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  1. #1

    Am I Responsible For Medical Bills Incurred By My Spouse?

    What is the name of your state? NC

    I need advice on whether or not to sign a legal document.

    Background: My wife has had three spinal fusions over the past half dozen years. Out of all the related medical expenses pertaining to those operations, to my knowledge, she has an unpaid balance of roughly $1,500.00 (fifteen hundred). Within the last year, she has become unable to work, and is in the process of applying for disability. With her inability to work, I have been paying all the bills. Somehow, in regard to monthly financial obligations, I have managed to remain solvent.

    My Dilemma: Recently, the county sheriff's office delivered a Civil Summons for unpaid medical bills. In the past, all of my wife's medical expenses have been addressed solely to her. This is the first summons of any type in which our household has ever received, and the dang thing has BOTH of our names on it. Upon requesting a payment plan by contacting the attorney representing the hospital, we have received another document which is a Confession Of Judgment. The Confession Of Judgment is simply an admission of guilt, an agreement that we are jointly liable for her medical bills, and outlines a $50 per month payment agreement.

    Am I required to sign legal documentation pertaining to my wife's medical expenses? I have previously signed absolutely nothing in regard to her medical procedures.

    What will happen if she solely signs the Confession Of Judgment and includes the funds to satisfy the summons?

    I am willing to pay this bill, but I DO NOT want to sign anything. In my mind, if I sign the Confession Of Judgment I will be setting a precedent and opening myself up to any and all future medical bills incurred by my wife.

    My credit rating is excellent. Hers has been drug through the muck with medical bills over the years. Everything we have financed is in my name.

    Thank you kindly,


    What is the name of your state? North CarolinaWhat is the name of your state?

  2. #2

    Doctrine Of Necessaries in North Carolina?

    Would the Necessaries Doctrine apply to this case in the state of North Carolina?

    I'm floundering here. My wife dropped this in my lap, and tomorrow is the deadline to respond to the summons. The summons simply says to respond in writing within 30 days. It names no place or time to appear before a judge. What happens if the attorney representing the hospital does not receive a response in writing by tomorrow? Did I just miss my only opportunity to refute liability for my wife's medical debt?

    Please correct me if I am wrong. I do not believe I am liable. I would simply like to hear a YES or NO from someone familiar with NC law.

  3. #3

    Community Property Maybe?

    Still haven't located the info I need to know. I went ahead and gave the wife the funds to pay this off today. They agreed to $200 less than the amount on the Summons if paid in cash. I did not want a judgment on either of our records. I just wish I knew whether or not they really could have entered the judgment against me, and dinged my credit for something I had nothing to do with.

    Guess I'll have to give a local attorney $250 an hour to answer this question for me. Should be pretty simple. Either yes or no. Regardless, it sure worked to get me to pay this one off.

    I honestly have no idea how many more of these medical bills are still lurking in the shadows.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    You should not wait until the last minute to post a question and then get impatient because no one wandered by to give you an answer. There are a lot of good people on this board but they do not live here 24 hours a day.

    For what it is worth, in most states the Doctrine of Necessaries applies to your situation. I am not from NC and have no knowledge of NC law. But, it appears you looked it up for yourself and convinced yourself that it did apply in NC.

  5. #5
    Thanks Debt Guy. I apologize for my impatience. I was very anxious about entire ordeal. I honor my obligations, but had not the foggiest idea that her medical bills were legally my responsibility. I have still not read with my own eyes or heard from someone versed in NC law that I had no leg to stand on in this matter. I played it safe and paid this one off. I do dread the upcoming tide of other unpaid bills that have never crossed my desk.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    in the ether
    You need to realize that even if you are not liable for your wifes bills, the creditor can still sue you which you would have to defend. They can still sue your wife, and win, and anything that is jointly owned can be attached (within your states rules) as well as her personal accounts and property.

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