Debt Collectors Could be Calling You to Collect on the Dead

When death of a loved one takes place we all are under great remorse. To make matters worse the FTC is currently taking comments on how debt collectors can go about collecting a debt from bereaved.

Under the FDCPA there are laws in place to protect you and your family. The problem is some of these collection companies don’t adhere to those laws and end up harassing people to collect a debt.

Currently under the FDCPA debt collectors are only allowed to collect debts from the debtor or a cosigner. This law strictly prohibits debt collectors from calling neighbors, friends, or family members except to obtain contact information.

This new proposed law could open the door to debt collectors to poke and prod grieving family members and friends into thinking they owe something they really don’t.

According the Star Tribune of Minneapolis creditors such as JP Morgan, Nordstrom, Citigroup, Chase, and Discover financial service currently employ specialists that solely try to collect on the deceased.

Under this new proposal the FTC will not take law enforcement action from anyone alleging that a debt collector violated the FDCPA by communicating about the descendant’s debts with a spouse, executor of an estate or anyone else that is authorized to pay debts from the descendant’s estate.

So in a nut shell this new provision to the FDCPA could open all kinds of issues. We all know that debt collectors buy these debts for pennies on the dollar. The people they hire are commission based and have all the incentive in the world to collect.

Robert Hobbs an attorney and collections expert at the NCLC encourages consumers to go to the FTC and make comments on this new provision to the FDCPA, especially those who recently have been targeted by debt collectors on behalf of a deceased friend or family member. This comment session has been extended to December 1st 2010.

Author: Mike Clover

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