If a Spouse Dies, Am I Responsible for Their Debt?

There are so many emotional challenges involved with losing a spouse. It is tough enough to get over that heartbreak, but the addition of financial problems only makes things more difficult. There are a number of cases where spouses pass away and their partners must deal with the debt they incurred while alive.
There are a number of states, such as Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas and Washington, where community property laws mean that husbands and wives are responsible for paying each other’s debts. This also pertains to debts left behind when one spouse passes away. If your spouse passed away before being able to deal with their financial issues, it may be a good idea to hire an executor to deal with their property and debts.

Debt and Consolidation:
If you live in a state where community property laws are in effect, there is almost no way to get out of debt that belonged to your spouse. Even if their name is listed on the bills and collection documents. When the debt levels are extremely high from a number of sources, it is best to think about the option of debt consolidation.
Debt consolidation offers you the chance to group all of these loans and debts into one large pile. While it does not reduce the monetary concerns, it makes the loan a lot easier to manage. Instead of juggling ten different payments each month, you only have to take care of one payment. In addition, many debt collection agencies have the ability to help you get a lower interest rate and relaxed late fees with this consolidation.

Debt Settlement:
Consolidating your debt is not the same as settling it. If you go through debt consolidation, you are still liable for the entire amount that is owed. You are simply restructuring the loan and combining all your debts to make things simpler. For some people, this is a valid option. However, others may want to consider debt settlement.
In the settlement process, you and the creditor engage in a discussion about how to repay the money. This often means you have to pay the amount in full, but it also results in the creditor lowering the overall amount. After all, they are happy to get some money instead of no money.

Debt collection is not a simple process and you should always have an attorney advising you about entering into such deals. the attorneys of SM Law Group have years of experience getting their clients the results they deserve. Call today for a free consultation.

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