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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Debt Collectors Specializing in Deceaseds’ Debts

Most of the time, survivors are not liable for the debts of their deceased relatives. If Uncle Waldo dies and leaves a $10,000 credit card debt, Niece Lauren is not obligated to pay it. The usual exception is when Uncle Waldo has assets, his estate is probated, and the credit card company makes a timely claim against the estate assets. But the New York Times reports that several debt collection companies, including Minneapolis-based DCM Services, are specializing in collecting deceased people’s debts, despite that usually there is no obligation to pay them. According to the article, collecting on the debts...

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