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Debt in Poland - inheritance after relative death?

9 Jun 2018 #1
I wonder if someone can help me, we was informed last week that my wifes mums uncle had died and he has alot of debt, we have been told to fly to Poland and sign these forms to decline the debt, im English and my wife is Polish, she has lived here for 12 years and we have a 11month old daughter, we have been told that my partners daughter and son must also go to Poland, and that our baby who has a UK passport may also inherit this debt, my wife has never met this person!! now i dont understand Polish law but how can Polish law be aplied in England, we have only recieved information by word of mouth, surely we would have to recieve a letter from Poland to tell us that he has died and what we need to do ? My wifes sister is panicking telling us to fly to Poland and to sort this out, any help would be greatly recieved thanks
9 Jun 2018 #2
Who did tell you that? Probably it is a fraud.
jgrabner 1 | 73
9 Jun 2018 #3
in the past, it was indeed the case that if you did not declare in the first six months of inheriting debt that you do not want it, that you were liable for the debts of the deceased to 100%. But since 2017, the new law limits the liability to what is valuable in the inheritance meaning that the worst case is that you get zero, but they cannot come after you for anything more. Nevertheless, it might we wise to consult an attorney, because there are some caveats in connection with mortgages.

You might want to read: in polish.
kaprys 3 | 2,266
9 Jun 2018 #4
If he really had a debt she may 'inherit' it. You have six months to decline his inheritance (zrzec się spadku) after his death. If he had any other closer relatives who have already done it, the bank will look for any other heirs. Do it on behalf of your daughter, too.

A friend of mine got an official letter to pay her uncle's debts just last month. He died years ago and they found her now. She didn't even know he had had debts.
OP Monytorgan
10 Jun 2018 #5
Thank you all for replying, the man that has unfortunately died was her great Uncle, how can you pick up someones debt if you have not recieved a solicitors letter? Surely you can only pick up the debt if you are named in a Will, to my knowledge there was no Will, and when ive asked how much the debt it we are told its a secret, none of this makes any sense to me
terri 1 | 1,664
10 Jun 2018 #6
You may be liable for the debt if they can find you. If other relatives had already said that they decline their inheritance and they know your address in the Uk the authorities will come for you. Someone has to pay the debts, and you as the only relative who has not declined the inheritance will be liable.
22 Oct 2018 #7
My wife is in the same situation. We found out her uncle whom she never met passed away about a year and a half ago. My wife's mom had her fill out all the proper paperwork to deny the debt soon after (Polish consulate was in town). We thought everything was good to go but this past weekend were informed that there is a new lawsuit and that we had to provide our marriage certificate.(we were just engaged at the time of the first round of paperwork)

We live in the United States and my wife was born in Austria and moved here when she was a baby.

I don't understand what is the point of declining the debt the first time if we are now being brought into this mess again. I don't understand how they can come after a distant cousin who didn't even know the guy and was never even a citizen of the country he lived in????? This whole process is backwards and doesn't even seem real. At this point my name is being brought into it as it appears on the document being provided. Who is to say they won't come after me with their backwards third world laws????
4 Jun 2022 #8
my wife lives in Canada for 40 years now, Her mother lives in Poland and died with alot of debt. Is there any issues for my wife
pawian 218 | 22,787
4 Jun 2022 #9
Is there any issues for my wife

Did her mother leave a will naming any heirs, especially your wife? Then she`d (your wife, not her mother) better notify the Polish court she doesn`t accept the inheritance. Just in case, to avoid any problems in the future.

Read this:
8 Jan 2023 #10

Polish Debt inheritance

Looking for some help regarding the inheritance of debt.

A family member of mine has recently passed away and I've been made aware that he was in debt and that I will inherit the debts. I've been living in the England for over 20 years so I'm not familiar with Polish law at all. Can someone tell me if I can decline this inheritance while I'm in England or do I have to fly to Poland to get this resolved?

All help appreciated
cms neuf 1 | 1,639
9 Jan 2023 #11
You are a Polish citizen ?

Law has changed recently and you are only liable up to the value of the inherited assets

Not sure about if the rules changed about how to renounce but you used to be able to do that at the Polish consulate - if you speak Polish then call and ask
24 Aug 2023 #12
My wife's sister inherited a debt (pre-2017) and she then ignored the letters so it has built up to approx Zł 50,000. Apparently it went through a court and the debt has now been sold to a number of bailiffs. She has been making monthly payments, but they are not clearing the interest so the total debt is always increasing.

The complication is that my wife's father lives in a property jointly owned by my wife and her sister. There is a threat hanging over the property - apparently the bailiffs could sell my wife's sisters half to recover the debt without telling my wife. Then they can chuck her father out or start charging him rent he can't afford.

We need to somehow get the interest frozen. Otherwise there is no way of clearing it apart from taking out another loan. In the UK there are charities (such as Step Change) or companies that can contact lenders on your behalf and help set up a Debt Management Plan or an IVA. There are also form letters you can download to contact creditors asking for clemency. Do any options like this exist in Poland?

My wife has convinced her sister to let her represent her so we may be able to get statements etc... if we write to the bailiffs.

Any help appreciated.
Atch 20 | 3,959
24 Aug 2023 #13
I did a quick Google search in Polish and found these. Don't know anything about them but they might be worth a try. They are all not-for-profit organisations so provide free services. Use Google translate if you can't understand their websites. Best of luck!

Fundacja Lady Liberty - LADY LIBERTY support and assistance foundation for the indebted. The Foundation helps in the preparation of pleadings, represents before the judiciary, offers support in contacts with the bailiff, helps to recover due funds.

Fundacja ANTYWINDYK - The Foundation provides comprehensive assistance to indebted persons, e.g. educates on the rights of debtors, represents debtors before courts, helps to recover unduly collected funds, offers activities aimed at effective debt relief.

Fundacja ZARADNI - The foundation, which promotes conscious management of household finances, educates in the field of economic knowledge. Support for people who have a debt problem.
cms neuf 1 | 1,639
24 Aug 2023 #14
As a starting point, it's extremely difficult to throw a sitting tenant out and the procedures needed to do that would cause the windykacja a lot more grief than they need for 50.000. Talk to those charities and good luck - think you have a strong cases

The inherited debt bullshit will be over in a few years - lots of challenges to that in both Polish and EU courts

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