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Need advice for 80+ yr-old uncle....

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:confused: Hi all,

I found this wonderful site while surfing for "answers" & beating my head against the wall for weeks trying to decide what to do:confused: ..... I'll try to be brief.

Background: My 85-yr old uncle lost his house last month in a fire. (He's OK, thank God.) He's had previous financial problems, & my brothers & I paid off his mortgage in 2004. The insurance company settled for XXXXX. After paying off individuals in town for loans, bad checks, etc. he will have approx. $100,000.

Current financial situation:

State of Residencey : Kansas

Age: 85 --- currently living alone, with no relatives/family in Kansas

Income: $550/mo. (Social Security)

Other Income : $150/mo. (Welfare) --- stops in 3 months due to insurance $

Occupation : door-to-door salesman (no fooling!)

Salary/commission : are you kidding? I think he loses $ every month......

Renting 1 BR apartment : $395/mo.

Car : 12+ yrs old (drives 24,000 miles/yr ---- YIKES!)

Total Credit Card Debt: $50,000 (info. received from Credit Report)

Card 1 : $21000 (account charged off 03/2005)

Card 2 : $4000 ( account charged off 01/2007)

Card 3 : $8800 (account charged off 05/2005)

Card 4 : $7900 (account charged off 05/2005)

Card 5 : $4300 (Collection account ---)

Cards 6-9 : small amounts

Other Facts/Unkowns:

1. All financial records destroyed

2. Uncle's memory regarding credit cards -- hazy

3. Unsure about beginning date for SOL for each of these debts

4. May need $ for nursing home costs in future

5. Could buy a house with the $100,000 but wouldn't be able to afford insurance, prop. taxes & upkeep.

Options :

1. Do nothing & wait for collection agencies to call --- however, he has a new address & phone number

2. Buy house, then wait awhile (> 1 yr) & file bankruptcy

3. What about waiting for death? Will probate be a PIA to deal with all of this? (I'm the executrix)....

All advice, comments, questions welcomed, just ask.

Thanks in advance.


(The niece who feels responsible for uncle's well-being.....)

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Whew! Wow, Melody. Your uncle may have had some bad luck in his life, but he is lucky to have a niece like you.

#2 on your list would be a great option, but I'd imagine your uncle would have a hard time getting a mortgage with all those charge offs on his credit report.

Given that your uncle may be in a nursing home soon, you really should plan on declaring bankruptcy, IMO. There was an infamous case in my state where the Attorney General filed suit against an aggressive collection law firm that obtained a judgment and seized the bank account of a 95-year-old woman in a nursing home and nearly got her thrown out for inability to pay. If your uncle has outstanding bills, the last thing you want is to have some collection lawyers harassing him or draining his account unexpectedly.

My recommendation would be to see a good lawyer and discuss with him or her how your uncle's funds can be sheltered against future bankruptcy. If the check hasn't been issued from the insurance company yet, perhaps it can be issued in the name of a trust you could set up in your uncle's name, but administered by you. Or the attorney might have other ideas. At any rate, that's what I'd do if I were in your situation.

What did (does?) your uncle sell door-to-door?

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