Dear Sir, My father suddenly expired last month and while going through his personal effects we found a few credit cards and some credit card bills with outstandings, I would like to know if I am liable to pay off these credit card debts?
The bank can institute a civil suit for recovery from the Legal reperentative of the Defendant/card holder and the liability is limited to the extent of inherent property of the deceased. But if the bank/ financial institution do not file any suit then they can not claim money. Just being a daughter, you are not liable to pay the debt of your father unless you are joint card holder. The bank can legally recover the dues from father's bank account / property only.

The bank may be in tie-up with insurance companies where the banks are offering any insurance cover to their credit card holders, and where banks have obtained in writing from the credit card holders the details of nominee/s for the insurance cover in the event of death of the card holder.

However, for good orders sake it is advisable to inform the bank/s about the death of the card holder.
Our Experts

Sucheta Dalal Trustee - Moneylife Foundation

Abhay Datar Abhay Datar is a consumer activist. After working at Bank of Baroda for about 29 years, he retired as IT Manager. After retirement, Mr Datar joined Consumer Guidance Cell of Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP) in 2008 and solved many cases related to banking including online fraudulent transactions, misuse of credit cards and ATM cards. Also handled cases related with mobile banking frauds and mediclaim. He was a Member of the Managing Committee of MGP till March 2021.

Suresh Prabhu Mr Prabhu retired as Senior Vice President from HDFC Bank

R Bhuvaneswari After serving Bank of Baroda for almost 40 years, Ms Bhuvaneshwari retired as Chief Manager in 2013.

Yogesh Sapkale Yogesh Sapkale is Deputy Editor of Moneylife and writes on finance, credit related issues

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