Our blog post last week discussed the possibility of a creditor going after you for the debts of a deceased parent. While you can be reassured that, unless you co-signed on a parent’s loan, you should not be held responsible for repaying a parent’s debt, this may not stop debt collectors from sending you harassing letters or phone calls. At (The Law Office of Kim Covington, we understand how frustrating this can be for Eugene residents. Is there anything you can do to stop the creditor harassment?
According to the Federal Trade Commission, it is a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for a debt collector to deceive or mislead you into thinking you owe a debt, as well as to use unfair or abusive practices against you. This can include telling you that your wages will be garnished or you will be taken to court or arrested for not repaying your parents’ debt. Additionally, harassment techniques, such as repeated and unwanted phone calls all day at home and work, also violate the act.
You may write a letter to the creditors explaining that you understand you are not legally obligated to repay your parents’ debt, and request that they cease contacting you by phone and mail. Send the letter by certified mail, with a return receipt, so you know when they receive the letter. After receiving this request, they will be prohibited by law from contacting you again, except to inform you that the contact will cease or that they intend to take further action – which they should not, with a debt that you do not legally owe.
You may learn more about your financial options by visiting our page on credit card debt.