Am I responsible for a credit card debt from my father if I was an authorized user?

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Am I responsible for a credit card debt from my father if I was an authorized user?

My dad just passed away and left one credit card not protected. It has a $14,000 balance. The credit card company is telling me that I am responsible for the debt, even though I have not used this card in 15-20 years.I just used it for a while when I was young. According to the credit card company I did not sign the orginal credit card agreement. What are my options here? I cannot afford to pay this.

Asked on January 10, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Do not be bullied by the credit card company.  Unless you signed the agreement for the card you do not have an obligation to pay the balance.  Even if you were an authorized user and did in fact use the card, you do no have an obligation to pay it off.  If the credit card company told you that you did not sign the original agreement then you are off the hook.  But I would write to them and ask then to "validate the debt" for you, which includes sending you a copy of the original agreement, a copy of the purchases made and proof of their right to collect the debt.  They should leave you alone after that.  Good luck.


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