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Spouse's Credit Cards

Question: If my husband died and he had a lot of credit cards, do I have to pay? I did not even know he had them.

Answer: Only his estate, if he had enough money to open one, is liable. You are not personally liable.

Attempts are often made to put relative’s names on accounts or to collect from relatives. Such efforts are illegal under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Send each creditor a letter stating that the cardholder died and whether there is an estate. State that you do not wish to be contacted. Do not continue using any of his cards. Keep a copy and if possible send the letter by means providing proof of receipt (fax, certified, etc.).

Obtain all 3 of your credit reports and check if his cards appear for any reason. If you are an authorized user but not a cardholder, it may appear until you request removal by letter to the credit bureaus.