Unpaid debt of parent, can the credit card co. go after children for payment of debt?

UPDATED: May 13, 2009

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Unpaid debt of parent, can the credit card co. go after children for payment of debt?

Mother in law had stroke now is living in assisted living facility unable to pay her credit card bills. Credit card co. telling her if she doesn’t pay they will go after her children for the payment. She has no assets.

Asked on May 13, 2009 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington


N. K., Member, Iowa and Illinois Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Unless her children signed a written agreement with the credit card company to assume responsibility for the credit card bills, or the children are co-signors on the credit agreement, they cannot be pursued by the credit card company for payment.

It appears that the company is harassing your mother-in-law because it knows that she has no assets. So it is trying to collect any way it can. But threatening to take actions that the company is not legally authorized to do is wrong and illegal.

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