Collecting debts is never an easy job. You probably run into many excuses and have to work very hard to get a pay off. You may even try for years to get a person to pay their debts. So, what happens if a person from which you are trying to collect a debt dies in New York? Can you still collect the debt? According to Forbes, it may be possible to finally collect the payment you are due once a person dies.

A big factor is the estate the person left behind. A person’s estate must take care of debts before disbursing assets to heirs. However, there are some assets, such as joint bank accounts, that automatically transfer upon a person’s death to the co-owner, so those cannot be accessed to pay back the deceased debt. If the estate is large enough, though, you may be able to make a claim against it and recoup some or all of the money the person owed to you.

The other option for collecting on the debt after the debtor dies is going after the co-signer. If there was one, the co-signer would not assume the full responsibility of the debt, so you can follow proper collection practices to collect the debt form him or her. If the co-signer was a spouse, you may find it easier to get paid after the estate clears probate and the spouse has access to all of the assets. This information is for education and is not legal advice.