fbpx Skip to main content

If Your Spouse Dies, Are You Responsible for Their Medical Bills?

Recently a lady attended the office in a vulnerable state, experiencing financial and emotional hardship.

Her husband had been diagnosed with cancer approximately two years prior, at which time she had retired to stay home and care for her ailing spouse.

During this time they accumulated a significant amount of credit card debt as their household income had decreased and her husband’s health care costs increased.

He subsequently succumbed to the cancer and passed away last year, leaving her heartbroken and alone to deal with the unsurmountable debt load.

Overcome by grief with the loss of her spouse and the persistent collection of the creditors, she came to the decision to sell their matrimonial home in the hope that she would be able to satisfy the debt load with the equity that she would receive.

Unfortunately, after selling costs there were insufficient funds to pay the creditors in full.
After situating herself in new living accommodations she began the arduous task of contacting the creditors to try and make an informal proposal.

Although she thought the creditors would be sympathetic to her situation, she soon realized that she had become just another number and the creditors would not settle for less then the entire amount.

The funds that were realized from the sale of the home were distributed evenly between the creditors to ensure that not one creditor was preferred over another, however substantial balances still remained.

Not knowing what to do, as her pension income was not enough to cover the household costs and pay the creditors even the minimum payment due, she decided to return to work to supplement the pensions and leave her in a position to carry the debt load.

Approximately six months later, after cutting her household costs to a minimum, she was still falling behind. Afraid of the unknown, she apprehensively reached out to A. Farber and Partners Inc. looking for direction.

After reviewing her financial situation and the merits and consequences of the options that would be available to her, she decided to file a Consumer Proposal. This option would offer her unsecured creditors a monthly payment for a period of five years that she could comfortably afford to make within her budget.

The thought had never crossed her mind not to pay the creditors and file a bankruptcy. In filing a Consumer Proposal she would be able to make restitution and alleviate the stress by stopping any further interest and arranging her unsecured creditors into one group and make one monthly payment instead of “robbing from Peter to pay Paul” as she had been doing for so long.

The Consumer Proposal was deemed accepted by the creditors 45 days after being filed and received Court approval at the expiry of the 60 days.

During one of her recent visits to the office she relayed how filing the Consumer Proposal with A. Farber and Partners Inc. enabled her to retain her dignity at a time she felt so low and felt that she had no where to turn.