If a spousepasses away with no medical insurance, can a collection agency take the surviving spouse’s home for payment?

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If a spousepasses away with no medical insurance, can a collection agency take the surviving spouse’s home for payment?

My father passed away and had no medical insurance. The hospital bill is large and turned over to collections. They asked about the house for which my mother lives in, which is paid for. Can the medical collection agency take the house?

Asked on February 23, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the situation.  Technically your Father's estate would be responsible but your Mother would also be responsible for the medical bills under what is known as the doctrine of necessities.  What they can do is to put a lien on the house.  I would strongly suggest that you Mother go and seek help from some one about the bills and see what can be done, either negotiating the debt or seeing what can be done to get rid of it.  Good luck. 


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