When a relative dies, the last thing grieving family members need are calls from lenders and debt collectors. There are many federal and state laws prohibiting abusive, unfair, or deceptive debt collection practices. These laws protect borrowers while alive and relatives after a loved one dies. This article provides answers to some frequently asked questions regarding handling a deceased person's debts.
This 4 part series of articles will provides answers to some frequently asked questions regarding handling a deceased person's debts including:
Part 1 addressed Who Is Responsible for Paying a Decedent's Debt and Exceptions. Part 2 addressed Student Loan Debt and Speaking With Debt Collectors. Part 3 addresses What to do if a Debt Collector Calls and How to stop Debt Collectors from calling. Part 4 will address Can Debt Collectors share information about a Decedent’s Debt to Others and Filing a Complaint.
If contacted by a debt collector seeking payment for a deceased relative's debts, give them the contact information of the estate's personal representative. This person is responsible for settling the estate's affairs, including paying any outstanding debts. If you are a personal representative, you will want to determine whether the debt is legitimate. Find out the collector's name, their company, and the company's contact information. Also find out the amount owed, the name of the underlying creditor, and how the debt may be disputed or settled for less than the outstanding amount. Regardless of who you are, do not give any personal information to unidentified debt collectors. Many scam artists gather information from obituaries and other public notices of someone's death. They then pose as debt collectors to gather personal information from the deceased person's relatives and use it to commit identity theft and other types of fraud.
You can stop debt collectors from calling you by mailing them a letter. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides sample letters to help you draft your demand. You should keep a copy of your letter, send the original by certified mail, and pay for a "return receipt" to prove that the letter was sent and received. Once the collector receives your letter, they may not contact you again subject to two exceptions. First, a collector can contact you to tell you that there will be no further contact. Second, they may contact you to tell you that they plan to take a specific action, like filing a lawsuit. Keep track of all communications with debt collectors.
Losing a loved one and handling their estate is already a difficult life experience. Handling a deceased relative's debt only adds to this burden. Fortunately, chances are you are not responsible for your deceased relative's debts. The best way to find out what your obligations really are is to simply contact a local Amarillo Texas probate attorney. If you are planning your estate or updating your will, the best thing to do is consult with a local Amarillo Texas estate planning attorney to make sure you are following the laws and regulations of your respective state. Many people have similar questions and go through the same line of questioning when deciding how to make or update their estate plan. It can be and often is critical that you get legal help understanding the basics of this process. The best way to get this understanding is to contact an experienced Amarillo Estate Planning attorney near you. Stop and take a breath and call an Amarillo Estate Planning Attorney who has had decades of experience. Pick up the phone and call Amarillo Estate Planning Attorney Bill Cornett. Bill is your choice as an experienced estate attorney in Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle. Don’t waste another minute. Call him today.
Your most important action may end up being the phone call that you make to your Amarillo estate planning attorney lawyer. In the Texas Panhandle that call should be to Amarillo attorney Bill Cornett. Whether you need assistance with a will, administration of an estate or a contested probate, contact the Law Office of Bill Cornett. Be smart…remember these phone numbers (806) 374-9498 or (800) 658-6618.
Bill Cornett, Amarillo Attorney, with Cornett Law Firm, offers affordable, qualified services as an experienced personal injury lawyer and probate attorney. Bill also has experience in estate planning and agriculture law. Sit down with Bill at his office located at 612 S. Van Buren St. in Amarillo TX by calling (806) 374-9498 or (800) 658-6618 TODAY to schedule a free consultation.
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Bill Cornett grew up on a farm in Knox City, Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics from Texas Tech University and his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Houston Law School. Bill was licensed to practice law in the State of Texas in 1973.