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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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

4 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