Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My mom is being sued


My mom has severe paranoia schizophrenia. I recently found some letters says she has a lawsuit filed against her. I’m not entirely sure what for, but I think she owes a couple thousand dollars. For what? I don’t know. I tried to talk to her about it, but she just ignores me and tells me to leave her alone. I’m scared to tell my dad because I’m scared he’ll get so mad that he’ll hurt her. Who should I contact? I don’t want people to take my mom away. She is not on medication and is not in a good state.


There are a few things here that needs to be addressed.

  1. Lawsuit - If she does not respond to this lawsuit then they will have a court date, if she misses that then the creditors will win and are then able to take money from your bank account and/or garnish wages. It’s much better to either try to fight it, or try to settle for a lower amount. If they win in court they can add court costs and lawyers fees to the debt.

  2. Being scared that your dad might hurt your mom - He will find out about this, possibly when someone comes to server your mom a summons, or it could be latter when the case is closed and the lender takes the money straight from his account without authorization. I’m going to guess that either of those scenarios is far more likely to make him furious than you telling him beforehand.

  3. Your mom is sick, I just had to have my wife committed for schizo-affective bi-polar, and it is very emotionally draining. If she is not being treated then the best thing you can do for her is to have her committed (actually willingly seeking treatment is the best option, but she doesn’t sound like she would be up for that). It will not get better without treatment, on the contrary it will get worse, and the longer it goes the more difficult it is to get her back to her old self. You say that you don’t want her taken away, and that won’t exactly happen, she will most likely be hospitalized for a week or 2 (I’m guessing you are in the US, other countries have much better ways of handling the mentally ill). Which would be a good time to tell your dad about the lawsuit, since he wouldn’t be able to hurt her if she is in the hospital.

Please take this advice with a grain of salt, it may not fit in your situation and I’m not a licensed medical practitioner, just a fellow carer that understands the difficult position you are in.


**I would probably stay out of it.
If your mom is mentally ill, she would probably be committed by the court. If she is that ill, they will be able to see it for themselves. Doesnt sound like you or your mom are safe around your dad? She needs some medication. She needs to be seen by a doctor. Is there anything on the letters that say what its about?
At the moment, I would not get in the middle. I don`t think your mom would be taken to jail considering her mental state.


I think @splifferton 's advice is excellent. Having run several businesses, I have been through numerous small claims court lawsuits as both litigant and defendant. I would do whatever detective work you can without engaging her or your father to see exactly what’s up… BUT, @bridgecomet also makes some significant points, to which I will add, unless you have a conservatorship over your mother, and if your parents are insufficiently rational and reality-based to conduct their legal affairs, you may need to stay out of it altogether and let them learn from hard experience.


Tell her to leave some assets to you then file for chapter 13/11 bankruptcy. Do not forget to give back.


I’m sorry to be negative, but frankly this is horrible advice. Why you would ever consider chapter 11/13 for a couple thousand dollars is beyond me. If a couple thousand is worth bankruptcy you are more than likely eligible for a chapter 7 which would negate all debts as opposed to your suggestion which would set up a payment structure for many years.


Not so familiar with those laws. Good advice splifferton.


That being said, bankruptcy is a HUGE decision that should be discussed with a bankruptcy lawyer. Period. Don’t take our advice. Get a legal rep. And possibly a financial advisor depending on the situation.


see if you can get your hands on the bills contact the creditors explain the situation. They may just drop it . If its medical bills our hospital dropped all the past due bills and they were paid by a charity fund. at the least you may be able to negotiate it down to a lower payment. They may or may not speak to you but you can say OK good luck talking to my mom because she has severe schizophrenia. They may decide to talk to you. You might get guardianship of her finances if you need to.