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what happens to debt if debt holder dies and estate has no money?

I know someone who’s mother died. She had 2 grown children. Everything she had contains a lien against it. She had a house with a mortgage, 2 cars (both have liens) and no CD’s, IRA’s or money. What happens to her debt? What if one of the those vehicles are paid off (after her death) by a family member to keep it from being repossessed? Can they legally retain owership of the vehicle?

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2 Responses to “what happens to debt if debt holder dies and estate has no money?”

  1. StephenWeinstein said :

    If the family wishes, they may pay off all the debt (not just the lien on the vehicle) and keep the vehicle.

    They do not have to pay off any of the debt unless they want to pay it.

    However, if any debt is left unpaid, then all the assets, including vehicles and houses, go to whomever was owed money. The family cannot keep anything without paying all the debt.

    The debt dies with her if the family refuses to pay, but then they get nothing.

  2. Hosea Porrello said :

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