About thirteen years ago, my Dad was living with us after my Mom passed away. He added me to his Citicard as an authorized user.
I have used this card ever since and owe over $30K due to medical issues and too many other unfortunate issues down through the years.
I have never been able to talk with anyone regarding this account unless my Dad was there to tell them it was okay to for them to talk with me.
My Dad passed away towards the end of 2011 and, until just recently, I never thought about telling Citicards that he died. I was so used to using the card, it just never dawned on me to do it until my son was surprised that I was still using it.
I am the one who has been making the payments down through the years. The payments have been between $800-$900 a month and it certainly would have been easier on me the last year and few months to not be making these payments. Of course, about half of that was interest each month!
My question is: What am I liable for on this account? How should I handle the fact I didn’t think to tell them the account owner died.
This was not an intentional thing…. just didn’t dawn on me at all! I never signed anything with Citicards, am just a card user.
I’ve read I’m not responsible for the debt, only the account owner is. What would your best advice be for me?
I am to the point where I’m unable to make those payments. I’m 70 and my husband is 76. He is not a card user so his name is not associated with this at all. Is it possible I would be liable for what I’ve charged since my Dad’s death and not prior to his death?
Or would I not be responsible for any of it? I have read that they could charge me with fraud, but not sure that would be so since I am a card user. Thanks for any help you can provide as soon as possible.
I have seen situations where people in similar situations have been held responsible for charges incurred after the death of the cardholder. Your son’s concerns are not unfounded.
I’m sure your intention was not to do anything that landed you in hot water, but this situation could now be passed the point of an innocent mistake.
While you never signed anything, you also continued to knowingly use the card of a deceased account holder. That’s the bigger problem here.
Do you owe any other debt as well? It might be worth addressing a larger situation if it exists and include this as part of a bankruptcy to end all of your liability.
Otherwise, I would urge you to consult with a local attorney to discuss your potential exposure on this before you do anything.
Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.