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Not Sure Who to Ask
pdecur
Posted: Friday, September 21, 2012 9:22 AM
Joined: 12/1/2011
Posts: 81


Mom has some credit cards that were in her name only.  One of them has a large balance and I've been paying the minimum amount every month.  Now that Mom is gone is my Dad liable for the balance?

 

Been searching the web and getting different answers.


Oceanbum
Posted: Friday, September 21, 2012 10:48 AM
Joined: 3/11/2012
Posts: 433


If Dad was a joint owner on the account then yes, he is liable. If it was an individual account in Mom's name only then no, he wouldn't be liable. When my father-in-law passed away he left massive amounts of credit card debt. He was divorced from my mother-in-law years ago, back in the 70's. He, of course, was the only name on the accounts. My husband was the executor of the estate. When he called the credit card companies to advise them of his death they tried to tell him that he was now liable for the debt, since he was the executor of the estate! We told them that no, we were not signers on the account so we were not liable for it. In the end we sold the house, paid as much of the mortgage as possible, auctioned off his belongings, and paid the funeral expenses, and there was nothing left so the credit card companies were just out.
dayn2nite
Posted: Friday, September 21, 2012 1:20 PM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 3097


Oceanbum is correct--if it was joint he is and if it wasn't, her debts died with her.  Stop paying the balance.
pdecur
Posted: Friday, September 21, 2012 3:47 PM
Joined: 12/1/2011
Posts: 81


She did allow me to use some of the cards from time to time, like her best buy card.  Does make a difference?  Also how are they informed of her death?  Do we just tell them when they start to call trying to collect.
Oceanbum
Posted: Friday, September 21, 2012 4:08 PM
Joined: 3/11/2012
Posts: 433


If you were never added as a signer or a joint owner then you wouldn't be liable. As far as notifying them of the death we called the customer service number on the back of the cards or on the bills themselves.
dayn2nite
Posted: Friday, September 21, 2012 7:59 PM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 3097


Oceanbum right again!  If they ask for a copy of the death certificate it can just be a regular copy, not a certified one.

 

I'm assuming none of the cards were used after her date of death--I'm not sure of the legalities if there were any charges after death.


pdecur
Posted: Friday, October 5, 2012 12:14 PM
Joined: 12/1/2011
Posts: 81


Now they are starting to call.  I hope they can't go after my Dad's assets.  He had nothing to do with the accounts.  Plus we don't even have enough money to get our leaking roof fixed.  The thing we have of value is the house.
dayn2nite
Posted: Friday, October 5, 2012 9:29 PM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 3097


When you get the bills, just write "deceased" on the part you send back and send it back.  They'll get the message.

 

If your father had nothing to do with the accounts they cannot sue him.  They may try to threaten that because they want somebody to pay--if there are collection agencies calling they get a cut of whatever payment they can get--don't send any money to them.


Oceanbum
Posted: Saturday, October 6, 2012 10:25 AM
Joined: 3/11/2012
Posts: 433


Exactly right, dayn2nite. They tried to come after my husband because he was the executor of his father's estate. But he told them he was not a signer on the accounts nor was he a joint owner, there was nothing they could do. And they knew he was exactly right.

 

Just write "deceased" on the bills and send them back. You can also send them a copy of the death certificate for proof. But only a "copy". They don't need an original. If they call they will ask you how you intend to pay the bill. That's when you will have to get tough and tell them there are no assets to pay the bill, you will send them a copy of the death certificate and hang up.

 

Good luck. Bill collectors can be ruthless. But it's their job to be.


pdecur
Posted: Monday, October 15, 2012 3:10 PM
Joined: 12/1/2011
Posts: 81


You guys have a great help.  Now I have another question.  Dad was the beneficary of one of Mom's life insurance policies, can they go after that money?  Need to know so I know how to proceed.  We are still waiting for the Aid and Assistance to go through, so any extra money helps.
pdecur
Posted: Monday, October 15, 2012 3:13 PM
Joined: 12/1/2011
Posts: 81


Think I may have answered my question.  Do agree?

 

At the time of her death she was receiving Medicaid and the life insurance policies were all turned over to the funeral home.

 

So she had no assets when she died or she not have been eligable for Medicaid.

 

Am I correct?


Oceanbum
Posted: Monday, October 15, 2012 3:55 PM
Joined: 3/11/2012
Posts: 433


Sounds right to me. dayn2nite, your thoughts?
dayn2nite
Posted: Monday, October 15, 2012 10:30 PM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 3097


Yes, that's right.
pdecur
Posted: Friday, November 2, 2012 2:18 PM
Joined: 12/1/2011
Posts: 81


Some of the people who call are real bitchs.  Just got off the phone with a lady who wanted to know about Mom's property.  I said what property.  She replyed it says she owned a house.  Told her it's in my Dad and Moms name.  Have not had a chance to get her name off the house.  Hope they can't do anything about the house, don't think they can because it was not part of Mom's estate.  She didn't have one.  These people have to understand we have no money.  I quit my job to take care of my Mom, so I'm unemployed and caring for my Dad.  .

 

GETTING FRUSTRATED.


dayn2nite
Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2012 8:23 AM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 3097


pdecur wrote:

Some of the people who call are real bitchs.  Just got off the phone with a lady who wanted to know about Mom's property.  I said what property.  She replyed it says she owned a house.  Told her it's in my Dad and Moms name.  Have not had a chance to get her name off the house.  Hope they can't do anything about the house, don't think they can because it was not part of Mom's estate.  She didn't have one.  These people have to understand we have no money.  I quit my job to take care of my Mom, so I'm unemployed and caring for my Dad.  .

 

GETTING FRUSTRATED.


You don't need to answer any questions about what your mother has and does not have.  Just hang up the phone.  Depending on the law where you are, they may be able to sue, get a judgment and put a lien on the home so when it sells they get their money.  You would need to see an attorney, because her name has not been removed from the home.  But still, please do not engage in any conversation with collection agencies.  Just hang up if you must answer.


pdecur
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2012 12:16 AM
Joined: 12/1/2011
Posts: 81


day2nite

 

Thanks for advice.  Missouri is not a community property state.  I thought about taking her name off the house, but figure it's probably to late now since she's been gone almost 3 months. 

 

What was the most frustrating part she asked why a payment had been made in Sept, a $14,000.  When I asked her about she said she was looking at the wrong account.  She mentioned when Mom applied for the card she put down she owned a home and wanted to know what happened to that .  When I told Dad was living she didn't say anymore about the house.  Just mentioned that they would checking to see if there was an estate, plus looking at social security and any 401 Ks.

 

Most of them when I say there was no estate, they don't say anymore. 


dayn2nite
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2012 5:15 AM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 3097


pdecur, when they say they'll be looking at Soc Sec and 401K, they are bluffing.  They want to get you involved in a conversation where you will "reveal" something OR they will be able to pressure you into paying just so they will leave you alone.

 

Don't engage.  If they call and ask for you or her, say, "not here may I take a message?" and keep repeating that.  Don't answer questions, don't offer any information other than "not here".  And really after you offer to take a message and they don't leave one, you can just hang up if you like.


pdecur
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2012 8:14 AM
Joined: 12/1/2011
Posts: 81


Again I want to thank everyone for the advice.  It is comforting.  Don't know if Dad knows about the debt or not.  He is starting to show signs of the beginings of the disease.
pdecur
Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012 2:47 PM
Joined: 12/1/2011
Posts: 81


I HATE DEBT COLLECTORS.  The one's that called Friday, called again today.  They scared my Dad so he decided to settle with them for an agreed amount.  She started to ask him about purchases made on the account and when she brought up the house I told him to tell them they needed to get an lawyer.  She told him we are the ones who need an lawyer.

 

Well at least they are done with.  The others have not called back.  So hopefully this ends everything.

 

Have decided I'm getting rid of all my credit cards.  They are worth the pain.


dayn2nite
Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012 8:52 PM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 3097


I am very sorry he has decided to settle with them - what they are doing is illegal and when they are able to get people to settle, it only makes them threaten other people more.

 

Why must he answer the phone?  That's what I don't understand.  There is no law saying you must speak to these people.

 

I just would never settle with criminals like that.


cloudsilver
Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 11:18 PM
Joined: 2/12/2012
Posts: 26


I don't understand the law, but I've read once you make any type of payment, you've admitted responsibility.  Can you avoid making any payment until you get advice?  They will try to trick you.
pdecur
Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 8:48 AM
Joined: 12/1/2011
Posts: 81


The money has already been sent.  These people don't trick they blackmail.  If I were a stronger person I would not have given in.  Haven't slept since I did it.

 

 


farawaydaughter
Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 10:44 AM
Joined: 4/19/2012
Posts: 414


pdecur, please forgive yourself. You and dad got swindled, and I am so sorry. Just make some new rules now, don't answer any questions, just hang up. Do you have caller ID?

 

If this had been my father, he would have done as yours did, pay. They are to frail in mind to know about scams and horrible debt collectors.

 

Forgive yourself, forgive your dad. Just don't answer the calls any more. Never say another word to them, EVER.

 

I am sorry.


deb97
Posted: Thursday, November 8, 2012 5:30 PM
Joined: 8/7/2012
Posts: 218


You really shouldn't have any conversation with them.  If it were me, I would politely tell them I am grieving and to please not call me and I would hang up.  To my knowledge most CC companies write it off when there is a death.