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using moms credit card

Discussion in 'Other Debt, Collection, Garnishment' started by dubber7, Nov 30, 2010.

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  1. dubber7

    dubber7 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am 26 years old. I have had one of my mothers credit cards in my possession for several years probably since 2004. She told me I was authorized to use it and I did over time. I paid for things like tires and car repairs. These things have since been paid off by me. I have always paid my bills on time and paid them off. In 2009 I bought a washer and dryer and I made two payments over time in order to pay them off. My mother passed away recently and I have $5,000.00 owed on the credit card. I do plan to pay them off and have been making timely payments and way over the minimum balance anywhere from 250 to 500 or more a month. Depending on the situation that month. I will have this card paid off hopefully within the next six months. I have called the card company previously and they said they usually dont care who uses the card as long as its paid for. I NO LONGER have been using the card since the few purchases after her death and have cut it up. I dont know for sure if I am an authorized user or if my mom just allowed me to use it by word of mouth. Ive never been in any kind of trouble before and I actually work for a law firm but dont want to get anyone here involved really unless I have too. Can someone tell me if Im looking at getting in trouble for this or if its gonna be okay as long as its paid for?
     
  2. bluemann33

    bluemann33 New Member

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    You will be fine. Good thing that you cut the card up and are no longer using it as that could have caused some problems possibly down the road. Pay for the items on time and be done with it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
  3. dubber7

    dubber7 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for the input and I hope you are right. Its got me nervous and it was a stupid mistake after her death.
     
  4. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    Unless the police have gotten involved, you should have nothing to fear. So long as the creditors are happy, you should be clear.
     
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    First of all, my condolences on the loss of your beloved mother.
    May her soul rest in eternal peace.

    Now, back to earthly matters.
    The unfortunate and untimely demise of your mother, also laid to rest forever more, her debts!
    You are under no legal obligation to pay the debt that was legally in your mother's name.
    Authorized user or not (as far as the credit card company is concerned), the debt was mom's and mom's alone.

    On the bright side (for you, if there is one), you do not have to pay another dime to the credit card thieves.
    they took the risk (a risk which living debtors pay), and they are now stuck with the liability.
    The debt was unsecured.
    The debt, whether it was $500, $5,000, or $50,000 died the minute your dera mother died.

    You need not agree to repaying the credit card scammers anything.
    They can not legally collect on the debt.
    They'd have to send a collector to Heaven to pester your mother.
    As debt collectors are bound for hell (for serving Satan), they wouldn't be allowed to enter the Kingdom of Heaven to annoy mom.

    Bottom line, ignore the credit card shysters.
    They can't legally collect a dime from you!
    I'm surprised the lawyer's at your firm haven't told you this!
    Anyway, condolences on mom's passing, and you are now debt free (insofar as this particular card is concerned)!!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
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  6. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    Uh ... Judge? She may not want to make the creditor angry, because if they go back and find that she forged mom's signature to any of these purchases, a case for fraud, forgery, or some other larceny (per whatever state law might be appropriate) could be made.

    But, if she wants to force their hand, she can go ahead and try. My suggestion is she just pay it off and avoid any hassles.
     
  7. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You use the term, FORGE.
    That, my friend is a legal conclusion.
    Some may feel that the OP has a moral obligation to pay the debt.
    It doesn't matter.
    There is no legal obligation to pay this debt.
    The OP indicated that he/she used the card, but even if that is true, it was done with the now deceased cardholder's approval (explicit or implied).
    The OP doesn't legally owe anything.
    The debt was exinguished upon his/her mother's untimely demise.
     
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  8. bluemann33

    bluemann33 New Member

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    Army, the op says she used the card after her mothers death. Could that be cause for concern or could she just say she was authorized user?
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  9. dubber7

    dubber7 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks so much for all the input it has been very helpful. Im an honest person. These purchases were mine. I have no problem paying them off. Im not trying to get out of paying at all. I did not forge anything. I was under the impression I was an authorized user as my mom told me. Now I dont know if that was just by word of mouth or she put me on the account but at any rate I have had no issues using the card and have been using the card since 2004 with no problem and no one has ever questioned it and they are not questioning it now. I made some purchases after death and these are the purchases Im worried about. The creditor has not been informed of her death so that card was open. Like I said I make a monthly payment on this well above minimum and I dont think they really care as long as it gets paid. I just wasnt sure if this was an issue or not. I no longer use the card and have cut it up so no more purchases will be made AT ALL. My main goal is just paying it off within the next six months if possible. I was just wondering if using the card after death was an issue I was going to get in trouble for. I did speak to an attorney in my office yesterday and they told me not to worry about it as long as its paid its probably gonna be fine the credit card companies have bigger fish to fry than worrying about someone who is actually paying a debt.
     
  10. bluemann33

    bluemann33 New Member

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    Oh yea, you were fine when she was alive because she gave you permission. It is the after death purchase that COULD HAVE been the problem. Could have is the key words. You are fine with nothing to worry about. Sorry to hear about your mother and hope all goes well for you.
     
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  11. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    Yes, allegations of criminal conduct can be made. I suppose it varies by state, but in my state you could be charged with a crime for using the card after the demise of the account holder, and even if you used it without the permission of the cardholder ... something that can not likely be established with her passing.

    Whose name did you sign each time you used the card? Is the card in YOUR name, or her name? When used did you sign YOUR name or her name? Signing her name with her permission would not necessarily be criminal (when she was alive and she gave permission), but doing so AFTER she had passed? Yes, that could be criminal.
     
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  12. dubber7

    dubber7 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    i never signed my name the name on the card was hers and thats always what I signed....always always always...with her permission. I was under the impression I was a authorized user from the company not just by word of mouth from my mom but it doesnt show up on my credit report which I just got a copy of a few days ago and looked at it..so Im not sure Im an auhtorized user other than just by her saying so. I think as long as its paid for im gonna be fine as do the attorneys I work for. I know what I did wasnt smart but again I did it out of habit and thinking I was authorized not trying to be sketchy or break the law by any means..if I wanted to do that I wouldnt pay a dime but thats not what im going for. I want to pay it off as they were clearly my purchases and I take responsibility for them I just dont want to get in trouble this is why ive cut the card up and am no longer using it for any purchases...
     
  13. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    She/he would be best served to say nothing!
     
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  14. dubber7

    dubber7 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I don't plan to say anything cause they haven't asked I just plan to pay it off quick as I can
     
  15. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    Probably the best plan.

    They want their money ... they aren't interested in pursuing a criminal case if they have one, they just want the account to be paid off.
     
  16. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    I agree with Army... this debt is done for. The OP has no obligation to pay a dime.

    As for authorized user, the verbal permission is sufficient, however mom is no longer around to verify that she ever gave permission... but nobody could prove that she didn't give it either.

    The clerks at the stores where the card was used had a responsibility to check photo ID every single time, but we all know that nobody actually does that. The OP will never have any trouble with this debt.

    Sure, the honest, moral thing to do is pay it off... but if it isn't paid off, it will never come back to haunt the OP.
     
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  17. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    Ya know, I have to disagree with those who say that the OP will NOT have a problem with this sort of thing. I have worked a number of cases with somewhat similar circumstances that WERE prosecuted. Granted, it will not be a cut and dry issue and depends a lot on the elements of the laws in the OP's state, but I think it is dangerous to advise her that nothing can happen to her. Yes, it can! Been there, done that, have two cases on my desk in front of me as I type this where the circumstances are similar (minus the deceased mother, though).

    While it might not be likely, and it likely requires some additional elements be articulated, signing mom's name to credit card receipts in mom's name - especially after her death - CAN be charged as a crime! Whether the elements can be shown or not is something that none of us here can possibly answer.

    That being said, I still say it is unlikely that she would ever be prosecuted, but paying off the debt is probably the best bet. And if she already entered into a verbal agreement to pay the debt that she accrued, an argument can possibly be made that she is now responsible for that portion of the debt.
     

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