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Discovering debts after husband's death

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Discovering debts after husband's death

edited 28 October 2013 at 3:36PM in Housing benefit help
6 replies 1.9K views
queenofbargainsqueenofbargains Forumite
22 posts
edited 28 October 2013 at 3:36PM in Housing benefit help
I have looked extensively to see if this topic is covered and where to post this, so please tell me where this should be if in a wrong place.

My friend has become a widow and found out she has been left with massive unknown debts. Her husband was a drinker and gambler and had remortgages (2 I think) on the house (in joint names), loans, credit cards etc. She now has a massive mortgage to pay and is finding out more every day. He took out his pension early and all the lump sum has gone. She has 2 children (over 18) and one lives at home. She is in employment and has been for years. I am really worried for her.

Can you advise where she can start? Can she get any immediate financial help from anywhere? Should she pay anything yet, before getting advice? It's a minefield!

Is/Has anyone been in this position or know of anyone who is/has in this position?? I would love to be able to give her websites/telephone nos/pointers etc, so at least some spade work has been done. I've mentioned CCCS to her, and that maybe Al anon and Gamblers Anonymous might be able to help. As you can imagine everything is totally overwhelming at the moment.

I really hope someone can help and/or advise. Thank you.

Replies

  • poochpooch Forumite
    828 posts
    I have looked extensively to see if this topic is covered and where to post this, so please tell me where this should be if in a wrong place.

    My friend has become a widow and found out she has been left with massive unknown debts. Her husband was a drinker and gambler and had remortgages (2 I think) on the house (in joint names), loans, credit cards etc. She now has a massive mortgage to pay and is finding out more every day. He took out his pension early and all the lump sum has gone. She has 2 children (over 18) and one lives at home. She is in employment and has been for years. I am really worried for her.

    Can you advise where she can start? Can she get any immediate financial help from anywhere? Should she pay anything yet, before getting advice? It's a minefield!

    Is/Has anyone been in this position or know of anyone who is/has in this position?? I would love to be able to give her websites/telephone nos/pointers etc, so at least some spade work has been done. I've mentioned CCCS to her, and that maybe Al anon and Gamblers Anonymous might be able to help. As you can imagine everything is totally overwhelming at the moment.

    I really hope someone can help and/or advise. Thank you.

    Any debts in the sole name of the late husband will need to be funded out of the estate of the late husband. It sounds like there may not be much/any estate. A surviving spouse (or anyone else) is not usually liable for these debts.

    Joint debts would probably fall onto the surviving partner to repay unless there was any insurance protection in place (e.g. many mortgages are covered by life insurance). It would be very unusual for a joint loan to be made without the signature/permission of both parties.
  • PeePee Forumite
    3.8K posts
    I think the starting point is CAB. If he remortgaged the property and it was in joint names and she didn't have to sign the mortgage deed, there may be fraud involved. If CAB can't help try a solicitor, see if you can find one that does a 30 min free initial appointment so she knows what her options are.
  • SystemSystem
    177.7K posts
    10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    Your friend needs to talk to the mortgage lender. It sounds as though her signature may have been forged to get the remortgages if she knew nothing about them.
  • Thank you so much for all your answers. You have confirmed some of my thoughts. Time is of the essence since I asked, and basically no time!! Will log in again much later.

    Really hope CAB will reply.
  • InsideInsuranceInsideInsurance Forumite
    22.5K posts
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    It is certainly important to get advice first.

    Unless banks and other lenders have found their morals in the last few years (you can stop laughing now) they almost certainly will ask for payments that your friend is not legally required to pay.
  • CAB_Wyre_Forest_representativeCAB_Wyre_Forest_representative Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    117 posts
    Hello Queen of bargains

    There are number of strands to your enquiry but the most important is the one about the mortgage because it will affect her right to stay in the property.

    First of all she should request copies of all loans and mortgages. if he has forged her signature then she may be able to argue that the debt is not legal.

    It would be sensible for her to get a copy of her and her husband's credit records so she can see the full picture and hopefully can then start to get her head round what has happened. This link will tell you how to do this

    http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/debt_e/debt_borrowing_money_e/how_lenders_decide_whether_to_give_you_credit.htm


    She may be entitled to some help with benefits and can use the website http://www.turn2us.org.uk/benefits_search.aspx to check

    She must also let her family know the true position as the son at home should be making contributions towards the household and they should know that mom does not have any money to help out.

    Once she has done this and the picture gets a bit clearer she may need to get more expert help but his should be a start
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