Widow Sues “Death Debt Collector” for collection harassment
A recent case by a Wisconsin woman highlights the unbelievable depths to which some debt collectors will sink. They are called “Death Debt Collectors”.
The Milwaukee woman is suing Capital One and its lawyers, Phillips & Cohen Associates for pursuing her late husband’s debts that had been discharged in bankruptcy two years earlier. Her husband passed away just last month, but already the Death Debt Collector vultures are circling. Capital One had purchased the husband’s debt from the original creditor, who already knew about the bankruptcy discharge.
Death Debt Collectors contact living relatives of deceased debtors to pressure them into paying a decedent’s debts. Even though family members have no obligation to pay these debts, the Death Debt Collectors conveniently omit to mention this fact to widows and other family members.
This isn’t the first time Capital One has engaged in this despicable practice. Last year, the Wall Street Journal reported they tried to collect on more than $15,000 in discharged bankruptcy debt. And Phillips & Cohen? Well, they send a sympathetic glossy brochure offering help ‘during this difficult time’, and trick people into calling the collector by saying they can offer education about the probate process. By which they really desire to help themselves to money to which they are not entitled. They do this to “capitalize on the death in the family” the widow says in her complaint.
Just when you thought debt collectors couldn’t get any lower, you can discover an all new low. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) is a law that allows you to fight back. By knowing your rights under the FDCPA, people like the Minnesota widow do not have to accept these vultures picking at her pocket book. These collectors must abide by this federal law, and if they don’t you can sue the hell out of them and make them pay you. The only way the collectors will abide by consumer protection laws is if enough people know their rights and exercise them.
You should know that the FDCPA allows consumers to hire lawyers who can sue debt collectors for violating your rights. These lawsuits cost you nothing. The attorneys’ fees and costs are shifted, by law, to the Defendant to pay. The consumer walks away with a measure of justice and a check from the debt collector.
If you have been victimized by a debt collector or have items on your credit report that are incorrect, call or email Attorney Gary Nitzkin for a free consultation at (888) 293-2882. For more information about your rights as a consumer, visit our website at www.micreditlawyer.com, which is filled with informative videos and advice to help consumers. Michigan Consumer Credit Lawyers is here for you.