Does a person's debt go away when they die? | Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (2024)

Talk with a lawyer

If you have questions about whether you’re responsible for a deceased person’s debts, you may want to talk to a lawyer. To find an attorney, you can contact a lawyer referral service in your area and ask for a lawyer with experience in consumer law, estate or probate matters, debt collection defense, or the FDCPA.

Some attorneys may offer free services or charge a reduced fee. There may also be legal aid offices or legal clinics in your area that will offer their services for free if you meet their criteria. Servicemembers should consult their local JAG office .

For older Americans and their caregivers, the Eldercare Locator also provides trustworthy local support resources, including free legal aid for eligible older adults.

Get details in writing

Debt collectors are required to provide specific information about a debt during your first communication with them or within 5 days of the first communication. This information is known as a validation notice. If the collector refuses to give you any information about the debt – even though you are a surviving spouse, parent of a deceased minor, or personal representative of the estate – it might be a scam.

If you’re having an issue with debt collection, you can submit a complaint with the CFPB.

Does a person's debt go away when they die? | Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (2024)
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