If my wife has incurred $220,000 in medical bills and we are still legally married, can they sue and take my house?

UPDATED: Dec 5, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Dec 5, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If my wife has incurred $220,000 in medical bills and we are still legally married, can they sue and take my house?

She was in KS; I live in NM.

Asked on December 5, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, New Mexico


L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question regarding medical debt of your spouse and inquiring who is responsible for the debt.  This is a common question and issue for couples going through a divorce.  This normally occurs when one spouse received treatment or some type of medical care during the marriage, and then the ex-spouse gets sued for their former spouse’s medical debt.  However, the likely answer is that you would be responsible for the debt.  In most states, debt of one spouse is the same as debt of the other spouse.  For legal purposes, in mostly all situations, you and your spouse are considered one legal entity.  Additionally, if you had children, their medical debt would also be your medical debt. 

The debt collection companies will attempt to get the debt paid, and they do not care which spouse received the medical care and which one did not.  They do not care if you did not know of the medical treatment, or even if you disagreed with your former spouse receiving a particular type of medical treatment.  The debt collectors will attempt to get the debt paid by both spouses, and it is likely they will push harder on the spouse that has the better job, because they are more likely to get paid.

It is not a yes or no question as to whether your home could be affected.  After attempts at collection, the collection company could turn the file over to a law firm who may choose to file suit.  Depending on the laws of the state where a judgment is entered, the law firm may be able to put the judgment against your home.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption