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Are you responsible for your late spouse's debt?

Losing a spouse is a one of the most difficult experiences that a person can go through. It is often a time of great grief, sorrow and uncertainty. In addition to the emotional anguish caused by this type of loss, the death of a spouse can result in complicated financial circumstances. One of the financial complications involves debt. If your spouse leaves debt behind, are you responsible for it?

In general, Florida residents can only be held responsible for their late spouse's debt if their names are also on the accounts. However, this is a complex area of the law and people may benefit from seeking legal counsel when they are being asked to pay their spouse's debts.

It is important not to make any assumptions about whether you are or are not responsible for your spouse's debts; often creditors will try to get people to pay debts even when they are not legally obligated to do so, and consumers can become misled about their legal rights and responsibilities. So, it is wise to talk to a debt relief attorney about such obligations.

Whether or not a person is liable for a debt in Florida, debt collectors do not have the right to harass or threaten consumers. Americans are protected from abusive debt collection tactics under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Unfortunately, creditors and collectors are known to harass the newly widowed. Consumers should not be intimidated by such tactics.

If you are facing creditor harassment, or if you are being asked to settle debts that you may not be responsible for, it is very important to seek legal counsel in order to protect your rights.

Source: The Huffington Post, "It's A Matter Of Life... And Debt: Know Your Rights," Carole Brody Fleet, Jan. 13, 2014

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