The death of a loved one is an emotionally difficult experience. As family members grieve and struggle to accept their loss and move on, the last thing they need is to be pestered by unscrupulous debt collectors.
Most Americans owe a certain amount of debt. While many people pay off their debts over time, in the case of a sudden, unexpected death, the deceased may leave some unpaid bills behind. In such a case, creditors may attempt to collect on the unpaid debt from the deceased’s surviving family members.
Fortunately, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has established the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to prevent the deceased’s loved ones from being harassed by debt collectors. If you’ve lost a loved one and are being contacted by their creditors, it’s important to know what your rights and obligations are.
Who is responsible for a deceased person’s debts?
According to the FTC, a deceased person’s debts can only be collected from their estate. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule. As the relative of a deceased person, you can be held responsible for their debt in the following situations:
• The deceased was your spouse
• You were appointed executor of the deceased’s estate
• You live in a community property state (such as California)
• You co-signed on a loan or other obligation with the deceased
If you’ve lost a loved one and are being contacted by their creditors, you need to consult an attorney experienced in financial law. The expert legal team at Orange County’s McFarlin LLP has defended the rights of Southern California residents for many years. We are dedicated to giving our clients our personal attention on their case.
Call us at (888) 728-0044 for a no cost consultation.