It makes you step back and ponder

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Mike in Ohio, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    One of my neighbors (down at the farm) had a heart attack on Monday and subsequently had triple bypass surgery. Because he doesn't have medical insurance (nor a formal job) he may have to sell his property to pay the hospital bills.

    Other neighbors are looking after his animals and I told his daughter to let me know if there is anything I can for them.

    It really does make you step back and ponder..... makes me wish that there was some kind of homestead protection in Ohio like Florida has.

    Mike
     
  2. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    He ought to go see an attorney before selling his home. I might be naive but it seems that taking someone's home is very hard to do, short of foreclosure or non-payment of taxes.

    Also...there is a time when bankrupcy really is a good option.

    Jena
     

  3. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    He's the kind of person that believes in paying his debts as best he is able. It's also a question of whether he'll be able to keep things up.

    I just feel for him. He's put so much of himself into building up his place.
     
  4. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate

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    Two thoughts:

    Could he sell it to a relative that wants to work the land, or at least keep it in the family? and use the money to pay hospital and maybe the family member would let him stay in house, while they lived there or at least on property. sorta co-op within family.

    or

    surely there are people who would see about purchasing for him, for the opportunity to land contract, or a lower price, or no downpayment (or one of the payment assistance programs) to help him get cash, and them own the land at the end, and he'd be there for advice and knowing someone loved the land.

    It would be a shame for this to put him out of his home.

    AngieM2
     
  5. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    There's also reverse mortgages. If the place is paid for, they will give him the money now and collect when it is later sold, either at his death or otherwise.

    My BIL, who just had the heart attack, lives in the old family home. Their next door neighbor (1/2 mile up the road) is getting really old and has had heart surgery, etc. He has cut back (we do his crops for him), but he still buys about 10 feeder calves every year. He hasn't given up, just scaled back. Whenever we pass by and see him feeding, we always stop to carry a few buckets, but he keeps at it whether he has help or not.

    If it were me, I would encourage the neighbor to take him time. Almost dying is pretty emotional and he needs to wait a bit so he can make sound decisions.

    There's another guy around here who has had several health set-backs. Everyone has done his crops (they harvested his crops last year in about four hours, so many showed up to help) for the last year and a half. I think we'll be planting for him again this year, but he's at the point he has to make a decision on whether to keep at it, or rent the ground.

    I hope it turns out well for him.

    Jena
     
  6. lacyj

    lacyj Well-Known Member

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    He may need public assistance. Most counties have medical assistance, also. If he is low income, but to high for state assistance, he might get county help.
     
  7. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    I don't think he has enough equity to do a reverse mortgage. He's made a good part of his living buying properties, doing some fixing up and then selling them. He uses the equity from his home place to finance the other properties.

    I'm not going to speculate too much on his specific situation. He should be out of the hospital day after tomorrow and I'll be going down to the farm to work on stuff.

    It's just the general situation that's gotten me to pondering.

    Mike
     
  8. I've seen several situations similar to this over the years. A major medical policy with a high deductible could have saved most of them. This gentleman has a daughter, his assets or at least the real estate could have been transfered to her in advance.
    Not to seem cold hearted, but the stepping back and pondering should take place before the problem develops. We all won't live to be 99 and die peacefully in our sleep, so anticipating & having some plan to cover health care expenses is prudent. The state or county may have programs to help....but where do they get $$ to finance programs ? If we personally know someone in trouble like your neighbor we think guvvamint programs are great. Believing in paying his debts as best as he is able simply means he chose to take the risk of being self insured (risking ALL his assets) rather than paying an insurance company to take the risk. Either he pays, an insurance co. pays, the taxpayers pay, or no one pays. Then the Dr. and hospital simply raise their rates to cover the 'no pays'. I do wish him well as I know the stress of his illness and new pile of debt is unnerving.
     
  9. RAC

    RAC Guest

    If he doesn't own it outright, I don't think they can necessarily force him to sell. They can't force the lender to sell it, can they? I guess yet another reason to NOT pay off your property....How wrong is that?

    I think more people would have insurance if it were easier to get individual coverage. I'm sorry, but we all know that most employers will cover you if they hire you, pretty much regardless of health. But try to get an individual policy and it is questions, physicals, family history, etc., all to be either denied, or hit with rates so high as to make it impractical for most to buy insurance at all. That is not right. I think that unless you drink, smoke or do drugs, you should be covered at one uniform low rate premium. The other three categories, being personal choices, should be submitting their bills directly to the alcohol and cigarette companies. Illegal drugs? Turn in your pusher so that his assets are taken to pay your bills. Every other condition is pretty much a matter of luck, and people shouldn't be punished for having a sickly family tree--in fact, the health of anyone else in your family should be no one's business as far as insurance is concerned.

    Either cover everyone fairly, or cover no one--see how fast healthcare becomes cheaper. It is not right that you can be a deadbeat, or in jail, and get a paid for organ transplant, while others who are working for a living can't.
     
  10. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    When bad things happen to good neighbors, we usually try to set up some fundraisers for them. Every little bit helps and they might be able to raise enough to at least ease up some of the stress.
     
  11. diane greene

    diane greene Well-Known Member

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    He needs to talk to the Hospital's finance department and set up a monthly payment plan. It might take him the rest of his life to pay it off, but it is better than losing his home. Hospitals have become used to this situation, as it has become sadly common. They would rather have someone send them $100 monthly than for that person to lose their income sources and not be able to pay anything.
     
  12. I agree with Diane. Rather than sell the property, I would make payments directly to the hospital.
     
  13. swamptiger

    swamptiger Active Member

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    That was me - didn't realize I wasn't logged in.
     
  14. Ana Bluebird

    Ana Bluebird Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When my dad had a major heart attack, he too thought life as he knew it was over, but it's amazing at the body's ability to recover. He didn't sell, luckily, because he lived many years in good health after his recovery time. It did take about six to nine months for him to get lots better, but he did. Also the hospital will be glad to work with him on payments. I had tests run last year, just tests lucky for me, and am still making payments to the hospital. They are glad to have them. A proud person may have trouble doing that though, my brother-in-law wouldn't even consider making payments to the hospital, went and borrowed money from the bank, is making payments plus interest to the bank. The hospital doesn't charge interest---at least ours doesn't! Let us know how things turn out.
     
  15. whiterock

    whiterock Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I had to have bypass surgery on my legs 6 years ago. The hospital bill alone was over $17,000 for the three days I was in. The surgeons came to about $16,000. Then there were the other charges for people you really don't see. I would have been in a world of hurt without insurance.
     
  16. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ..............The hospital is probably going to try to MAKE him sign a Note that they will file as a lien against his property. If , he is smart , he won't execute any type of legal agreement that will encumber his property. ONLY, unsecured DEBT can be Discharged in Ch.7 bankruptcy. ..fordy..... :)
     
  17. nostalgia

    nostalgia Well-Known Member

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    I have been there and this is some of the advice I can offer. Of course, one needs to keep in mind that not all states laws are the same, so it could be different in your state.

    I had cancer and had to have lots of chemotherapy and have had countless tests run since my treatment. And most likely will continue till I leave this world. We have medical insurance now but even with medical insurance, your 20% can up real fast. But at one time we did not have insurance, we were young and newly married, and couldn't afford insurance just yet. We paid the bills the best we could but many were turned over to a collection agency. They contacted us and we agreed to make payments on the accounts. What we did is say we will pay as much as we can each month untill paid off, NEVER agree to a fixed amount every month because they will hold you to it no matter what, especially if it is in writing. Tell them some months you may be able to pay 100.00, other months you may only be able to pay 5.00, but you will make a payment of whatever you can. And do it. If it's just 5.00, send it. But do not agree to any certain amount because if you do and you fail to make the agreed upon amount they can use it against you. But as long as you are making an attempt to pay the bills, they cannot do anything like take your home, etc.

    I would really take my time and think things over a while because when one is ill, you usually cannot make good decisions. Fear and a weaken body and spirit, cause you do to do things you may regret later. And whatever you do, don't let them get to you. Know your rights about harrassment, which is against the law in most states. Don't let them pressure you into doing anything, always tell them to give you a few days to think about things and then make a decision. They will try to pressure you, use scare tactics like "you will loose your home", etc. Think twice about bankruptcy, it is usually not necessary when it comes to medical expenses. Credit cards may be a different story.

    Sometimes it does become impossible for a person to do the work needed to keep up a big farm, and he may need to make other arrangements. My heart goes out to this man. But he really needs to think before making any major decisions about things.

    Many people have had heart problems and gone on to do really well afterwards. Sometimes things seem so hopeless when one is not feeling well and it seems everything is going wrong. This is where you and his family and friends can help. Take up donations to help him with his medical expenses. It may not be enough to pay off the debt, but it will help him just knowing people care. Help out with chores where you can, be there for support and let him know it is not hopeless.
    It is most important that he get well right now, and try not to worry. And if worse comes to worse, let him know he did his best and that he still has friends and family who care about him. I hope things work out for the best. Sounds like he has a good friend in you. :)
     
  18. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    RAC, you said;

    "The other three categories, being personal choices, should be submitting their bills directly to the alcohol and cigarette companies. Illegal drugs? Turn in your pusher so that his assets are taken to pay your bills".

    You got part of it right, they are presonal choices. Do representatives of tobacco and alcohol companies force folks at gunpoint to use their products? Does your pusher hold you down and force you to inhale, ingest, or inject the junk he peddles?

    This irresponsible "it's not my fault lets file a class action lawsuit" attitude is what has made slimy trial lawyers both filthy rich and despised.
     
  19. RAC

    RAC Guest

    I think you misunderstand me. My take on the "personal choices" is that they should NOT be the reason why everyone else can't get inexpensive general health coverage. We know these substances are bad, let those who sell them set aside money for the problems they cause. I don't necessarily mean huge judgements, just direct reimbursement for tracheotomies, oxygen tanks, etc., etc.. In other words, let them insure themselves instead of being with the rest of the population, unfairly driving up costs.

    And, actually, in the case of alcohol, there are lots of people who do use it responsibly (like in chocolate truffles), but they also would be contributing to that health fund by their occasional purchases.
     
  20. nostalgia

    nostalgia Well-Known Member

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    Obviously you do not understand what a class action lawsuit is. The reason for class action suits is because there is no way an individual can afford to go up against the government, pharmacueticals, etc. The class action lawsuits are so that people like you and me have a way to fight these people and make them pay for any damage done because of their neglegence caused by greed. Some times these greedy people know of the dangers and the pain and suffering and sometimes even death, but they continue to turn their heads the other way to keep getting the billions of dollars. They must be stopped and the only way to do that is to fight back with a lawsuit. But most people do not have the money to fight them, so they form class action suits to stop these people from harming more people and to compensate the victims. And in many cases stop more people from being killed because of the greed. Imagine if we tried every single case by individuals instead of as class action--first of all alot of people who deserve compensation would not get it because they cannot afford to, secondly we would be in courst forever trying all these lawsuits. There is no way we can do that. There has to be class action suits to help the little people like you and me. Surely you can see why there are class action suits? Someday you may need their help and you will be grateful they are willing to stand up against the big government.

    I realize there are alot of class action suits filed out of stupidity, like sueing because of a restuarant making you fat. :no: Everyone knows eating to much fat makes you fat. Duh! But there are many people who have very good reasons for filing a class action suit. And I am very grateful that there are lawyers who are brave enough to take on these greedy billionaires. Alot of the reason for our high cost of medical care is because of greedy pharmacueticals who keep on prescribing drugs that do not benefit a patient, and/or cause worse harm to the patient. They make false claims and get away with it, while people die and suffer needless pain. Someone has to put a stop to them. Not one of us have the money it takes to fight these people. I would be happy to give a lawyer a part of my compensation in order to stop the greed. And if it puts the pharmacuetical out of business, while it puts money in a good lawyers pocket, then so be it. He deserves every penny and more to stop these people in my opinion.