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mad38
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎04-24-2007
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CC Account Responsibility?

In 1994, my husband(who divorced me in 2005 and died in 2006) opened a credit card account without my knowledge and without my signature. He solely used this account and I never knew about it nor did I ever charge anything on it. My ex died in May of last year and now the credit card company wants me to pay the outstanding debt. I explained the situation and asked for proof that I had signed for the account when it was opened or even copies of receipts that I had purchased anything, but they refuse with an excuse that those records are not available. "Perhaps he signed up on the internet where signatures are not required." This company has removed his name from the account, without any certified proof of death only my word over the phone, and the account is now listed in my name only. After my ex's death, the credit card company harassed me into believing that the debt as indeed mine, offering me a great deal at 2% interest and I mistakenly made a couple of payments in November and December 2006. I have not paid anything since this time because the probate attorney told me not to as this debt was not mine. However, I am concerned because this account is listed on my credit report and is affecting my FICO score and I don't know what to do to.
Moderator Emeritus
Tuscani
Posts: 6,182
Registered: ‎03-29-2007
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Re: CC Account Responsibility?

[ Edited ]
I am sorry to hear about your husband.
 
Unless it was a joint account, you are not liable.. Here is how death and credit generally works:
 
The CC company will first try to collect from the estate (assets will be sold to pay the bills). Then, if the account was a joint account, any survivors will be left holding the bag. If the debt belonged solely to the deceased, then the CC company will end up eating the debt if there aren't enough assets to cover it.


Message Edited by Tuscani on 04-24-2007 10:07 AM
New Member
mad38
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎04-24-2007
0

Re: CC Account Responsibility?

Thanks for the response Tuscani . . . The problem is that the account opened in 1994 was a joint account, but I had no knowledge that my husband added my name nor did I sign any paperwork to verify the addition of my name to the account. As I stated earlier, I have never charged anything on this account either and the CC company cannot provide any documentation to prove otherwise. My husband and I divorced in 2005 and he died in 2006. After his death, the CC company contacted me to collect the debt and this is how I discovered that the account jointly held in my name too without my knowledge or permission. If I did not sign any paperwork or use the card for purchases, can I be held liable for the debt after my ex-husband's death?
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masdeocho
Posts: 2,050
Registered: ‎04-17-2007
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Re: CC Account Responsibility?

It's so sleazy when the creditors try this -- here you are, trying to cope with a death in the (ex-)family and they're trying to squeeze you for debts that are not yours.
 
Tell them if they can't produce your signature on an application, it's not a joint account and you don't have any legal liability for the balance.  If he signed up online, he may have given them your SSN and added you as a joint user, which was illegal.  However, it's your word against theirs about who was at the keyboard.  I'd fight them.
 
Whether it's a joint account or not, the fact that you never used the card is irrelevant.  A (valid) joint account holder is liable for all charges.
 
Divorce, death, and debt -- so sorry you have had to deal with all these.  Unfortunately it's not an uncommon combination these days.
 
Good  luck.
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Moderator Emeritus
Tuscani
Posts: 6,182
Registered: ‎03-29-2007
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Re: CC Account Responsibility?


 
You are not liable unless it is joint. They are attempting to intimidate you. Sole accounts are sole accounts.. no matter if you are divorced or a widow. Plus, I highly doubt he signed up online (with you knowing at that) in 1994. :smileyhappy:
 
I would send a cease and decist letter. If they place anything on your reports sue them and buy yourself something nice.
New Member
mad38
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎04-24-2007
0

Re: CC Account Responsibility?

Thanks for the support. I've wrote a letter today to the CC Services demanding proof that I had signed the original document in 1994. If they cannot provide this paperwork then I will write the cease and desist letter.
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Tuscani
Posts: 6,182
Registered: ‎03-29-2007
0

Re: CC Account Responsibility?



mad38 wrote:
Thanks for the support. I've wrote a letter today to the CC Services demanding proof that I had signed the original document in 1994. If they cannot provide this paperwork then I will write the cease and desist letter.


Good for you! Keep us updated!

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