Who is responsible for Credit Card Debt when husband passes away? 3 Answers as of May 27, 2011

My husband passed away March 2011 and had one credit card (we live in California). I was never on his credit card, not even as an authorized user, but a collection agency called me today 05/26 and offered me a settlement. They said I had until the end of this month 05/31 to make a decision, otherwise, the bank will decide what will happen. Can someone please advice me if I am responsible for his debt? (We do own a home and only one car). Thank you!!

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Komanapalli Massey LLP
Komanapalli Massey LLP | Mark A. Massey, Esq.
If your husband acquired that card before your marriage, then you are not responsible. If he acquired it during your marriage, then you might be responsible, depending on what the card company knew at the time the card issued. However,credit cards are unsecured debt, meaning the worst thing that can happen to you even if you are responsible but do not pay is a "charge-off" on your credit record. If you have stellar credit that you wish to protect, then get nasty with them and make threats about suing them.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/27/2011
The Schreiber Law Firm
The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
Assuming you have been married during the time you acquired the house and the car, one half of these are part of his estate and creditors of the estate are entitled to be paid to the extent there are estate assets to pay them. You are not personally responsible for his debts, but you are in control of his estate and are obligated to pay creditors from his one half.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/27/2011
Meyer & Yee, LLP
Meyer & Yee, LLP | Kent W. Meyer
If it was a separate property debt- which it sounds like it is his estate is liable not you personally.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/27/2011
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