Submission Number: 00075
Received: 11/22/2010 12:40:57 PM
Commenter: Lance Martin
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: Statement of Policy Regarding Communications in Connection with Collection of a Decedent’s Debt; Project No. P104806
Attachments: No Attachments
Thank you for seeking comment. I have personally experienced interactions with debt collectors and none were positive. For context, my younger brother passed away three years ago (he was 30). He had debts including credit cards, auto loans, consumer finance company and mortgages. He was the only obligor on these debts.
About three months after he passed I started to receive phone calls from debt collectors on both my cell phone and home phone. I work for a bank so I know that I nor my parents were obligated to cover his debts. That did not stop the collectors from repeatedly asking me to make restitution on his debts even after I would give them an emphatic "no" and then explain to them why I was not obligated to pay. It took about four months to finally get the collectors off my back.
This was an extremely sensitive time for my family and the last thing we needed as a grieving family was nightly phone calls reminding us of my brother's death. The debt collectors were extremely rude and completely unsympathetic to what my family was going through. We were comstantly harrassed and it felt like moral extortion.
I propose that debt collectors be limited to contacting only those individuals that are either 1) the executor of the deceased's estate or 2) cosigners on the debt. It should be illegal to contact a non-obligated family member of the deceased to seek restitution with penalties including fines and criminal harrassment charges.
Thanks for the consideration.