Receiving a collection call for a deceased family members unpaid balance does throw someone off the loop. The first thing that comes to mind when receiving a debt claim after recently losing a family member is if you are really responsible for it or not. Unfortunately, some debt collectors are not above using dirty tricks, including misrepresenting, to collect the debt. Don’t be too quick t repay the debt. You need to know who is really responsible for paying a deceased family member’s debt. Weve compiled tips on how you can resolve the issue:
Know The Rules
Each state has its own rules and guidelines when it comes to resolving debt claims therefore, you need to conduct your own research about the issue and if possible, consult an attorney. Know that there are times when the responsibility of a deceaseds family member will be turned to you. One instance is if you are a co-signer or if you shared a joint account with the deceased. However, if your spouse has a separate account, you are not responsible for the debt, even if the debt collector is claiming otherwise.
Same goes for the children of the deceased. If they were not listed as joint owner of the account or co-signed the debt, they cannot be held responsible for said debt.
Call the Executor of The Estate
Usually, the executor of the estate should be the responsible party for a deceaseds debt dispute. Direct the debt collector to the executor of the estate and let them iron out the issue. Instruct the debt collector that you are not the right person to call and if they tried calling you again, they are crossing the line. A Cease and Desist letter is needed to stop them from further collection efforts.
Familiarize Yourself with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or FDCPA
Its pathetic how some debt collection companies will try to cash out over grieving families. The good news is, theres no reason why you should be a part of a growing statistics. You can do something about unlawful, abusive and totally inappropriate collection efforts by filing a complaint. If you are receiving incessant collection calls or debt claim notices despite sending a Cease and Desist letter via certified mail with return receipt requested, talk to your attorney and file a complaint.
This will not help you get back at abusive collection companies ; you can also collect a fine if you proved that they did engage in unsavory collection practices. To make things easier, do keep a good record of correspondence or conversation between you and your creditor . You can present this as evidence once the proceedings start.