Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in Delaware

Deceased Credit Card debt

My mother passed in April of this year. She has a credit card debt that I am willing to pay for. The problem is the bank wants more than I can afford each month. I can only afford half of what they want. Everytime I talk to them they tell me if they don't get this certain amount by the end of the month they will turn it over. I don't know who they will turn it over to. How can they force me to make a payment I can't afford, I am willing to make payments but can only affors half of what they want. What can I do?

Asked on 9/26/06, 9:22 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Staff General Counsel LawyersCollaborative

Re: Deceased Credit Card debt

It is admirable that you would want to pay a debt that apparently is not yours, but rather your now deceased mom's.

Assuming that, in fact, the debt is for charges made by your mother and not you, then I suggest you have no legal obligation to pay the debt. Moreover, given the creditor's apparent obstinacy, and your budgetary constraints, I suggest you may want to reconsider being so magnanimous.

Instead, I suggest you tell the credit card company to go ahead and "turn it over" to whomever they want (they refer to a collection agency, most likely) to file a claim with any resulting probate estate.

Again, barring unusual circumstances not hinted at in your question, you have no obligation to pay the credit card company for a debt incurred by your now deceased mother.

Hope this helps, and sorry for your loss,


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Answered on 9/26/06, 9:41 am
Jules D'Alessandro D'Alessandro & Wright

Re: Deceased Credit Card debt

This is more of the usual abusive and reprehensible conduct by the credit/Banking industry and their scumbag collectors. The only way you could be responsible for this debt is if your mother had an estate, that had something of value like cash or other personal property and you closed the estate without paying any of the creditors. Also in the State of RI a small estate, one with a value of less than $15,000.00 may be resolved without full probate and by simply filing an affidavit of voluntary administration. Thereafter the creditor has six (6) months to file a claim against the estate only NOT YOU. The short answer is that in my opinion you are not legally responsible for this debt. You should tell the bank to take a flying leap and be happy with the money they already stole from you.

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Answered on 9/26/06, 2:08 pm

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