July 24, 2014

What Happens to Credit Card Debt after Death

Sadly, credit card debt survives the death of the card holder.  As a general rule, credit card debt must be repaid after the death of a consumer.  These debts usually must be paid by the estate of the deceased.  This is a common problem with inheritances where the offspring expect to inherit large sums of money and did not know the debts incurred by the recently deceased.  The following article goes into more detail about debt and death.


In the absence of a debt settlement attorney aiding the estate, if the estate has more than is owed, debts are repaid in full.  If the estate has less than is owed, then the debts are paid off as much as possible and the losses can be written off by the creditor in some states.  However, in community property states like Arizona and California, the surviving spouse is jointly responsible for the debts incurred during the marriage. So instead of writing off the unpaid debt the creditor can go after the surviving spouse!  Many other states have other laws that hold the surviving spouse or even the children liable for repaying debt of the deceased.

For all of the above reasons, when dealing with the debt of the recently deceased, contact a qualified debt settlement attorney.  A qualified debt settlement attorney can work before and after the death of a consumer to likely settle debt for much less than the principal balance owed.  This is highly important to ensure the maximum amount of money is inherited by the family after their loss.  If you are preparing for a loved one’s death, include a debt settlement attorney in that planning to analyze and settle debts before and after death.

Author:  Kevin Fallon McCarthy


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