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Cooperlola - ongoing matters


cooperlola2
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A year ago today, Cooperlola & I were in La Rochelle, in the middle of our short break in the Vendee, while builders knocked 7 bells out of our kitchen. We dined a couple of times with a Forumite and his lady, too. Yes, the kitchen/sejour are the better for the work they did in our absence!

I am close to finishing off the legal side of things here in France - I see the Notaire next week to sign up and pay up. However, I am being hassled by a UK credit card company, since there is a substantial outstanding amount. This was being serviced by a Direct Debit, and those payments are ongoing, so there is in no way a default on the account. Had I not told them of Deb's demise, they would be happily receiving their due in ignorance. Now they are looking for me to give full financial details of everything in Deb's 'estate'. Since we had signed 'donations' on arrival in 2004, everything is mine, debts and all. There is therefore no lump sum waiting to be paid out, of course.

Does anyone have any (realistic!) advice on how I should deal with these people?

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I am asking this question with trepidation and I hope that I am able to choose my words sensitively.

What is that that you want to achieve, to repay the debt but gradually via the direct debits or to be rid of it?

If you are only paying the minimum payments it could take many many years during which time you will pay far more in interest, that is what they rely on and want from a customer, I suspect that knowing of Deb's demise they may not actually have the right to continue taking the money.

My sister was in a similar situation after my nephews death, the bank and credit card companies invited her, rather forcefully perhaps but not a demand, to settle his debts if there was an estate but she was in fact under no obligation, she chose not to and without discussing the details I was dissapointed in her choice.

Surprising as it may seem stopping the payments may well force the issue and give you what you wish.

Good to hear from you again.

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I am not about dodging the debt. My mind doesn't work like that. Over the last few years, we had been under the false impression there would be moneys to come from the insurers after Deb's acident, so spending was not constrained. Since the cancer was diagnosed, I was hardly going to suggest she spend less, as it clearly added something to her life to buy things she wanted.

I am expecting to pay up, and yes, that implies a long and expensive process. I have already indicated in writing a willingness to pay off additional amounts if the opportunity arises. The questioonaire I have been sent asks for £ valuations on virtually everything except the house. They then expect me to sign as executor. My belief is that the donations option we signed is in lieu of an executor role. The Notaire has had to undertake a full valuation of the joint estate and found it to be well below any threshold for payment of taxes. We wouldn't have debts if we were rich, would we?!

Anyway, I think I'd better call the CC Co and see what they think they're after. My suspicion is they don't know what to do, have sent me a standard form to fill in and no-one is actually "on my case"!

Update! Crumbs and crikey! (A family forum, after all!) Rang the CC Co and nice man says fill in the form, and if the vlue is nil etc then say so. They do not expect to recover the debt from me, only Deb's estate - and I can stop making the existing payments. This is surreal. The cynic in me will believe it when I get it in writing, but the chap was so sure of his script that I'm almost inclined to do so!

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Thats pretty much what happened in my sisters case although she neglected to tell them of the value of the estate but thats irrelevant.

I am pleased to hear the good news Ian, what they are saying is correct I believe according to the law, I appreciate your wanting to settle the debt as and when you would be able but this is far better than having a possibly increasing debt hanging over you for years.

 

 

 

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Typically astute, merci, RH! Being me, I had mentioned that I also have a card with the same company (Deb had shopped around some years back, so we both signed up - and interest rates have indeed remained competitive) and he simply repeated that they do not seek to come after me (his term), only the estate of the deceased.

I should be here more often, I know, but feel somehow in Deb's shadow, as she made herself so wise on Forum matters, while I generaly just ask basic questions!

I am always aware of the pleasure this Forum's virtual company provided for Deb. In that, I am in your debt, actually.

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I have to say that, when I lost my mum some years ago, I was pleasantly surprised and heartened by the understanding and help given by the majority of the UK institutions, financial and otherwise, with whom I had to deal. Some were complete barstewards, but they were a definite minority.

So, in one case you have discovered this to your advantage, which is good news. It's surprising, but on the whole they do appear to be sensitive to the fact that they're approaching people who have suffered a terrific loss.

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[quote user="cooperlola2"]

Typically astute, merci, RH! Being me, I had mentioned that I also have a card with the same company (Deb had shopped around some years back, so we both signed up - and interest rates have indeed remained competitive) and he simply repeated that they do not seek to come after me (his term), only the estate of the deceased.

I should be here more often, I know, but feel somehow in Deb's shadow, as she made herself so wise on Forum matters, while I generaly just ask basic questions!

I am always aware of the pleasure this Forum's virtual company provided for Deb. In that, I am in your debt, actually.

[/quote]

You should never feel unable to come here and ask basic questions. The ebb and flow of information and opinion is what makes the place active. I try to answer when I can, but I have often benefited from valuable advice.

We need questions as well as answers ...

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This is from the Citizens Advice Bureau web site. You can call them. And there is similar info on the Money Saving Expert and something advertised on UK tv called Ma? I'll have to get catch the web address next time the add is on.

Who's responsible for paying a debt after someone dies

If your husband, wife or civil partner dies, you will not be

automatically responsible for paying back any money they borrowed. You

will only be responsible if you both signed a credit agreement, or if

you acted as their guarantor.

Lenders can try to recover any money owed from the estate of the

person who has died. The estate is anything of value the person owned,

such as savings, investments and property. If there's not enough money

in the estate to pay the debt, the lender can't recover the money from

you.

If you've repaid money borrowed under a credit agreement out of your

own money because you thought you were responsible for it, you should

write to the lender asking for the money back. If they don't agree to

refund the money, you can make a complaint.

Check whether the debt is covered by an insurance policy which will pay it off if the person who has taken out the credit dies.

For more information about guarantors, see How to dispute a debt.

For more information about making a complaint to a lender, see What can you do if you don't think you should pay back a debt.

You may need help to complain to a lender who is chasing you for

money you don't owe. You can get help to do this from your local

Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB,

including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

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Like everyone else on the forum, I'm hoping this works out well for you.

I was speaking about Deb's 'Itchy Feet Tour' two days ago to a friend. We all had such a lovely day gathered together because of Deb near Bergerac - it seems a long time ago, and yet so close.

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There are 2 common misunderstandings about UK debts when someone dies.

One is that the debt dies with you. Not so, unless you have left nothing. (If you have left more debts than assets, each creditor is entitled to a proportion of his debt, pro rata, although some - such as mortgagees - have a prior claim.)

The other is that a spouse is responsible for the deceased's debts. Again, not so, but look carefully at the terms of any joint arrangements as the liability often does then pass to the survivor.

Also check for any insurance arrangements which might automatically pay off the debt. Many credit agreements include these, although the insurer might wriggle out of them if there was a failure to disclose pre-existing medical conditions.
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Hi Ian, good to hear from you.

I think RH's concerns are perhaps a bit misplaced.

Credit records are individual so defaults by an individual should not

affect anyone else but in any case if you have habitually lived outside

of the UK for as long as I believe

you and Deb have (over 3 years will do it) then in effect you no longer have a usable UK credit

record anyway. Basically most lenders require details of your residence over the past 3 years and if that has not been in UK then that's pretty well the end of it.

Credit card debts are unsecured loans which would normally be settled out of the estate of a deceased debtor but if there is no estate or assets then it is written off, they cannot pursue a 3rd party even if that person were a second card holder on the A/C.

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Thanks again, everyone, for positive input as usual. What I had failed to spot was that the CC Co had, a couple of months ago, cancelled the Direct Debit on this account. Deb had also set up a Standing Order, which I have now stopped. So the CC Co had already written the debt off.

Deb had a Kindle (there wasn't much technology she hadn't dabbled in!) and I've manged to de-register this, and passed it to a friend. What impressed me here was the relative ease of cancelling Deb's Amazon account, to which there had been regular payments for a couple of periodicals online for the Kindle. I had to send a copy of the death cert - required by the Data Protection Act, I believe, and entirely reasonable - and within 24 hrs received a confirmation that the account had been closed.

I am seeing the Notaire ||Thursday to sign up and pay up. I hope that will be painless - I know the amount, at least.

Oh, Deb's voice is still on the answerphone. No wish to erase that just yet!

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