New rules for the collectors dealing with family of deceased debtors
Death is always tragic. But it becomes more terrible when you have to deal with the various tactics of the debt collectors after the death of your spouse. If your husband has passed away with unpaid debts on his shoulder, then you can be rest assured of receiving collection calls during the mourning period only.
The debt collectors start bullying the family members and the relatives (of the deceased debtors) as soon as they get the contact details. Sometimes, it becomes too stressful for the family members to put up with the demands of the collectors. This is why FTC is introducing new guidelines for the debt collectors which will come into effect on Aug 29, 2011 . The main idea is to protect the family members from being abused by the collection agencies. Have a look at the article to get acquainted with new FTC guidelines for the debt collectors dealing with relatives of deceased debtors.
FTC brings new rules for the debt collectors
Here are the new rules that debt collectors need to follow:
1. Misrepresentation of facts:
The grieving family members and relatives are not in a clean state of mind after the death of the debtor. Debt collectors know this fact very well and take advantage of the situation. The collectors often call the relatives and make them believe that they are legally obligated to repay the unpaid bills. In most of the cases, this is a completely misrepresentation of facts. After 29th August, the collectors can't make relatives falsely believe that they are accountable to clear the debts of the deceased debtor.
2. Word selection: :
Debt collectors try to find out whether or not the deceased debtor has any wife or children. They try their best to find out the person who has the authority to pay off the debts from the dead debtor's estate. But the collectors need to maintain certain code of conduct while contacting the authorized relative. For instance, the collectors are required to use certain words and phrases while communicating with the persons. The collectors are forbidden from using the word âdebtâ. The collectors can only say that they wish to talk about the repayment of bills.
According to the new rules, the debt collectors can't contact the spouses, children, parents, relatives, etc. at inappropriate time or location. But they are not prohibited from contacting the family members after the immediate demise of the debtor.
4. Persons to contact:
FTC has clearly specified the persons with whom collection agencies can contact after the death of the debtor. The collection agencies can contact the following persons:
b) Guardian in case the debtor was not adult
c) Estate executor
d) Someone who has been authorized to clear the dues from the estate assets
e) Relatives to find out the person authorized to pay off the debts
FTC has introduced this particular rule after receiving complaints that debt collectors often harass relatives of the deceased debtor who are not responsible to repay the outstanding balances from (a) their assets, (b) assets of the debtor.
The North American Collection Agency Regulatory Association (NACARA) has welcomed the new rules with open arms. The organization is happy with the new guidelines. This is mainly because they are getting a clear idea about how to collect debts of the deceased debtors.