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Will my deceased parents’ debt affect my credit rating?

There is much that you have to deal with after the death of a parent, from the funeral arrangements to sorting out personal items. This should be a time for you to reflect on the life of your loved one and to cherish those memories – not to have to worry about expenses resulting from the outstanding debt of a deceased family member. Unfortunately, many Eugene residents might believe that they are responsible for repaying debt after their parents have died. If your parents still owed money on a mortgage, credit cards or other debt, will it negatively impact your credit if you do not pay it off?

Children and other family members are not responsible for the debt of a late relative, affirms NerdWallet. Unless you co-signed on a parent’s loan, you have no legal responsibility to pay these debts out of your own pocket. Debts are paid with the assets that come from your parents’ estate after their death.

However, debt collectors will often attempt to make you feel obligated to repay any outstanding debt owed by your parents. They may lead you to believe that you can be taken to collections, that your credit report will be damaged and that your wages can be garnished. Fortunately for you, these claims are false. You may be able to stop creditor harassment by sending collectors a written notice requesting them to cease contacting you, or to report the harassment to the Federal Trade Commission.

It may give you peace of mind to know that your relative’s outstanding debt will not come back to haunt you in the form of bad credit and other horror stories that collection agencies will try to get you to believe. The content in this blog, however, should not be substituted for legal advice.

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