How to Handle Collection Calls For A Deceased Person's Debt

Photo courtesy of ambergris with Creative Commons License on Flickr

Are you being contacted about a deceased person's debt? The last thing you need when you are mourning the death of a loved one are calls from debt collectors demanding that you pay his (or her) past due debts. Yet, collecting the debts of the dead is a growing and lucrative market for debt collectors.

In fact, some debt collectors receive training on how to talk to the bereaved.

According to a New York Times article on the subject, one debt collection firm even transfers grieving relatives to a grief counselor who tries to help them cope with their emotions so that the collection firm will be more successful collecting from the bereaved relatives at a later date!

Creepy, huh? And pretty outrageous too, especially considering that in many instances surviving relatives are under no legal obligation to pay the unpaid debts of their deceased loved ones. Sadly however, many relatives do pay deceased persons debts out of a sense of obligation to the person they have lost - even when it puts them in a financial bind.

Are You Responsible For Their Debts?

Here are the facts. Generally when someone dies, the outstanding debts of the deceased are paid out of her estate during the probate process. If there is not enough money in the estate to pay all of those debts, the unpaid creditors are out of luck.

What's in an estate? An estate is all of the assets owned by the deceased and it’s the responsibility of the deceased’s creditors to file claims for payment from the estate with the probate court in the state where the deceased resided.

Certain assets may pass to beneficiaries or spouses outside the estate and so they are not subject to claims against estate of the person who died. For example, if your relative had a life insurance policy and named you as the beneficiary, that money is yours, and cannot be taken by the deceased person's creditors. Retirement accounts left to a beneficiary are usually protected as well. Joint property you owned with the person who died may also be safe.

What is probate? Probate is a legal process for administering the estate of someone who died. During probate, anyone who is owed money can file claims with the probate court requesting payment from the assets in the deceased’s estate. The "executor," or person managing the estate, pays as many of the valid claims as possible out of available assets. 

In many states, there are informal alternatives to the traditional probate process that allow an estate to be handled faster, and more informally. (These alternatives are also less expensive.) Also, some states allow small estates - where there aren't many assets and the assets are not worth much - to avoid probate all together. Instead, the deceased persons debts are settled through a non-court process.

You May Be Personally Responsible If...

You may be personally liable for the debt of someone who has died in a couple of situations:

You cosigned for the debt. You will be fully responsible for any joint debts after the other borrower dies.

The person who died is your spouse. In this instance, you could have some obligation to pay his or her outstanding debts. If you live in a community property state: Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin you may be responsible for debts incurred by your spouse during your marriage even if you did not cosign. A probate or estate planning attorney can help you determine whether that's the case. 

Of course, if your spouse left behind a large enough estate, all of those debts will get paid through the probate process.

Learn how to order a credit report for a loved one who has died here

Warning! Don't get greedy!! When someone dies, his or her estate is supposed to go through the probate process (or some other state-approved process) during which as many of the deceased's debts as possible are paid out of the assets in his or her estate. Only after that happens, can any assets that may be left be distributed to the deceased's beneficaries. Therefore, if a relative of yours dies and you and your siblings (or some other relatives) decide to avoid the probate process so that there will be more of the deceased's estate for you to divide up among you, the creditors of the deceased may be legally entitled to come after you for the money they are owed.

Who Handles the Debts?

Photo courtesy of Ken_Mayer with Creative Commons License on Flickr

The tricky part for creditors and collectors has been trying to identify the person responsible for handling the financial matters of the estate when there is no formal probate process and no one has been named as executor.

In some states, where a less formal process has been developed, the person handling the final matters of the estate will be called the "personal representative" though there are other names for that role.

Don't be confused. Just because you are managing details like the funeral, that does not mean you are responsible for handling the deceased persons debts. Figure out who is going to be officially handling these matters and refer all creditor calls to that person. Once a debt collector has located the person acting as personal representative, executor or something similar, they must stop calling anyone else.

Again, just because someone is named personal representative or executor, that does not make them personally responsible for the deceased persons debts.  

What If There Is No Money to Pay Debts?

In this economy, many people will die with little or no assets available to pay debts. If there are no assets to pay that person's debts and a creditor or collector contacts you about paying them, you may want to simply send the creditor and/or collector a certified letter stating that fact and instructing the collector not to contact you again. (This is your right under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.) Once a debt collector receives your cease contact letter it must not contact you again, except to notify you of legal action (which may not happen if there is nothing left to go after.)

If you aren't sure which assets of the deceased may be protected from creditors (a vehicle, savings, jewelry, bank accounts etc.) we recommend you talk with an attorney with experience in handling these kinds of issues.

You can work with an estate planning attorney locally, or if you want an immediate answer to your question, we have partnered with JustAnswer.com:

JustAnswer.com

Are Debt Collectors Harassing You?

The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects you when you are contacted by a debt collector about a debt owed by a loved one who has passed. Your state may also have a law that protects you.

Talk with a consumer law attorney right away if a debt collector is:

  • Pressuring you to pay debts of your relative that you are not sure you owe,
  • Implying that you have a moral obligation to pay the debt, or that the person who died would have wanted you to pay the bill,
  • Threatening you with legal action or other severe consequences,
  • Harassing you or is saying negative things about you or the person who died,
  • Refuses to verify the debt or send you anything in writing,
  • Contacts you at the funeral or wake, or at another inappropriate place.
  • Doing something that you just feel isn't right, and you need expert advice.

If the collector breaks the law, you may be entitled to damages and the collection agency may have to pay your attorney's fees as well. That means the consumer law attorney may help you for free.

If you are being harassed about a debt of someone who has died, get a free consultation with a consumer law attorney about debt collector harassment.

Deceased Person's Debt Collection Q&A

You'll find answers to many questions below. If you have a question that is not answered, we have partnered with JustAnswer.com where you can get an affordable answer from an attorney. You can Ask estate lawyers your question now.

My mom's father died 3 yrs ago, she's being sued for sister's debt 
My mother's father died in March of 2010 leaving a small estate that consisted of a house worth ~$80000 in Texas. My mother's sister had been living w/ …

Foreclosure on a condo that is in probate court 
Can the bank foreclose on my deceased mother condo when I have not received Letters of Testamentary from the probate court in Glynn County, Georgia yet. …

Began bankruptcy procedures one month before my father died 
A month before my dad died my husband and I filed for bankruptcy. We certainly didn't know he would die at that point. There was no will. Due to receiving …

loan mother money ,she die brother got home ,he not want to repay loan! 
loan mother $8,000 then she die and left home to brother,up to the day she was alive he said i would get my money but then he said …

hospital & medical bills 
I am the successor trustee for my brothers Revocable Family Living Trust which became irrevocable on 2/1/13 upon his death a week ago. He incurred extremly …

Deceased Person Vehicle 
My uncle just passed away and owed money on his 2012 Honda Accord (why this much I don't know). The bank said he Pay off is $43,000. If the car is returned …

protecting mom's home 
My brother died unexpectedly after mom transferredd title to her home to him. His estate is insolvent other than this home. He never lived there and paid …

Deceased Aunt's Apartment 
My husband's aunt died last week. He is the only surviving heir. I went to her apartment to find a will or power of attorney papers. I thought it was …

1099-c forgiven debt now considered income 
my husband passed 02/12/12 with no assets other than an underwater home, in his name only, which is now in forclosure. i just received on 01/24/13, a 1099-c …

Gas bill from my Dad who died in August 2008 
Hi. My Dad died in August 2008 and it is now 2013 so he has been dead over 5 years and a collection agency sent me a letter saying they contacted me as …

accrued interest 
My mother-in-law was in a nursing home in 1993 for 3 months, then passed. The home has a lein on her property which was transfered to her son George, my …

Exempt from Common Law 
My sister in law lives in NC where Common Law does not apply although they lived together 28 years. He has three grown children. The home is in my sister …

Debt from my fathers estate in Texas 
My dad passed away a week ago and left no will. He has about 7 thousand in medical and credit card debt. i cant afford a lawyer and dont want to do the …

Car loans 
My father is on Home Hospice and we do not know how long we have with him. I heard there is a way to transfer his car loan into my name with out having …

Spouse's responsibility for medical bills in Ohio 
My husband died in April 2008. I paid as many medical bills as I could out of my personal funds. Last week I received a call for my husband for collections …

Deceased Mom Quit Claim Home to Brother 
My mom quit claimed her home to my brother a month before she died unexpectedly. We are in California. She left several credit card debts however …

attorney fees 
If there are not enough estate assets left to pay all attorney fees (Florida), what happens?

who is responsible for medical bills if estate assets were transferred after death? 
seeabove

terminally ill boyfriend 
My boyfriend and I would like to get married before he dies.He has stage 4 cancer, and was placed on hospice yesterday. Will I be responsible for his …

Transfer Car Loan After Grandmothers Death 
My grandmother bought a car in 2008 but because of health issues could not drive it from 2009 until her death in 2011. She gave my brother permission to …

who does it go to 
my grandfather and aunt got a mortgage loan in 1999 he died in 2000 and my mother and aunt paid it off. when my aunt and grandfather did the closing …

Mortgage paid off by cosigner. 
If I cosigned on a land Mortgage, paid off the mortgage, have records of where I paid off the mortgage does the property belong to me when the primary …

Old Debt 
My Grand mother borrowed 10,600 and 14,850 dollars from my uncle in 1985 and has never paid back the money. Se died in August 2012 and my uncle is requesting …

Deceased debt 
My mom died and Medicaid is requesting payment. Only thing that is in her name is her home and she has a huge mortage on it. I can't sell to pay off debts …

mom had arm loan with house as colaterol @ cefcu 
All moms money was in a bank account with cefcu. I opened an executor account per lawyer advise as lawyer said we had to go thru probate. This is a small …

father passed away owes back property tax 
My father passed away last November. We are now getting a letter stating that we ( myself, sister and brother) are responsible for paying the backed property …

Am I responsible for my mom's apt fix and clean bill after she passed away? 
I lost my mom a couple weeks ago. She has lived by herself for three years in a government senior apartment before she died. Now, the senior apartment …

deceased fathers estate 
my father passed away owing the state irs 50,000. also he borrowed about 8 grand from some woman to pay a mortgage off. they have put liens on the house …

FL Deceased family member with no will, Now have title issues 
Hi My father passed away two years ago and did not have a will nor any assets to file probate for. He did have two properties with Mortgages that …

Is estate responsible for car loan if car returned? 
Deceased passed away without a will in New York. He had financed a car in his name alone. His spouse returned the car to the bank under the impression …

Louisiana Succession 
My mother passed a few months ago. A year prior to her passing, she became disabled and was unable to pay the loans she had out. The only asset she had …

medical bills 
Is surviving spouse responsible for deceasead husband medical bills, if he/she signed to receive treatment, because patient unable to sign.

Timeshares and vacation points that become part of estate. - do your kids benefit? 
I am an owner at Shell Vacation Club Carriage Hills The purhase contract I signed says the purchase shall ensure to the benefit of and shall be binding …

TENANT HOSPITALIZED......PLACED IN HOSPICE 
Residential tenant is now in hospice program. How do we collect the debt owed thus far (2) months? How do we collect should the tenant passes and still …

estate 
I am the excecutor of my aunts estate, she owned her home but it has a about 4000.00 in back taxes that are due, there is no money in the estate the house …

Lien on estate for back child support in WA? 
Can a lien be put on real property of the deceased for back child support in Washington?

Does my deceased husbands estate have to stay in probate in order for my to receive his asbestos settlement checks? Can medicare take these monies? 
Can medicare take the settlement checks from asbestos my deceased husband was receiving? His estate has been in probate for 7 years and Im being told …

Can medicare or medicaid take wrongful death settlement money? 
Hello, My mother passed away in 2006 and I believe she may have debt with either Medicare or Medicaid. We have been dealing with lawsuit proceedings …

payment on lien against house 
my mother transferred her home to me prior to her death. she had a 25000.00 lien against the house. i have paid $13000.00 in four years on that loan. in …

Am I liable...also can i do a deed in lieu of foreclosure 
My mom died and i am titleholder of her house. she had an unpaid reverse mortgage. she was only one on reverse mortgage. this was abt 4 yrs ago. I was …

father passed away owing on a vehicle. 
My father passed away owing money on a vehicle (we helped the bank find a buyer). The sale of the vehicle didn't cover the loan fully. My father also …

Can they take my house? 
My father passed away with about fifteen thousand dollars owed to many creditors, the first mortgage was payed off immediately. The second mortgage is …

Signed parental rights away and now my deceased son left debt. 
I signed my rights away to my son so that his mother and her new husband could be a real family. My biological son died owing $1700 to the IRS. Who if …

guarantee of a student loan. 
My father co-signed a student loan for a grandson, passed away a couple of years later. This grandson has fallen behind in paying the loan and now we …

IRS Debt after death..who is responsible? POA or Spouse? 
My father was dx'd with stage 4 cancer we just found out that he owes back taxes to the IRS. Apparently he hadn't filed his taxes in several years, before …

life insurance 
Can debt collectors go after the beneficiary of the life insurance policy?

Deceased wife's credit card debt I didn't know about 
I live in Mobile, Alabama. My deceased wife had credit cards I did not even know about. She didn't work so I know my name was somehow involved in getting …

Deceased spouse credit card debt 
I live in Texas and my wife died this past December. I have been getting calls about a credit card she had. I was not aware of this credit card and my …

old debt 
does estate need to pay old credit card debt that was sold to a third party? it ismy understanding that time barred debt can be disallowed.

Dad died leaving unpaid hospital and credit card debt. 
My mom has a house paid for and is on a fixed income in Tennessee. Can debtors put a lien on her house to pay for my father debts. Which is hospital …

Deceased mother left home I co-own with her and she left credit card debt 
Hello, My mother passed away in South Carolina and she had considerable credit card debt. I have 2 siblings and she left a will stating she wants her …

cosign on repo 
My husband passed away a few months ago and i have been receiving calls from a collection ageny for the amount owed from a truck we had repoed. since i …

IRS 
Am i responsable for my husbands taxes to irs after he dies

Can unsecured creditor collect against deceased debtors mortgage-free house? 
My question is: If an unmarried deceased person has fully paid for their house (willed to their children), but has outstanding unsecured debt (credit …

Husbands Credit Card Debt 
My husband died on Jan 12th on or near Feb 22nd I tried to use the card and it did not work. I contact the company which at this time asked me to take …

New York estate law 
dad died and now landlord is trying to collect rent accrued since death

Apartment trying to collect damages from deceased brother 
Hi. My brother died in june.. the apartment manager sent us a letter stating they were going to keep his security deposit for cleaning etc. Also today …

Nursing home bill left to spouse 
my wife died 2 years ago and had no money..the home we lived in in was in my name only..Can I be held responsible to pay the$319,000 bill???

Ex-husband passed away. He was still on mrorrgage 
My ex husband passed away last week. We have been dIvorced for over 7 years but I never refinanced the secured loan we had together. The loan was for …

dying 
I have a house valued at 220000 i owe 160000 i have boat i owe 95000 worth 50000 , 401k 100000 life insurance 330000 i live in michigan. If i will my …

Lost?? 
My grandma died and had a lincoln finacial account (which was left to my mom), my grandma also has a $60,000 medical bill and now the creditors are threatening …

husbands death and responsibility to pay debt off 
i live in Florida, a community property state. My husband died and he has a car loan in his name only. am i responsible for that loan

Credit cards wrote off debt now I might have to open a probate 
The credit card companies wrote off my ,oms cc after she died since there were no assets. Mow a few months later I find some AFLAC policies that may pay …

next of kin pension fund released 
my mom worked in the sixties and seventies at a meat cutters factory.she passed away before she new anything about her retirement funds they just sent …

mortgage company suing me for deceased person debts 
Issue: cousin died with no will. The person who decided to be the executor of the estate listed all known relative as cousin had no parents or kids. Mortgage …

car transfer 
my father passed away without a will, the only asset he had is his vehicle, he did not owe anything on it it was paid off,, how can i transfer it into …

Car purchased in my mother's name 
My mother signed for her boyfriend to get a car because his credit is horrible and now she is dying. What will happen to the car.

Attorney Fee's and liability of executor. 
I was appointed to my deceased grandmothers estate as executor before she passed away. After her passing I paid her unpaid bills ( nursing home, utilities, …

Government Student Loans 
When I pass will by children be responsable for paying my government student loans?

My dad died as a tourist 
My dad was a Mexican citizen and got his visa to visit me here in California to spend Thanksgiving togheter. After a couple days he suffered a hearth attack …

My father took out credit cards in my name then died 
My father had taken several credit cards out in my name over the years. Then about a year ago he died. It wasn't until the debt collectors started calling …

Husband died with no will in Texas 
I live in Texas. My husband of 30 years died. I am now trying to sell my house but am told that because he had children from a previous marriage, they …

father passed now someone is claiming to have bought land from him 
my father recently passed,owning a piece of property in texas. some one has come forward saying they were buying that property from him and put a down …

Overpayment to deceased from Employee pension 
My Mother received a pension from a past employer until here death which paid for her Nursing Home care. She was on Medicare assistance also due to her …

CAR 
My friend passed away from cancer last month. I signed for a car in my name for her because her last car was in her and her husband's name and he came …

TOD liability for medical bills in Illinois 
My friend has named me beneficiary of his stock via TOD. He is in end stage heart failure and receives medical care only from the VA. (He did not qualify …

Transfer Title to Truck 
My brother passes away recently. I am the Executor of the will. I want to know how to transfer the title of his truck to me. I don't live in the same …

payingfor relative's debt 
I am a relative of a deceased person and am in the process of applying for probate. Deceased person's bank requested me to pay deceased person's debt, …

My Deceased Father's house 
My father just died in a retirement home. Me and my husband and son live in his house. He has a lean on the house to pay for his stay and the retirement …

Estate debt 
Hello, My mother passed away last October (2011) and there was 275K worth of debt secured with her home and a rental property being used as collateral. …

California state recovery 
State recovery asking for money for previous medical provided. ($14,000 ) to mom at age 55-65. Passes away with no probate..no assets. Recovery letter …

Is there a "statue of limitations" when it comes to how long a creditor may harrass you when the deceased had an insolvent estate? 
In Ohio, is there a statue of limitations on how long a creditor can harrass you or contact you when the deceased had an insolvent estate? My sister died …

Probable Death of Spouse; How do I protect what little assets there are? 
My husband was recently diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer with wide mestases to the liver and lymph nodes. While he is currently doing well with …

which assets of the deceased may be protected from creditors 
Is there a specific list of which assets of the deceased are protected from creditors?

Assigned Personal Representative on Grandmother's Will 
My mother was assigned as personal Representative on my grandmother's will. I was assigned in the event my mother died before my grandmother. That happened. …

Brother ran up utility bills following death of father. Who is responsible for paying? 
After my Dad passed, my brother took over (squatter) living in the home and ran up a hefty electric bill. He may also have used credit cards. Who is …

NY a child's rights before creditors take what they are owed 
If an estate is in the 10's of thousands of dollars and workers comp. is owed by the deceased can the minor child claim some of the assets before the creditors …

funeral expenses 
My mother died October, 2011 at the hospital and I was required to sign the release. She already had a plot next to my father whichI was told was paid …

Credit card debt 
Do you have to pay credit card debt that han't been paid since Apr. 2004 after a person dies ?

estate 
once an estate is opened after parents pass can the heirs pay off the mortgage in full so debtors can not come after it?

My terminally ill partner is currently on title to the house 
Should we have him removed from title now while he is still alive to simplify things after he is gone? Or will the property automatically revert to me …

vehicle my spouse left 
I live in Chicago, Illinois. My husband died 19 months ago. He left a vehicle he was still paying for. At the time of his death the remaining balance to …

Deceased husband's debt and medical expenses 
My husband suddenly died of a heart attack. He died before reaching a treatment room as he had to fill out paperwork first. The hospital is sending bills …

liability after a death 
If a person dies and leaves a check for a person to cash to take care of funeral expenses, would that person be liable to any debtors? The person would …

Brother passed away without will. 
This is a little complicated. My brother and his wife purchased a camper trailer about six years ago through a loan with a bank. they moved to Maine …

defective Mortgage and payments after death 
My husband and I purchased a residence property which is registered since 1978 at the county recorders office as community property (in California). In …

Deceased Mother 
My mother has recently passed. I am now my father's POA and tryin to sift threw their bills. My mom has hospital bills and a credit card. The funny …

Parent died intestate with credit card debt  
My Mother died intestate 10 years ago with credit card debt but had already transferred her assets to me, so I never opened probate. Recently I found assets …

Executor owed by deceased 
I am the executor of my ex-husband's estate. Do I need to file a claim with the court in order to pay myself the money that is owed to me from my divorce …

Can I transfer stocks from deceased person (with debt) to me (her daughter) without creditors taking it? 
My mother passed away and was in possesion of stocks she was awarded as part of a wrongful death suit. The stockes are from Sun Healthcare Group (SUNH) …

Am I liable for my deceased husbands back child support and taxes owed from bankruptcy? 
I'm from the state of MD. My husband, who I was married to for 4 years, died unexpectedly. My husband has been paying on back child support and paying …

can s.s. take payment from s.s. if spouse pass away and what can i do to stop it? 
if my wife recieved a over payment fromm s.s. and pass away before all is collected and now they stating that i have to pay back the over payment, the …

Reverse Mortgage 
My father had a reverse mortgage taken out in 2006. He now is deceased and had to pull down all but a few thousand dollars for his care. His name is the …

paying phone bill 
Hi, my mom just passed, she had small amount of cash in joint account with me. No assets as she lived with me in my home. Since it was joint account, …

Late brother's debt  
My brother passed away with an auto loan that is more than the vehicle is worth and significant credit card debt. His estate is not going to cover …

town car/property taxes 
Is the widow responsible for her deceased husband's old town car taxes that were not paid?

credit card debt 
If my father passed away, how is his credit card debt paid?

whos responsible?  
My father passed away March 6th, 2012 from pancreatic cancer. He never had the chance to write a will or select a power of attorney. My father didn't have …

State school and property taxes left as VA after death 
sister moved in mom and dads house after there death , home probated to 4 siblings, taxes were VA reduced then and that was all sister paid for 10 years, …

Lein on property 
In 2007 my father passed away and my mother could no longer afford the home. It was suppose to go to auction several times, but within the last year the …

GETTING MY 26000.00 BACK 
I POOT 26000.00 ON A HOUSE .I HAD THE LADY SIGN THE CHECK STUBB AND SIGN A PROMISSORY NOTE. I DIDINT NO THAT DORIS SIGNED THE HOUSE OVER TO THE DOUGHTER …

crdit card 
I paid off a credit card bill aftermy husband had in his name after he died Can I get this money back

Car rights cosigner dies 
My husband was the cosigner on the car loan and my son is the main borrower but my husband had always paid the note for his son car for college he is …

Property up for grabs by relatives 
Buying a home from a man who is dying and left no will. He has no living children or wife Did not use the bank but gave me a personal loan.....where does …

estate 
my cousin died, and the will he had was made 20 years ago. his sister is the excestor and i am listed 2nd. at the time of the will his 2 children were …

Responsible for deceased mother's mortgage loan  
I lost my mom on September of last year. Today, I received some papers in the mail trying to collect on her mortgage loan. Now, I know I'm responsible …

Mother passed; her house is paid off. 
Will they take the house even if it's paid off and I'm going to keep paying the taxes and move in with younger sister which lives with her who is on life …

Trust Fund through Probate 
My husband died almost a year ago there was no probate until his brother forced me to open one tho acquire shares in a business that reverted over to me …

Judgment on someone's estate 
a person is requesting a loan to satisfy a judgment on the his uncle's estate so he can have the ownership of three of the companies that his uncle owned. …

my car is in my mother's name, can creditors take my car? 
My car is in my mother's name and my loan is in her name, too. If the car is the only thing in the estate, can they take my car away? Do I have to pay …

husband passed away 
he had a van in his name for 2 years and still owed 3 1/2 years 6 months before he passed I tried to get my name added on and they would not do it unless …

Responsibility for husband's debt 
I live in California. Am I responsible for paying off Southern California Electric bill of $500. My husband had no will nor any money when he passed …

Deceased loved one with no will and small ira 
Does credit card debt have to be paid from the funds from an IRA if there is no beneficiary named on the IRA and no will?

Liability for debt of deceased husband on car loan where he was co-signor 
My husband died almost a year ago. We live/d in NC. My deceased husband is co-signer on a car loan for my grandson. I did not sign the loan papers. I have …

beneficiary  
where can i find information if my sister left me beneficiary i want to now if thiers any money i can claim?

1099-c 
My Mother passed away in February of 2011 with debt of 32,000.00 She lived in Seminole County Florida and was a widower, she had a Homstead to protect …

Estate of a decease person and Mortage loan 
Who inicistes the probate of the estate of a decease person? I'm the spouse, do I have to do it and how? What's gonna happen if I don't do it? Also, …

Estate Debt 
How to respond to collection calls when there is no money, but there are assets (houses).

In Texas. ...are my sister and I obligated to pay a nursing home bill, after our father's death? 
In early 2010 my father fell and broke his hip. After the hospital he was in a rehab center for about 3 months. Medicare paid for some of his stay. …

Utility debt collection  
Can a utility company disconnect your telephone service for an unpaid debt from over 10 years ago? It was my deceased mothers debt. The estate went through …

probate court pros and cons 
Hi. my name is chad. i lost my wife 2 weeks ago. We live in connecticut. what are the pros and cons of going Vs. not going to probate court?

Old debts for a deceased person 
Is the estate required to pay really old debts? We are getting calls to pay debts from 2006, and we have no idea if the charges are warranted or may have …

husband died leaving no estate 
my husband left me no money neither anything i can sell to get money,am i responsible for his oncology office visits

OPPRESED BY PROBATE SYSTEM AND JUDGES/LAWYERS WHO IGNORE / DEFY WRITTEN LAW 
Both my deceased husband's name and my name (his wife) are on the title to our house. We owe 155,000, but the house is worth 205,000 +. When I filed …

credit card debt after husband's death 
my husband died and left everything to me. His credit card is in his name and I am an authorized user, do I have to pay the credit card off ?

Responsibility for Debt in a Negative Net Worth Estate 
My husband and I own several properties on which we owe more than the value. We also both have significant individual credit card debt. We live in a …

Will my father's estate pay the car loan we got together? 
My father and I jointly purchased a car. The loan is primarily in his name. He died May 2010. The bills now come to the Estate of my father but I have …

Will My Mom Owe the Medical Debt My Deceased Dad Left Behind? 
My dad recent passed. But before account he did, he was in a nursing home for about 4-5 months. His medicaid application was pending when he passed. Now …

Deceased Father's Debt 
My Father passed away quite suddenly and left behind quite a bit of credit card debt and a Equity mortgage. I sent a copy of his Death certificate to all …

Am I Responsible For Late Husband's Debts? 
I just recently married my husband 3 months ago. He passed away this week. I know he had some hospital bills that were not yet paid prior to our marriage. …

my sister died we have house payments iam paying she has credit debt i can not pay they are having lawyers call me 
my sister and i have house paments we are on house together she passed away she has credit card debt i have no money for

My Father Passed Away Without A Will 
Dear Sir or Madam: MY father passed away on August 14th, 2012 without a will exactly 2 weeks after a spinal fusion surgery. His house and cars were …

Primary Mortgage borrower dies cosigner continues to pay home. 
My father and his brother bought a house in Brooklyn, New York many years ago. My uncle was primary buyer and my father the co-signer. My uncle was killed …

Taxes 
My mother recently passed away. She had a payment plan with the IRS to pay back taxes. Am I obligated to tell the IRS that she has died?

home loan my mom took out on our home 
My mom took out a loan to get our porch fixed okay she was paying up until her death. Im still paying on the loan but i didnt sign for the loan and im …

Mortgage paid off by cosigner. 
If I cosigned on a land Mortgage, paid off the mortgage, have records of where I paid off the mortgage does the property belong to me when the primary …

personal debt collection from deceased? 
My wife loaned a friend money. She has passed away. Can the husband of the deceased now collect money owed by wife's friend? Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com …

Creditor to my brother's estate in Louisiana. 
My brother died without a will and had not completed property settlement with his ex-wife of 8 years. They have two children together and her step mom …

brothers debt 
my brother died in april with no insurance or any money our 81 year old mother started paying his hopital bills, they are over 300.000 because the bill …

Deseased with no assets 
As excutor I feel I need the help of a lawyer and the deceased has absolutely no money or assets and lots of debts, will I have to pay for the lawyer myself? …

Can they take my house? 
My father passed away with about fifteen thousand dollars owed to many creditors, the first mortgage was payed off immediately. The second mortgage is …

harrassed by the mortgage company 
my deceased husband purchased a mobile home in 2010 and i have been struggling to pay the bill. They say that i am liable for the bill, but they never …

credit card debt collection vs a 401K 
My mother’s husband died recently. He had credit card debt. The only thing he had left to my mother was a 401(K). Can they or a collection agency on their …

responsible for a family members debt if they live with you 
Hello, My question is this, Are my husband and I responsible for my father in laws debt if something happens to him? He lives with us, My house is owned …

Intestate /medicare / repayment? 
Do the heirs of an intestate person with no kids and no spouse, have to pay medicare back? I know they will have to pay medicaid back, but medicare? What …

closed estate 
how can i find out if my husbands estate is closed?

Can a credit card company come after the house 
My mom passed away from cancer and had about $15k in credit card debt, het only asset was about $50k in equity in her house that she left to all of us …

Collection from nursing home residents 
Can a collection company collect from a person residing in a nursing home whose income goes to pay for his stay?

which assets of the deceased may be protected from creditors 
Is there a specific list of which assets of the deceased are protected from creditors?

Brother passed away without will. 
This is a little complicated. My brother and his wife purchased a camper trailer about six years ago through a loan with a bank. they moved to Maine …

Parent died intestate with credit card debt  
My Mother died intestate 10 years ago with credit card debt but had already transferred her assets to me, so I never opened probate. Recently I found assets …

Government Law Suit, Medical Bills went unpaid. 
We currently had a law suit against the USPS. A driver hit my husband and ruined the truck. Later my husband had to have back surgery. and he wracked up …

Government Law Suit, Medical Bills went unpaid. 
We currently had a law suit against the USPS. A driver hit my husband and ruined the truck. Later my husband had to have back surgery. and he wracked up …

can my sister/siblings sue me? 
my mother had a property in california. she withdrew all her equity (left 40k) to buy a house in florida and live next to my oldest sister. some family …

CREDIT CARD COMPANIES 
i AM AN HEIR MY BROTHER PAID ALL THE BILLS AND PROMISED ME AN ACCOUNTING OF ANY MONEY HE SPENT BUT HAS NOT SENT ME ANYTHING. HOW CAN i GET COPIES OF MY …

Who is responsible to pay for a hospital stay 1 week prior to my mom's death? 
My mom was taken from a rehab facilty to a hospital. The hospital said she had to be returned to the rehab place but she refused to go back. Now the hospital …

deceased credit report 
my husband passed away in oct of 2011 and we had split up for a few months before that but on good terms and were fixin to move back in with each other …

Can they take my home? 
If my home is in both my husbands and my names and my husband passes away can they take my home if I cannot afford to pay all of his outstanding debts? …

Chase Visa debt after father's death 
My father died recently. I am the only surviving family member. We live in Florida. My father had added me as an authorized user on his Chase Visa. I received …

Bank of America inflating debt 
Mom passed away, with a collection company she was trying to pay off 2000.00, after she died bank of america took back the account from the collection …

Deceased medical bills 
My husband died and I'm being asked to pay his medical bills. Do I have to pay them? Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com Maybe. It depends in …

Being Sued for Late Husband's Debt 
A collection agency has filed suit against my husband who is now deceased. I received letter in mail stating: ORDER GRANTING PLANTIFF'S MOTION TO AMEND …

Receiving my deceased mother's electric bill 
Hi, my mom passed away in december and i did the ringing round cancelling her electric. The company have now sent me a bill at my home address asking …

Joint owned home and rights of survivorship 
Can debtors put a lien on joint owned propety if there are not enough assets to pay my husband's credit card bills that were in his name only? I live …

Credit check on deceased father 
Can I legally run a credit check on my deceased father? Also, my deceased Grandfather's trust states that if my father has passed then my brother and I …

mortgage still owed on deceased Father's house 
How can me and my brother prevent my Deceased Fathers house from being Foreclosed, we have paid the mortgage for 18 months, me and my brother are out …

Credit Card of My Deceased Sister 
My sister passed away last nov, and left me as executix. The estate was declared a small estate, $10,000. I paid her cremation, etc.. Then bank of america …

Collection on my late father's truck 
My dad passed away 8 years ago he had a pickup that they both owed on. can they garnish my mom's social security check? Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com: …

Discover to collect on deceased mom's account 
My mother resided in Arizona. I lived there until 2 months ago and now live in Minnesota. She had a large ($10,000+) bill with Discover and I was a secondary …

Spouse responsible for medical debts? 
My husband had a few surgeries before he comitted suicide. The hospital and bill collectors say I am resposible for thousands of dollars on his medical …

Creditors File Judgment After Debtors Death 
My father died 9/2006 - left a car loan. Creditors file default judgment 9/2010. I pay off car loan and want to transfer car on my name. Can creditors …

Deceased Husband in Louisiana left a condo in his name 
I am not co-borrower for the condo. It was a business thing. Our home is another state and he was sent to Louisiana to work and got tired of living in …

Deceased Husbands Debts And Insurance Policy 
I live in Arizona where it is a community property state. My husband committed suicide last month and I have received medical bills in his name only. …

Can credit cards my deceased husband own put a lien on this trailer we owned together? 
My husband died last month. He had 3 credit cards that he was paying on. The largest one being $4800. These were in his name only. We were living on …

Deceased with Debt 
Can debt collectors find out a person owned a home or car if there wasn't an estate filed and there was no will? Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com: …

Learn more about dealing with a deceased parent's debt in this video from DebtConsolidationCare.com

Learn about your rights when contacted about deceased persons debts

Do you have a question about how debt collection laws can help you protect your rights? Ask it here!

Read the first chapter of our e-book, Debt Collection Answers, here for free!