My wife has received a letter from a debt collection firm about a debt of £13,026.92 she and her late husband owe. The debt is for Mr @ Mrs Patrick Riddle. Mr Riddle has been dead for 12 years. Are we responsible ?. Yours Mr Roger XXXXX
1. Here, because 12 years have elapsed since the date of the debt being owed, the debt is now statute barred against your wife and her late husband's estate. Accordingly, your wife should write back and state that she has a good defence based on the Statute of Limitations to the debt claim. The debt is accordingly now unenforceable. Secondly, be aware that a wife cannot be responsible for her husband's debts. In law, they are two different people and liabilities are not transferable. I mention this fact in case your wife thinks she is automatically responsible for all her late husband's debts. However in this instance, the debt is time barred.