Credit Cards

When a person dies he or she stops paying bills. Some or all of those dead people might have and used one or more credit cards to charge purchases to such cards when they were active and subsequently paid the credit card companies in question at some date in the future.

As luck would have it, those future payments have stopped and now interest and penalties are added to the balance due on each credit card. An employee from each credit card company now tries to contact that deceased person and ask for payment. Dead people do not answer the phone and it is quite likely that the phone was disconnected.

After several attempts and having failed to talk directly to that dead person a determination is made to sell that delinquent account to a collection agency for pennies on the dollar or simply assign the collection duty to a particular collection agency.

Naturally, that collection agency expands its attempts to collect that outstanding debt. The neighbors of the deceased person are called and collection notices are sent to the last know address of the deceased person. Each collection agency continues to receive no response from that dead person, in spite of every attempt to contact that now deceased person.

By this time each credit card company has cancelled each credit card account that has a delinquent balance due and that unpaid balance has either been written off or sold to a collection agency. Legally speaking, if a credit card company, bank, collection agency or any other business or person cannot contact a debtor within two years after attempts were made to collect the debt there is nothing more that can be done legally to collect that debt. However, the laws regarding debt collection vary from State to State and that dead person might have to be dead for six or more years in some States before that debt is legally noncollectable.

The truth of the matter is that there is no debtors prison here in the United States of America and the burden of proof is placed upon the collection agency, in regard to if the debtor intended to deliberately steel the items purchased, using a credit card to make those purchases.

Then again, that unpaid debt appears on the credit report of that deceased person as a warning to other loan companies or any person to not advance money to that, so called, “Dead Beat.” After you die you will most likely be remembered by every stranger who loaned money to you and never recovered that loan amount in the past as being a “Dead Beat.”