Georgia Woman Faces Jail For Not Paying Her Husband’s Cremation Bill?

An elderly Georgia woman has been threatened with jail, she says, because she can’t afford to pay a $981 bill a funeral service says she owes to have her husband’s remains cremated.

Betty Starnes told Channel 2 News that she assumed she was setting up incremental payment arrangements when she signed a contract arranging to have her husband’s body cremated. Mr. Starnes died October 6th.

But the funeral home says Ms. Starnes knew the terms: she had to fork over all the cash by October 9th or face some potentially ugly consequences.

The funeral service has since given her until this Friday, the 20th, to pay.

Abandoning a body is a felony charge in the state of Georgia.

“I went to pieces. I said I’m not going to jail and I’m not a crook,” she told the station.

The funeral service, Southern Cremations & Funerals at Cheatham Hill, called it “unfortunate” that Ms. Starnes went to the press and said it had offered her a list of agencies that could provide her assistance.