Do heirs have to pay credit card debts?

Dear Liza: My mother recently died, leaving a $25,000 credit card debt.  There isn’t enough money in her estate to pay that bill.  What should I do? You are not personally responsible for that debt. Credit card debt is unsecured debt–unlike, say, a house or a car loan, that is secured by the value of the underlying asset (the house or the car).  A creditor can go after the assets in your mother’s estate to try and collect on that debt, but they can’t come after you personally. Sadly, many unscrupulous collection agencies ‘forget’ to tell heirs that, implying that they are on the hook for the money. You should notify the credit card company that your mother had died and that she didn’t leave enough money to pay the debt. Many card companies will settle for pennies on the dollar (because, really, they know that only the estate is liable, not you.) Good luck.