Dealing with Debt

questions & answers

Question: My father is dying of cancer. My parents bought a new car 2 years ago. The car is in my father's name. When my father dies, my mother won't be able to afford the car payments and the car is worth less than the balance owed. They live strictly on Social security. There won't be any inheritance or such. Is my mother responsible for the debt of the car after my dad dies even though the car isn't in her name?

Answer:

The answer is  no social security cannot be garnished. 

Unfortunately, an answer depends on many different factors, including whether your parents were married when your father purchased the car. Arizona is a community property state, so generally, each spouse has the ability to bind the community with debt unless the property falls within some of the designated exceptions to the rule.

However, keep in mind that this is really general information. You may want to speak with an attorney to find out the specifics of your situation since the result can vary based on the specific facts in your situation. They can be exceptions to general rules and you may want to see whether an exception applies in your situation.

QUESTIONS

  • My father is dying of cancer. My parents bought a new car 2 years ago. The car is in my father's name. When my father dies, my mother won't be able to afford the car payments and the car is worth less than the balance owed. They live strictly on Social security. There won't be any inheritance or such. Is my mother responsible for the debt of the car after my dad dies even though the car isn't in her name?

STORIES

  • Age discrimination in the workplace. . .
  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .
  • I just helped my mother, age 89, deal with her Medicare HMO. . .

LegalLEARN

YOUR FEEDBACK IS NEEDED

  • Welcome to our Newly Redesigned Website! Let us know how we are doing! Please take a couple of minutes to fill out our survey.

FIND LEGAL HELP

  • Please select your county of residence below.

    County:
     

OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
    Link

ORGANIZATIONS