Deceased wife's credit card debt I didn't know about

(Mobile, AL)

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 these credit cards. Am I still responsible for paying these debts?

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Oct 22, 2012
Deceased wife's credit card debt I didn't know about
by: Debtcollectionanswers

We consulted with our friends at Identity Theft 911 ( to get an answer to your question because by using your credit history to get a credit card without your knowledge, your spouse committed ID theft.

Here is what they shared with us about your situation: " It depends on the user agreement that the wife signed with the credit card company, if the credit card company can show that he benefited from the use of the account, or if the credit card company can show that payments were coming from an account he had access to."

His best bet would be to contact the institution and enact his “FACT Act 151 Rights” to request a copy of the application used to open the account. If he never signed an application/agreement with the credit card company and they cannot prove he had knowledge of the account he may have a leg to stand on."

So, as Identity Theft 911 is suggesting, your first step is to contact the company that issued your spouse the credit card you did not know about and request a copy of the application she submitted to obtain the card. Let the company know that you are exercising your federal FACT Act 151 Rights. Once you get the application, note whether your signature is on the application. If it is and you did not sign it, then your signature was forged.

Next, I would contact the credit card company in writing to let it know that your spouse is deceased and that while she was living, they issued her a card that you had no knowledge and that she obtained the card using your credit information. If your signature was forged and you have examples of what your signature actually looks like, provide copies. If the bills for the credit card were paid out a different account than the one you and your spouse regularly used to pay your bills and household expenses, say so.

Make a copy of your letter for your files. Then, send the original together with copies of any backup information you may have to the credit card company via certified mail with a return receipt requested. I recommend calling the company to get the address to use.

If you want help dealing with your problem, contact a consumer law attorney in your area who handles ID theft cases. A good resource is your local or state bar association who should be able to provide you with some attorney referrals.

Best of luck resolving your problem.

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