My father recently passed away, with no will and very little in assets. After passing away, my mother cashed in their CD's to pay the loans and credit card they had at the bank, with the intention of her being debt free. Afterwards, she discovered he had a loan for almost $10,000 with no kind of insurance that someone else co-signed for him. The payment on this loan is very high, and my mother cannot afford it with her income with her medical and living expenses. The co-signer tells her that if she does not pay it, they are going to take her home and siege her monthly payments from SS and my father's pension. Now, her home was not put up for collateral for this loan. Is she legally responsible for this? She is fearful that if she stops paying it they will take her home or the money she gets from SS and my father's pension, but she is truly unable to afford it, and I am fearful because she is cutting back on her medication to save money. Is bankruptcy her only way out of this?
State/Country relating to question: Louisiana
It's difficult to re-create the situation, but his estate was probably responsible for that debt. Now, if the CD's and everything were jointly owned, they went to your mother without going into his estate, anyway and the same for the house, I assume. But, his estate only was responsible for that loan. That's the chance people take when they co-sign for something. Your mother personally,would not owe that debt.
From the facts I see in your question, your father would have had little in his estate, so that loan would not have been paid anyway. Your mother most certainly has nothing to worry about. She should make an appt with an estate lawyer just for a short conference. It wouldn't cost much and he or she could look at the documents (loan) and decide what would have been available to pay that debt and ease her mind.
I think everything will be fine, except for those people bothering your mother about the debt. Legally, they are now responsible. They would have to take her to court and sue for this amount and they would not win--your mother did not sign for this loan. They are out of luck, I'm sure.
Please have her gather her papers and show them to a lawyer, though. I don't have the luxury of going over the situation in detail.
15+ years experience
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