Bank seeks decision on using trust fund to pay medical debt

Kelly Holleran Nov. 20, 2011, 9:15am

The bank that is in possession of a man's trust payment wants the court to declare whether or not it should release the more than $130,000 in the trust to the man's creditors.

Encore Bank claims it holds $130,908 in a trust for Jarrett Towers Sr. The trust agreement prohibits the bank from taking the money from the trust to pay any of Towers' debt, according to the original petition for declaratory judgment filed Nov 9 in Jefferson County District Court.

Towers incurred the debt after a stay at a Christus Health facility in Southeast Texas on July 15, the suit states. He was transferred from there to defendant Methodist Hospital for further medical treatment, the complaint says.

Following his medical treatment, Towers was transported to defendant Methodist Rehabilitation for services, Encore Bank claims. Recently, Towers was released from the rehabilitation center to his house, where he continues to receive medical and rehabilitation services, according to the complaint.

Since the medical treatment, Encore Bank has received invoices requesting payment. The bank believes that Towers is not able to pay his medical bills. As a result, his creditors are looking to the trust for the money. However, the bank does not believe it is able to make the payments from the trust.

"The Trust Agreement for the Trust contains a spendthrift cause which prohibits Petitioner from making a distribution from the Trust to satisfy any obligation of Mr. Towers if such obligations would otherwise be met from any federal or state assistance program if the Trust had not been created," the suit states.

The bank, as a result, is asking for a declaratory judgment regarding whether Towers would receive federal or state assistance if not for the existence of the trust. It also seeks a declaration as to whether or not it should pay the invoices.

If applicable, it seeks a declaratory judgment telling the bank how much to pay to each medical provider and a judgment that declares whether the trust should be terminated. In addition, it seeks attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

W. Cameron McCulloch and Adrianne A. Graves of MacInteyre and McCulloch in Houston will be representing it.

The judge has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court.

Case No. A191-318

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