The latest installment of the Star Tribune’s “Hounded” series, which appeared in last Sunday’s paper, focuses on the sub-industry of deceased collections. The story included a few quotes from me about my very brief stint attempting to collect deceased debts and how the experience convinced me to ditch the collection business once and for all and start my consumer law practice.
The article also includes a great deal of information about the somewhat mysterious deceased collection industry and reviews some of the questionable tactics that they use to try to collect debts from recently deceased consumers. The moral of the story: when you die, the assets from your estate are used to pay creditors. If your estate has no assets, then the creditors are out of luck. And family members have no personal obligation to pay the debts of the deceased.
If you’ve recently lost a loved one and are being harassed by creditors for payment, I strongly recommend that you contact an attorney that is knowledgeable about the probate process. And if the harassment is especially egregious, consider talking to a consumer rights attorney.
UPDATE: The StarTrib has removed the “Premium” pay wall.