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I called the company where my mom has a credit card (mom is 95 years old, just enrolled in Medicaid, in a nursing home, now all her income goes to the nursing home and she has hospice care on top of that) - so I called to tell the credit card company to freeze her card and not to expect any more payments. The customer support person said I would have to send them a copy of my Power of Attorney documentation before they could even talk with me about her account. Fair enough. But then in addition to that, he said he would need my address, Social Security number and date of birth. I said I was not interested in becoming a co-signer to the account, I was just wanting to tell them of the situation and that they should freeze the card. He said that this info would not make me a co-signer or liable for her debt but it would just make me registered with them that I have power of attorney and that I could make changes to her account like change address or change her phone number. But I am really, really suspicious of giving them any info about me that could be misused. I figure after a few missed payments go by they will freeze her card anyway. Once they start sending letters I will send one back just stating her situation, but the letter certainly will not have my Social Security number or date of birth on it. Am I right in thinking it is a trap that they are asking my personal information and I am wise not to give them it?

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Why did you even bother? In the end it doesn't matter whether you tell them or not. All that matters is whether it gets paid or not.
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Reply to needtowashhair
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Exactly, talkey! What do they think they're going to do - scare you into paying for a credit card that isn't yours, based on the fact that not paying will ruin a deceased person's credit? Honestly, I think that's exactly what they're trying to do, hoping you'll be ignorant of the laws concerning that and fall for it. Unfortunately, some people would be so grief-stricken that they probably would. :-(
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Reply to AnonymousMember
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My mother couldn't say "no" to a caller offering a credit card. It came in the mail a week after she passed unexpectedly. I called them. They said, "We can't talk to you & need copy of her death certificate & court docs showing me as executor." I said, "I don't need you to talk to me. This is a courtesy call. Cancel the card or don't. Doesn't matter to me."
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Reply to talkey
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Burnout,
You're a smart cookie! There's fraud 'round every corner.

She owned the card(s), it's her debt. You have no legal responsibility to pay her debts.

My mom is 95 stage 6 Alzheimer's. A few years back, I called her bank and told them to cancel her credit card as she has dementia and wouldn't be using it anyway. She had a couple of very nosey neighbors at the senior apartments and I was scared they'd get ahold of it and have a free-for-all. The bank wouldn't cancel it. I explained, they still said no. I told them I was her POA, nope.

It took me sending a letter and saying that, whatever happened to her credit spending, the bank would be responsible for, since she is mentally incapacitated, is when they finally agreed to close her account! They knew they wouldn't get payments from me. Smart move on your part.

And my husband wonders why I don't trust anybody.
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Reply to SueC1957
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I have never been asked for that information and I'm talking with like seven different creditors and collections.
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Reply to aj6044
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Good answers, thanks, everyone. I think then the credit card companies can huff and puff all they want. I did not verbally or in writing agree to be a co-signer to her credit cards (mom is the sole "owner" of the debt). I did not and will not give anyone my personal info that they might misuse. I see credit card companies will resort to tricks (surprise, surprise). I wonder if they got my S.S. number and D.O.B. and other info, then they would claim I had voluntarily made myself a co-signer and it would be my word against them in court? I imagine something like that could have happened. I think I dodged a bullet. Thanks!
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Reply to Burnout1234
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I think someone on this forum said to never contact a creditor for parents. You personally should not send a letter with your address on it.
Just send the bills back, with "person no longer at this address". They may do a freeze on their own and after a couple more attempts, send her a collections letter. When you get that letter, take it to the lawyer and let him handle it from there.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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They may also make claims that you are responsible for the unpaid debt and veiled threats that your credit rating will somehow be affected. Don't believe them. You are not responsible for one penny of the debt.
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Reply to AlfredR
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I agree with others here - don't do it. They are trying to do a CYA move to cover themselves when she passes away so they can collect from you.

These companies are SNEAKY when it comes to this stuff. Immediately after my mother passed away (2 weeks later), I got a phone call and letters in the mail from a company claiming to "help bereaved consumers settle their loved one's estate". Right - "settle" - what they wanted was to put me on the hook for Mom's credit card debt and make me pay for it. I explained I was NOT responsible for that debt, and that there was nothing in the estate to "get" out of it. They hounded me for months before they finally stopped.

Be careful.
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Reply to AnonymousMember
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DON'T DO IT. Inform them in writing that Mom cannot pay and the general circumstances, and you're done. You don't even need to provide them POA. Don't give them ANY personal information
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Reply to jjariz
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If I send a letter describing her situation, should I even include a copy of my P.O.A. letter? I am now reluctant to even give them that. I sure am not going to give them my S.S. number, D.O.B., etc. Now I am thinking I don't even want to give them a copy of my P.O.A. document, although it just has my name and not sensitive info. I was hoping they would realize the situation and write it off rather than send it to collections and six months later she is sued (if she is still alive) and I have to deal with the hassle of that. She is in Florida and her lawyer says she is judgment-proof. But I imagine they will try anything if they think they can get one more penny.
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Reply to Burnout1234
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I wouldn't give them that information either. Your mother obviously has no other assets and couldn't make payments if she wanted to, so you're just giving them a "heads up" as to the situation. How they choose to proceed is up to them.
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Reply to AlfredR
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They may have asked for the information because they may file a claim against her estate upon her death.  
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Reply to shad250
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You’re absolutely right for not giving them this information. There is no reason for them to have it. The account isn’t yours, it’s your mom’s. You are not responsible for any restitution from your own funds. This was a good call on your part.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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