The cosigner if there is one is first to be responsible for the balance of the loan. After that the mom's estate meaning who ever is seeing to her affairs. This can be the relatives or the actual State government.
If there was a will, the lender has 6 months to file a judgment in the Surrogate's Office for the estate to pay. If there was no estate to pay off the debt, the lender eats the loss. No one else is responsiable for the loan, unless there was a co-signer.My husband died without a will and no estate. He had no money in the bank, and nothing of any value. We were separated for years. He had bought a car two years before he died. He did not take life insurance on the loan. Since the loan was only in his name, I was not responsible. The car was returned to the dealership where he had purchased it and that was it.The options I had were to return the car, or to take over payments and ownership. Since he owed $20,000.00 on the loan, and the car was worth only $14,000.00, I opted to return the vehicle and call it a day. The lender cannot come to me for the remaining balance.The lender lost.
The existence of life insurance has nothing directly to do with the liability for the indebtedness on the car, subject to the following explanation.
If there was a cosigner on the car loan, that person would be financially liable for the balance of the loan. The car could be sold, the amount received in payment applied to the loan, and the amount owing thereby reduced. The cosigner would therefore be liable for the remaining amount. A similar process could occur if the car is returned to the lender/seller.
If there was no cosigner an estate may be opened for the deceased. Whether or not one is or has to be depends upon the law of the jurisdiction. The person named or appointed as executor of personal representative does not, strictly by virtue of holding that title, have any financial responsibility for payment of the loan. Generally, the existence of an estate is advertised in a newspaper of general circulation for a period of time dictated by statute--often 90 days. If a creditor does not assert a claim against the estate within that time, a later claim is normally time-barred.
If the law of the jurisdiction requires that an estate be opened and a Notice to Creditors published, but it isn't, if individuals such as you take money or things of value that had belonged to the deceased and that could have been applied to his/her debts, you may be found liable for those debts to the extent of the value of the money or property that you took.
The precise outcome is fact-specific and depends in large part on the law of the jurisdiction in which the deceased lived at the time of his/her death.
This is not intended, nor may it be construed, as legal advice.
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