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Thread: Credit card debt of aging family members -Colorado

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    Default Credit card debt of aging family members -Colorado

    Hello- Here are my questions. My mother-in-law and stepfather-in-law live in Colorado and they are retiree's (old, very feeble and have memory problems). They currently live off of social security. My brother-in-law recently discovered a massive amount of credit card debt of which they cannot remember how cash advances and so much debt had transpired. We do know they are paying 29% interest and that tells me they must have had some late payments overtime. Paying these credit cards is taking up almost all of their income and they barely have enough money for food. The family concerns are how to handle this recently discovered debt. Will the family members or their very meager estate be legally responsible for the debt after their eventual passing? Are their any laws that protect seniors from credit card debts in any way? Any suggestions on how to handle/negotiate the debts with the credit card companies to reduce or eliminate payments? We need to help get them out of this mess but we are not sure how or where things stand legally/laws. Help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by newmomtobe View Post
    Hello- Here are my questions. My mother-in-law and stepfather-in-law live in Colorado and they are retiree's (old, very feeble and have memory problems). They currently live off of social security. My brother-in-law recently discovered a massive amount of credit card debt of which they cannot remember how cash advances and so much debt had transpired. We do know they are paying 29% interest and that tells me they must have had some late payments overtime. Paying these credit cards is taking up almost all of their income and they barely have enough money for food. The family concerns are how to handle this recently discovered debt. Will the family members or their very meager estate be legally responsible for the debt after their eventual passing? Are their any laws that protect seniors from credit card debts in any way? Any suggestions on how to handle/negotiate the debts with the credit card companies to reduce or eliminate payments? We need to help get them out of this mess but we are not sure how or where things stand legally/laws. Help.
    First off, your wife (& other children) would not be responsible for the parents debts after death as long as they did not sign anything that they would be responsible for any
    of them. The creditors can make a claim against the estate at death - what they get (if anything) depends on the estate assets.

    There are various options they can consider currently to get help with the debt. They
    can talk to a debt consolidation agcy. - they can help reduce the debt. However, there are bad ones out there - you need to check with the BBB first before using one.
    They could consider bankruptcy. They would need to talk to a bankruptcy attorney to
    see if that would be best - might not at their age. They can also try & talk to the credit
    card companies to see about a reduction in amt. of debt or interest. If the companies
    are willing to do this, they need to get the information in writing from the companies.

    If they don't pay their bills, eventually the credit card companies might take them to
    court & get judgments against them. What the creditors can take from them
    depends on state law. Generally retirement income is exempt from seizure by general
    creditors (ie cc cos.). If they don't have much, there will not be much the creditors
    can take.

    Since we don't have complete details re amt. owed & their income/assets, etc., it might
    be best to talk to an attorney & see what is best to do at their advanced ages.

    PS - I just realized I said your wife (& other children) - I should have said spouse -- going by your "posting"
    name, it seems like it might be your husband's parents.
    Last edited by Betty3; 08-30-2011 at 05:07 PM. Reason: add PS
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