Let’s get this straight; you are not personally responsible for the credit card bills (or other debts) of your deceased relatives. As more debtors default on their credit card loans some “creative” bill collectors are seeking out the relatives of deceased debtors and asking that they pay on their dearly departed’s credit card debt . Sometimes these requests are framed in a way to give the impression that the relative is obligated to pay the debt and sometimes their emotions are manipulated to get them to agree to paying a debt that they are not legally obligated to pay. Be very careful! If you agree to pay the credit card debt of a deceased relative, especially if your agreement is in writing you may be legally binding yourself unnecessarily to a debt that was never legally your obligation.
Here’s what you should do to avoid taking on the credit card debt of the debt:
- Do not speak with creditors during your time of grief. Making a decision to repay a deceased relatives credit card debt should not be done while under duress or during the grieving process.
- Hire someone to handle the estate of the deceased, if there are assets that need to be liquidated to pay credit card bills and other debts.
- Let the credit card company and other creditors know that you are not personally responsible for the deceased relative’s debts.