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Mom is 81 and has been purchasing from QVC and HSN for years. She has an incredible, long-term shopping addiction. The home she was living in was a hoarders paradise filled from top to bottom with goodies purchased over time from her 'friends' at QVC and HSN. The place is very decrepit from years of no maintenance. Two years ago it became uninhabitable and she moved-in with my sister. We had a company empty out the building which remains a vacant blight. The scavengers have broken in and stripped all the scrap-able metal from it.

Mom is on SSI and has no obvious dementia, a heart condition and still patronizes QVC and HSN on a regular basis, paying only the minimum on her accounts. She owes thousands.

Of her assets, she has only enough insurance to bury her and the blighted, uninhabitable house in a blighted community. Selling it is out of the question. On Mom's behalf I tried giving it to the 'We Buy Ugly Houses' company with no success.

When Mom dies, what is the next step for us, her family? Her house and all her credit cards are in her name only. My sister has power of attorney. Will QVC and HSN pressure the family to pay off her balances since there are no resources in the estate? Should we procure the services of an attorney to deal with them? Or do we just ignore them?

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Jinx - I agree with you. In 2013 my 73 year old father had $2100/month SS income & $21,000+ in CC debt. AND he had filed for bankruptcy in 2006! There was NO WAY ANYONE should have given that man credit!!!

I notified all his creditors by registered mail that he was unable to pay the debt & they were to stop contacting him. When Discover & Capitol One tried to sue him I contacted Legal Aid & they went to court for him. The lawsuits were dismissed.

Of course I handle all the money now.
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Talk with a lawyer about the best way to handle this. No one should make payments on the cards other than your mother or her estate. That will only encourage the d/c. Just keep telling them that the debts are hers, and there is no money to pay, so they are wasting their time bothering you.

It's criminal that people who obviously can't afford it are allowed to rack up so much debt. The stupid credit card companies deserve to get stuck with the cost, if they insist on giving credit so irresponsibly.
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Can you block the channels on the TV? Where is she living now? This may slow the shopping down. And I agree,, cut off the credit and tell her, say they are wanting full payment now and she can't buy any more until it's paid. If stuff still comes to the house, mark it return to sender and back it goes. Just some ideas?
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I'm sure QVC and HSN will hassle family members, but when you receive the first written debt collection notice, follow the guidelines of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. It requires written response w/I 30 days; in your situation, you would state that the debt is not a valid one for you and will not be paid. That assertion requires the debt collector to stop contacting you for payment, but that doesn't mean the d/c will actually do that. Some of them just ignore the statute.

Then you report them to the state attorney general.

I would suggest also that your sister who's proxy under a POA cancel the cards and stop the financial hemorrhaging now.
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To answer the question simply, no, the executor nor any living family are not responsible personally for her debts. The debts must be repaid out of her estate, if her estate is not large enough to cover them then some of her creditors will be out of luck.
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All her credit cards? Why hasn't someone called the banks and cancel all those cards? Then take the cards and cut them up. Yes, I know, Mom won't be a happy camper.

Do what Pam had suggested above to gather cash to pay the bills... but please note the collection agencies will hound your Mom, your sister, you, and anyone else they can find who is related to your Mom. It is so easy to get that information off of the internet.

As for the house, the value now is only in the land. See if a Realtor will sell the house "as is, value in the land' and see what happens. No insurance company will insured the house being vacant that long.

Otherwise, contact the city and see how much is the property tax on the property. Ask them how should your Mom proceed in giving up the house. Your Mom might be able to easily walk away from the house, property taxes not being paid, then the property will be taken by the City and auctioned off.
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So does that mean that after the 12 months, if there are no assets from the estate that the Executor is responsible for the deceased's unpaid balances?
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When she dies, the Executor (not the POA) named in the estate has to gather all assets, including the house, car and items she bought on QVC/HSN. These all have value. The Executor also waits for all bills to come in, and notifies creditors of the death. In PA, the waiting period is 12 months. So there are NO distributions for 12 months, just bill paying and selling off assets as needed to pay bills.
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