Debt Collectors Target Relatives of Deceased Persons

Debt collectors are harassing individuals to pay the debts of deceased family members. Many of the targeted survivors are elderly. A WSJ article gives an example of a debt collector retained by Bank of America to collect $16K on a credit card debt from a retired 68 year widow. She received up to 10 calls a day from West Asset Management, Omaha, NE about the debt. The widow was not legally responsible for the debt, but that did not stop the debt collector. The WSJ article has two recorded calls between the harassed widow and the debt collector. The caller...

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Banks Starting to Modify Mortgages Under U. S. Treasury Refinance Program

Throwing a lifeline to homeowners under water on their mortgage obligations, the U.S. Treasury announced its Home Affordable Refinance Program in mid-February. The program is supposed to facilitate mortgage servicers in modifying troubled homeowners’ mortgages so that their monthly payment is reduced to no more than 31% of gross monthly income. Eligibility requirements include that the loan have been originated on or before January 1, 2009 and that the mortgage is a first lien on owner-occupied property. The unpaid principal balance can be up to $729,750. Income must be documented and the homeowner must sign an affidavit of financial hardship....

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