Husbands Credit Card Debt

by Bette
(Milford, PA USA)

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 over the account which was approx $26,000. This was not in my name I was not myself his death was unexpected BUT I thought I was legally responsible to pay this debt. He only had $15,000 of life insurance which of course went really fast with funeral/grave/stone expenses. At the time they told me they were recording me. I am now left with a bill that is larger than anyone that we had as a join account - they reissued the cards to me. Six months ago I found out that I should not have done this. I am now trying to pay our debt + his $26,000 and our mortgage on considerable less money soon it will become a real issue as my work hours have been cut. I did sell a car and put the $11,000 to this debt so it is now $16,000. Can you give me any advice on what to do - can I dispute this? will this now ruin my credit as I took it over only 6 weeks after he passed away. they were super nice on the phone and I thought I had to accept his debt. Appreciate your time.

Bette in PA

Comments for Husbands Credit Card Debt

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Oct 13, 2012
Husbands Credit Card Debt
by: Anonymous

Hi Bette:

You have our sincere condolences for your husband's death.

What you've experienced is not an uncommon problem: creditors or debt collectors pressuring relatives to pay the debts of the deceased when those relatives do not owe the debts. It's such a common problem that federal regulators wrote new rules regarding the collection of debts of those) who have died. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC also published a consumer factsheet about this topic to help survivors understand their rights regarding the debts of their deceased loved ones. In addition, lawsuits have been filed alleging violations of state and federal consumer protection laws by creditors and/or collectors who go over the line here.

We recommend you talk with a consumer law attorney right away to find out if the creditor or collector you wrote about broke the law by making it sound like you were responsible for your husband's credit card debt. You can be connected to a consumer law attorney in your state for a free consultation by calling 855-206-5310 (toll-free). You may also want to read this article for more information about the debts of a deceased person’s debt.

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