Statement of Policy Regarding Communications in Connection with Collection of a Decedent’s Debt, Project No. P104806
Hello FTC, et al: I'd like to briefly comment on the proposal listed above to collect debts from family members of the deceased. To do so is short cited, uncouth, and ridiculous. This speaks of greed from big business and steps on little people who can barely eek out a living today in this tough economy. The only debts that should be paid for a deceased person, is from the estate if single (subject to various rules if married) of the deceased. All creditors should line up to secure their piece of the pie in that instance. If no "estate" exists, then the debt should be "written off" or dies with the owner or original contractor of the debt. To do anything else, would place an undue and unfair hardship on family members. It is also morally wrong to try to hold someone else accountable for someone's debt unless they volunteer to cover that debt. This once again, does not speak to civility, common decency or common sense, but GREED, GREED, GREED! When I say subject to various rules, exemptions should be placed on residences if a debtor is married. For example, my wife and I have been married for nearly 20 years, yet outside of our joint checking account, all other accounts (credit cards, car notes, etc.) are separate. I can assure you, if my wife takes out a debt and if I have not co-signed on the debt, I will not under any circumstance pay for the debt. The debt will "automatically" be retired via her death if she does not pay it off. Nor would it be proper for me to lose my home (note, my wife did not work outside of the home the first 6 years we were married -- I paid all of the bills) due to an individual debt my wife accrued. Likewise, we have two sons. If my wife were to co-sign on a loan for them, she has the obligation to pay for that debt. When she dies, the contracting party needs to go back to the original source, either of my sons. Do not come to me, for I will surely refuse to pay if I did not co-sign on the note or account myself. This is fair, proper and just!!! Contracts should be written to hold the responsible parties responsible -- not everyone else! Thank you. P.R.West, Sr.