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Liable for My Spouse's Hospital Bills

My wife left the country. Am I liable for her medical bills?

My wife left to her country without paying her medical bills. She doesn't have a SSN number. It was an emergency and I took my wife to the hospital (no insurance). Will it affect my credit history? I filled the form in at the hospital and I gave them all my details like SSN, phone number. Debt collection agents sent a letter, which is on my wife name. Please let me know with all the details.

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Bill's Answer
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Updated: Oct 20, 2014

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If you signed an admission form that included guarantor language when you checked your spouse into the hospital, then you promised to pay for your spouse's debt if your spouse does not. I urge you to consult with an attorney in the state where you reside who has experience in consumer law. Contact the local county bar association and ask for names of attorneys who specialize in consumer law.

When you go to your first meeting with the attorney, bring all papers related to your spouse's hospitalization. In particular, you mentioned that you told the hospital your social security number, telephone number, and so on. Bring that document to your meeting!

An attorney will be able to advise you of your rights and liabilities based on your state laws and the documents you signed before and during your spouse's stay in the hospital. I realize my answer does not provide the information you seek, but it is impossible for me to even guess what your liabilities are without knowing more information.

You should know that medical bills are unsecured debt, which is like credit card debt, a deficiency balance, or a payday loan. See What Are My Debt Resolution Options? to learn how to resolve your spouse's medical debt, if you are indeed responsible for it.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.

Best,

Bill

bills.com

6 Comments

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  • DA
    Apr, 2011
    Dhsam
    Hi, I went to the hospital couple of weeks ago to the emergency since I had abdormal bleeding and I was so scared. I dont have any insurance, any job nor a SSN or greencard I didnt get any yet. I told them that, NOW they sent me a bill of 1183$ for the hospital and 500$ for the DR. who was supposed that she checked on me, all she did asked me what is happeneing with me and told me that she wishes I feel fine and that she cant say anything until the test results are done, when the results were done they said we cant do anything you have to see a specialist!!!!!!!! I am not going to pay them this bill and I'd like to know if there is a way they can put it on my credit card when I create one, they only have a name nothing else.
    0 Votes

    • BA
      Apr, 2011
      Bill
      A creditor may add a charge to a credit card with the cardholder's authorization. Put another way, a creditor may not add a charge to a cardholder's credit card unless the cardholder gives their explicit permission to do so.
      0 Votes

    • DA
      Nov, 2011
      Dawn
      I live in Indiana and have numerous medical bills from diabetes complications. They went to collections. I am on disability and haven't heard from this agency in years. Today all my past debts that were in my name, came to our house in my husbands name. Can this agency somehow make my husband responsible for my medical debts by putting his name on the collection letters from bills almost three years old? He has never signed any of the admission papers making him the guarantor.
      0 Votes

    • BA
      Nov, 2011
      Bill
      If your husband never signed any documents, he may have no responsibility for the repayment of the debt. However, he may have financial responsibility due to the doctrine of necessaries. Consult with a lawyer in your state, to find out how your state views the doctrine of necessaries.
      0 Votes

    • GH
      May, 2014
      Gil
      I live in California, I was in an accident along my girlfriend at the time back in Aug 2008. She was driving we got rear ended. The woman who hit us assumed responsibilty. Insurance info was exchanged. She told her insurance that I was the driver and that I threaten a witness that was with, both complete lies. We retained an attoney for the matter. I went to the chiropractor refferred by the attorney. They attorney sent a letter saying he will no longer continue with the case and to seek another attorney, we did. Time went by, I did not hear from the insurance company nor the attorney. It turns out the attorney dropped the case and it was passed the SOL. I recently received a 5-2014 collection notice for an amount of 13,000 for the chiropractor. I never received a bill before from the chiropractor, so I never knew an amount was owed. I thought it was resolved through the attorney and/or the insurance. This is clearly a ridiculous amount. What are my options in this matter?
      0 Votes

    • BA
      May, 2014
      Bill
      I don't have a great answer for you. Your best option is to consult with a lawyer who has experience litigating malpractice claims against lawyers. The second lawyer should have been all over the statute of limitations issue, as this is one thing personal injury lawyers understand well. You might have a claim against the second lawyer for not paying attention to the statute of limitations issue, which now precludes you from filing an action against the other driver.
      0 Votes