Am I responsible for a credit card debt from my father if I was an authorized user?

UPDATED: Jan 10, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jan 10, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Am I responsible for a credit card debt from my father if I was an authorized user?

My dad just passed away and left one credit card not protected. It has a $14,000 balance. The credit card company is telling me that I am responsible for the debt, even though I have not used this card in 15-20 years.I just used it for a while when I was young. According to the credit card company I did not sign the orginal credit card agreement. What are my options here? I cannot afford to pay this.

Asked on January 10, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Do not be bullied by the credit card company.  Unless you signed the agreement for the card you do not have an obligation to pay the balance.  Even if you were an authorized user and did in fact use the card, you do no have an obligation to pay it off.  If the credit card company told you that you did not sign the original agreement then you are off the hook.  But I would write to them and ask then to "validate the debt" for you, which includes sending you a copy of the original agreement, a copy of the purchases made and proof of their right to collect the debt.  They should leave you alone after that.  Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption