No one likes to think about dying, but, Aubrey Cohen answers the question: What Happens To Your Debts After You Die?
Probate law is state law, so your mileage may vary.
Your debts are the responsibility of your estate, which is just the property you owned at the time of death.
NOT joint property held with someone else with rights of survivorship, and NOT life insurance.
So, your property is liable for your debts, but, your heirs are not.
Debt collector harassment is one of my favorite topics.
And something everyone is against, and everyone has experienced, or, knows someone who has been hassled by robo-call debt collectors.
So, Congress, (always looking out for us, aren’t they?) made debt collector robo-calls illegal.
Before the passing of last week’s bipartisan budget bill, federal law prohibited most non-emergency automated calls to cellphones unless the recipient has given their prior express consent to receive these messages.
But, they decided robo-calling is OK in the case of government debts.
Nestled in that 144-page piece of legislation were a few paragraphs that amended the Communications Act to carve out an exemption for the collection of debts owed to the federal government. This change will open the door to millions of Americans being targeted with automated debt-collection calls on everything from back taxes to student loans to mortgages.
The Insider Arm site notes:
FDCPA suits “unexpectedly [caught] fire this year, up more than 1200 suits (+14.5%) over this time in 2014,” according to Gordon. FCRA suits “works out to a dramatic +39% increase over this time last year,” and “TCPA’s YTD numbers have recovered due to the combination of a strong October and a weak few months at the end of 2014. Now up almost 200 suits (+8.7%) over this time last year, TCPA seems to have avoided the likelihood of a decline.”
Just today I received a default judgment in Federal district court against a bad guy debt collector, for $4,000 plus my fees and costs.
We were hoping for more, but the real problem will be collecting.
The last mail to the defendant came back.
So, FDCPA suits are up, but only a small fraction of the violations lead to lawsuits, and, even then, not all the successful consumer plaintiffs get their money.