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Question about signed contracts

Posted by hoakie2601 (My Page) on
Tue, May 13, 08 at 17:57

I am only posting this because I see another question regarding the death of a spouse.

My husband is a widower. He was just served papers the other day to appear in court of an unpaid debt. They provided a copy of the contract that was signed for this debt.

Upon reading over the contract I noticed that it was not his signature on the contract. His deceased wife had sign both his name and her name to the contract. Next to his name is her initals in a circle showing that she is the one that signed his name to it.

Can my husband be held responsible for this debt? My thinking is that if he goes in to the hearing with her death certificate and states the fact that she signed his name to a contract without a power of attorney he can not be held responsible. Please let me know if I am wrong in this matter. The debt is only 238.00 but at the same time this is not something that he knew about nor agreed to.

Thanks for your time

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Question about signed contracts

He can show up in court and argue that it is definitely not
his signature. He can also argue that since he was not aware of the contract, he can't say for sure that its her signature,& produce the death certificate. By the way, companies sending bills after somebody has died is very common and often its a fake. The reason the bill is coming so long after her death (he has already remarried)is because it was probably sold to a debt collector, who hopes its small enough so you will pay it without asking questions. Since you are married to him--maybe the debt is too old to collect.

RE: Question about signed contracts

If it's a really old debt that he doesn't have a clue what it's for then I'd argue the debts too old, he wasn't aware, he didn't sign, show the death certificate, etc. I'd have him do the talking because coming from you it might sound like an embittered new wife.

On the other hand: Was this typical in the marriage for the wife to make purchases & sign his name? Also, you mention he wasn't aware of the debt but was he aware of the purchase & is it something he benefited from? If the answers to these are yes, then I'd say he should feel morally obligated to pay. It's not that big of an amount. Just make sure they have accurate documention, but then if it's going to court they probably do. Can't comment on the legal side.

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