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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 118648
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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My father told me and my sister that we had signature authority

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My father told me and my sister that we had signature authority on his credit cards since our credit wasn't that great. After his death we didn't close the cards, and in emergency situations we used them but paid timely. Recently I received a letter informing me/us that his death had been reported and that we/I can apply and continue to pay the debt if I qualified. I know that I don't qualify. The letter stated that they would be closing the account, and that we/I was not required to pay. However, if I don't pay what will happen, although, I am willing to continue to make payments even if closed.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Continuing to use the credit card of a deceased individual is legally considered to be credit card fraud, even if the deceased individual gave you permission to us prior to death. If you do not pay on the card and pay off the balance the credit card company can pursue the estate for the balance due and can also file credit card fraud charges against the users.

You need to get a local attorney involved in this, because anything you tell them at this point can be used against you for a criminal case against you even though you are making payments and you want the attorney to speak on your behalf to them so nothing the attorney says would be used against you and they can resolve the case with an agreement from the company not to pursue any criminal charges and will get that from the company in writing.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What happens if I don't respond to the letter, should I wait to find what the companies offer me. The letter gives me the opportunity to apply and assume the debt. Will they continue to bill until the debt is paid. Also I don't have money for an attorney at this time

Thank you for your response.

If you do not respond, then you could find they will 1) sue the estate and 2) go to the DA about criminal charges. You have to deal with this on some level and because you used the card after his death you need to do what you can to pay it off or assume it or use an attorney to negotiate with the company to not pursue criminal charges.
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