What a debt collector sue someone who is ill and has no assets?

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What a debt collector sue someone who is ill and has no assets?

Got a letter from a credit card company stating they will sue my mom. However, she who owns nothing, is sickly, has dementia and would not be able to go to court. Working with debt consolidation but getting no where. My mom’s social security is very low and she has no assets at all. If they continue to sue will I be able to go to court to fight her case. What are they chances that they will pursue this that far?

Asked on December 19, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unless you are your mother's legal guardian, you will not be able to take legal action on her behalf (e.g. fight her case in court)--of course, if  she has dementia, she may need a guardian anyway.  Independent of this issue, you should speak with an elder law attorney about whether you can appointed her guardian, if you are not already.

If she has no assets and no income but for social security, she may be effectively judgment proof--i.e they won't be able to get anything from her, even if they win in court. You could try writing a letter on your mother's behalf to the creditor, letting them know this, and seeing if that will disuade them from continuing.


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