My mom was hiding my medical bills. What do I do now?

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Might be worth a consultation with a lawyer who deals with estates. Sounds like they should be considered her debts and settled out of her estate – debts don’t get inherited. (And if she took out debts in your name, there’s really no harm in reporting that now if that’s what it takes. It won’t result in criminal charges or anything and should close out the debts.) Er… Maybe… It could be that if you signed for them despite her holding the policies, you’re the owner of the debt (and might depend on whether the debts are before or after your 18th birthday). Again, a lawyer who deals with estates and stuff would know best.


There is a NPR series called Life Kit that has an episode about negotiating medical debit. The tactics are very simple and won’t cost you the lawyer fees. I do agree with some of the advice above about looking into a estate specialist if you have the ability to do so. Assuming you live in the US, this is a very unfortunate commonplace. Most medical providers markup services by 300%. The system is designed for insurance companies and individuals to negotiate the prices down albeit most do not know that this is the process. After you take those steps you can look into the other tactics of bankruptcy & overall financial planning decisions. Dave Ramsey is just one major player in that area with plans that work for people. The “good” (?) thing is medical debt does take much longer to creep up on you credit than, say a credit card. I hope you discover the best solution for you!


First of all I am so sorry for your loss, your health battles and this financial struggle. She should have never hid this from you. The first thing to do is pull your credit report, I’m a fan of credit karma for this because it’s easy. You need to pay for your medical care, food, transportation, housing etc then these bills get what you can manage to pay which may be nothing and that’s ok for now. Most of the time these go into collections and they will attempt to collect. If the debt is more than you make in a year I would consider bankruptcy a possible option. If it’s manageable you just need to tackle it one by one. Don’t try to think about it in total it gets too overwhelming. I love the r/daveramsey method. It’s my favorite for getting out of debt. If it’s already in collections I would leave it. You can try to settle the debt as well. The older the better you’ll probably pay 30-50 cents of every dollar you owe. Just get it in writing and DO NOT give them access to withdraw from your account. As far as old debts I would not bother with them until you can afford to pay in full /settle in full. Don’t answer their calls. Change your number if you need to. A lot of people will overlook past due medical debt when it comes to housing but it can add some complexity to finding a place if you need one.


I’m very sorry for your loss and I’m very sorry that your experiencing this right now. I’m going to get down voted for this but if I were you and I was your age I would change my phone number ASAP and look into filing for bankruptcy. Pull your credit report first and see what all is actually being reported on there. Yes, it will look bad but that will only be for so long. I know people that have filed for bankruptcy and 3 years later they’re buying houses. Don’t saddle yourself with all this debt that you didn’t even know about still try to go to school and live your life and afford a place to live. If it was credit card bills that you were racking up frivolously, that would be a different story. But you can’t be blamed for any of this. Your mom literally told you she was taking care of things and that your age there was no reason not to believe her.


Were you on her insurance or on your own?