If my wife has passed away and had a credit card in her name, am I responsible for her debt?

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If my wife has passed away and had a credit card in her name, am I responsible for her debt?

She does not have any assets. Our mortgage is upside down. Do I just not pay credit card. It is a size able balance. What can the credit card company do. I was just an authorized user.

Asked on October 26, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Generally, if the account was not yours, in that your wife was the one who opened up the account and signed the cardholder agreement, then her estate is responsible for the debt, not you personally.  An authorized user is not the same as an owner.  The credit card will indeed try and come after you and try and bully you to pay the balance.  You can tell them that your wife died and that she left no assets and that she has no estate to probate.  They may sue her estate and at that point you may want to get some legal advice on what to do.  But in the meantime, do not pay anything.


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