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Can credit card companies sue an estate of someone who has died to collect outstanding balances?

My father in-law has incurable cancer, and outstanding credit card debt of about $55K. Can the credit card companies sue his estate or children to collect the outstanding balances on his accounts once he passes away?

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10 Responses to “Can credit card companies sue an estate of someone who has died to collect outstanding balances?”

  1. sporregar said :

    They’ll go after the estate. As will all his other creditors. If there’s any money left, then it will be split up per the will.

  2. wartz said :

    All creditors have the right to file a claim in the probate of a deceased person. They can not sue the family unless the debtor has transferred property to them for the purpose of cheating creditors. It may seem cold, but if he has significant assets now is the time to speak to an attorney about estate planning before it is too late.

  3. mysticalviking said :

    Creditors usually can collect from the estate of the deceased, I was a beneficiary to a will (Wisconsin), and all the bills and outstanding balances had to be paid before any of us were given anything.
    When my M-I-L passed away last year, my F-I-L, said that there could be no “disposal” of her assets for forty-five days(Arizona). Check the laws in your area.
    I am sorry for your family’s loss.

  4. Dianne m said :

    I just settled an estate w/ $50 G in debt, mostly credit cards and yes it is the legal right of creditors to sue the estate and I was fortunate to bargain with some of the debtors to settle for less, before the court ordered full payment. Maybe you can do something to settle with them before the court order. Good luck.

  5. Toodeemo said :

    Yes. Though most do not. Provide a death certificiate to each of the credit card companies when the time comes. Most credit card agreements have a successors and assignees clause that binds the estate and/or children etc to pay. I worked for a collection law firm that handled most of the big major credit card companies. Usually a death cert. will end the matter.

  6. Bob said :

    Most state laws require that a will make provision for the payment of lawful debts, or it is not valid.

    Giving away your assets so that you have no means to pay the debts is called “fraudulent transfer” if you are dieing or not. Creditors can then sue the current holders up to the value of the assets transferred.

  7. Ask M said :

    The Lawyer of the Estate or the Executor, can ask for validation to make sure the debts are not past any Statute
    of Limitations. ANYONE your Father-In-Law can file claims
    for up to one year. They can not go after the children, it was HIS debt.

    make them validate the debt first

    creditinfocenter com

  8. Nicki W said :

    They can and will attach to the estate for the full balance. If there are liquid assets now, a debt settlement company should be able to get you out for less than 1/2. When they go after the estate with ease, they will get paid in full. Check out the free evaluation form at They have references who saved more than 60% on large credit card balances. Good luck.

  9. Kat G said :

    If there is enough money in his estate his debt should be cleared and then the rest can go to who he willed it to. If the estate has enough to clear or pay a portion of the credit card bills they can and will get there money.

  10. Raul21 said :

    They can go for the estate , not the children unless they are co owners of the credit card.


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