did not have much of a choice.

NOW I am getting the SAME bills returned to me with my name as the guarantor!!

As I am sure I did not sign any paperwork allowing this, how can the hospital just go and change the bill, putting my name on it and trying to make ME pay for the bill.

She was on Medicare and was also on my work PPO health insurance. So why I have to pay anything, with two insurances, is beyond me. Bloody frustrating, on top of my grieving for my lost wife and piecing my shattered life together this is the last fricking thing I need to deal with. >:(

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com

We are so sorry to hear of your loss and what you're being put through with these bills. When yo are up for it, we recommend you also file complaints with the CFPB and the agency that regulates this hospital in your state.

Mar 03, 2012
I am being sued for my late husband's unpaid medical bills
by: Debtcollectionanswers

So sorry about the loss of your husband! The last thing you need right now are legal hassles.

If you live in Oregon and you and your husband were living there when he incurred the medical debt, then you are not legally responsible for it unless you signed paperwork saying that you would pay the bills. However it is not at all unusual for some collectors to contact relatives of a deceased person to try to get them to pay the deceased's past due debts even when the relatives are not obligated to and the relatives often do not realize that they don't owe the money. Go here to read our deceased person’s debt FAQ.

I recommend that you schedule afree consultation with a consumer law attorney. The attorney will advise you about what to do next. However, be sure that you do not ignore the summons you received notifying you of the lawsuit. If you do not respond to it, and if you do not show up in court with your attorney, the judge will probably award the plaintiff in the lawsuit a default judgment against you (even if you do not owe the money!) and you will be legally obligated to pay the judgment amount. This is why you should contact an attorney right away.

Now, if you discover that you did in fact sign paperwork obligating yourself to pay your husband's debts, you should speak with a bankruptcy attorneyright away given the amount of the debt and your income. Your first meeting will be free. Filing for bankruptcy will stop the lawsuit immediately and probably wipe out most if not all of the debt.

I know that I am throwing a lot of information at you, but the key message is to get legal help ASAP.

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