Not all persons that obtain credit cards use them responsibly. That is probably why credit card debt in the U.S. accounted for $423.8 billion as of early 2019. According to an article published on Nerdwallet.com, households that carry a balance on these accounts from one month to next have an estimated debt of $6,741. Many times, people purchase goods on credit, and then for whatever reason, they run into financial troubles, and the statements become delinquent.
However, there is another reason why this delinquency may occur as well, death. When a person dies, they can obviously no longer pay their bill. Laws and regulations differ between states, but sometimes, the debt gets passed along to the individual's significant other. Then again, in some cases, the husband or wife is not responsible for paying back the borrowed sum. So, it is a good idea to learn as much as you possibly can about the legislation on the issue where you live. Continue reading to gain some insight into the situation, which will hopefully help you out.
Useful Info About Jointly Owned Accounts
When spouses have jointly owned credit card accounts, they are like cosigners of a loan. In other words, when one person passes away, the debt does not simply disappear. Rather, the surviving spouse is responsible for paying back the credited amount in full. Also, an individual is liable for repaying the debt by law if they allow their spouse to charge on a card that is in their name. Hence, in cases like these, yes, you must pay for the debt in question.
Some Tidbits About Solely Owned Accounts
Most of the time, the deceased spouse is accountable for the entire debt when he or she solely owns the account. The accumulated amount does not vanish into thin air, but the surviving husband or wife is not legally obligated to claim the debt posthumously. They can take on the responsibility voluntarily if they would like. However, not many people want to take this route. They may become harassed by bill collectors over the phone or receive collection notices in the mail, but that is about it, as the credit card companies don't have a legal leg to stand on.
Community Property States Data
The chances are pretty good that if the couple lives in a community property state, the surviving spouse is responsible for the credit card debt after the death of their loved one. Even if one of the individuals has a sole account, these places say that both parties share finances, debt, property, and assets equally. States that have community property laws on the books include...
Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico
California, Nevada, Wisconsin
Arizona, Washington, Idaho, And Alaska
Before persons find themselves in such a position, they should consider obtaining a final expense insurance policy. It is coverage that is designed to pay for death medical expenses and funeral arrangements. While that may not do much for the credit card debt, it can ease your burden for having to come up with thousands of dollars to cover burial or cremation costs in a hurry.
Contact our office to get your final insurance quote today.