Wife paid on dead husband credit card for 8 years?

by S.Richard
(San Antonio)

Discovery made by son that parent had made 8 years of payments on deceased father account. Bank closed account any recourse to obtain payments made?

Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com

It sounds like you are concerned because your mother has been making payments for eight years on her late husband’s credit card account, which she may not have been legally liable for.

Texas is a community property state. However, that doesn’t mean that all debts incurred by either spouse are the responsibility of both. There is a good discussion of that issue in this article: MARITAL PROPERTY LIABILITIES: Dispelling the Myth of Community Debt.

Whether or not your mother can get the money back that she has paid on this debt may likely depend on a number of factors, including whether she was misled or coerced into paying the debt by the creditor or a collector, and what her legal responsibility was for the debt.

We suggest you do two things at this point. First of all, since you are in Texas, you are in luck. There is an organization, The Texas Consumer Complaint Center, that may be able to help you understand your rights and decide whether this is pursuing.

You may also want to talk with a consumer law attorney in your area to find out whether he or she thinks your mother may have a case against the creditor or collector. Quite a bit of time has elapsed since this started and it may be hard to establish what happened then. But you should probably still talk with an attorney if there is a remaining balance on the account. That’s because if your mother stops making payments now the creditor will likely pursue her for payments.

And you’ll need to help her establish whether she is still responsible for them or not. (This is something you can also discuss with the Texas Consumer Complaint Center to see if they can help.)

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