I risk inheriting nearly $400K debt without receiving any assets

June 12, 2024 | 06:49 pm PT
I risk inheriting nearly $400K debt without receiving any assets
Children may inherit not only their parents' houses and land but also their debt. Illustration photo by Pixabay
My sister and I face the possibility of inheriting a VND10 billion (US$393,000) debt left by our father, even though we did not receive any portion of our inherited home.
My parents divorced a long time ago after my father was caught having an affair and children with his mistress. More than four years after the divorce, when he realized reconciliation was impossible, my father married his mistress so their two children could have birth certificates for school enrollment.

My father owned a house in Thu Duc City in the eastern part of HCMC. The house was purchased and built a few years before my parents' divorce. Due to complex paperwork at that time, my father had my uncle listed as the owner on the title deed.

At the time of the divorce, because the land title was under my uncle's name, the court did not include it in the asset division process. My father was busy supporting the other woman and did not contribute financially to our upbringing post-divorce.

Around two years ago, my father met with my mother and me to express his regrets and promised to transfer the ownership of half the house, representing the portion my mother owned during their marriage, to my sister and me.

However, my father then passed away, and his affair partner said he did not leave any will. She also said she planned to find a new partner and remarry after my father's death.

After the mourning period for my father, she told us that since she had been with my father from the day they met, she would continue to live in the house. Moreover, since she was legally his wife, she claimed that she has the right to inherit all of his assets.

However, she lamented that my father had borrowed money and struggled to provide for us when we were young, so as his children, we should be obliged to the debt he left behind, which totaled VND 10 billion, all incurred after the divorce. She refused to sell my father's house to pay off the debts because she needs a place to live.

When my sister and I spoke up about our rights and our father's promise, my uncle and the mistress told us we could collect the money that people owed my father by ourselves. These are bad debts that my father had been unable to collect for years.

When we asked for more information about these loans, my uncle and the mistress just said they did not know any details and that we are on our own.

Honestly, I feel incredibly upset, especially when I think about the time my mother and we siblings struggled on our own after the divorce. And now, after so many years of getting nothing from my father or his new family, we suddenly have to bear the debt while the homewrecker can casually enjoy her life.

How should I even begin navigating these problems?

Reader Chan

*This opinion was translated into English by AI. Readers’ views are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress’ viewpoints.

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