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In Hard Economic Times Debt Collectors are Now Targeting Relatives of the Dead

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posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 10:36 AM
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NY Times Article







MINNEAPOLIS — The banks need another bailout and countless homeowners cannot handle their mortgage payments, but one group is paying its bills: the dead.

Dozens of specially trained agents work on the third floor of DCM Services here, calling up the dear departed’s next of kin and kindly asking if they want to settle the balance on a credit card or bank loan, or perhaps make that final utility bill or cellphone payment.

The people on the other end of the line often have no legal obligation to assume the debt of a spouse, sibling or parent. But they take responsibility for it anyway.

“I am out of work now, to be honest with you, and money is very tight for us,” one man declared on a recent phone call after he was apprised of his late mother-in-law’s $280 credit card bill. He promised to pay $15 a month.

Dead people are the newest frontier in debt collecting, and one of the healthiest parts of the industry. Those who dun the living say that people are so scared and so broke it is difficult to get them to cough up even token payments.

Collecting from the dead, however, is expanding. Improved database technology is making it easier to discover when estates are opened in the country’s 3,000 probate courts, giving collectors an opportunity to file timely claims. But if there is no formal estate and thus nothing to file against, the human touch comes into play.

New hires at DCM train for three weeks in what the company calls “empathic active listening,” which mixes the comforting air of a funeral director with the nonjudgmental tones of a friend. The new employees learn to use such anger-deflecting phrases as “If I hear you correctly, you’d like...”

“You get to be the person who cares,” the training manager, Autumn Boomgaarden, told a class of four new hires.

For some relatives, paying is pragmatic. The law varies from state to state, but generally survivors are not required to pay a dead relative’s bills from their own assets. In theory, however, collection agencies could go after any property inherited from the deceased.

But sentiment also plays a large role, the agencies say. Some relatives are loyal to the credit card or bank in question. Some feel a strong sense of morality, that all debts should be paid. Most of all, people feel they are honoring the wishes of their loved ones.





Just when you think the parasitic debt collectors and the greed peddlers couldn't find a way to stoop any lower, here they are. Targeting the greiving surviving family members of a recently deceased person and trying to shame them into taking on and assuming debt that they arent even responsible for is what I consider to be wicked.

Just goes to show you how the all mighty dollar pushes people to subject their fellow human beings to unspeakable and disrespectful tactics such as the ones listed above. They actually train these people to behave like snakes, teaching them to pretend to be sympathetic and caring while at the same time positioning themselves to go for the throat and the heart of people who are in a state of mourning.

Is money really that important? People who have experienced loss should not have to suffer through the degredation and humiliation of having to deal with these telemarketer scumbags who are looking to stick them with paying off debts that arent even their own.

Not even in death can one escape the weight and greed of the sham credit system. How long before they bring back the beggars prisons?




posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 10:41 AM
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This is absolutely disgusting.

No more to say, it's pretty cut and dry.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 11:20 AM
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Disgusting. I think with the economy going even more bad and the suicides that will ensue or people fleeing, we'll see some bounty hunters once again.

The Wild west, it's coming back.

[edit on 4-3-2009 by Vitchilo]



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 11:37 AM
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hang up the phone...

if the call from a different number, tell the pesty collectors your cell phone keeps dropping calls unexpecedly....... ......... ......



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 12:30 PM
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Mom and I have personal experience with this. When my dad passed (2yr ago in June) we got several calls and alot of mail addressed to his 'ESTATE'.

Of course, there is no 'estate' - even though mom & dad worked their asses off for over 40 yrs. My brother had to pay for dad's cremation and we could not even think about burial b/c of the high prices. My dad had been on SS for 10 yrs and all he could manage was to make sure he had 1 month advanced rent in savings. Basically, he left mom with nothing and, for years, they were just keeping their heads above water.

Disgustingly, they were screwed out of their retirement by the company they had both work for most of their adult life. So much for loyalty and dedication, huh?

Anyway, the calls started within 2 months of my father's death. As well as the letters. Since I am living with mom, I can help monitor these things. But when we moved last October, I got phone service with unpublished number. So those particular calls have stopped - for the time being. Sooner or later, these people always seem to get phone numbers somehow, you know?

Just 2 weeks ago, we received another letter addressed to 'The Estate'. I just tear them up now and do not even open them. I agree this is disgusting and that when you go into a contract with someone there is the chance that person may die before the contract is fullfilled. So, pray tell, why do they constantly try to give seniors credit cards, loans, etc. Because they are money hungry sub-humans who willingly loan $$ to someone who may not live until the debt is paid!! They took that chance and, guess what, my dad became very ill (after taking out a small loan) and died......

These companies can kiss my ass! It's all about screwing the people who are justr bearly getting by day to day anyway. Makes me sick.

BTW - I had to file bankruptcy back in 2000 and had all my debt, except my car, included in it. I had a cc company tell me they did not care that the debt was 'written off'. That they would continue to pursue payment - no matter what! I got a letter ( after years of not hearing from them) from a collection company stating they were pursuing the debt. I tore it up after making note of the company name and now do not even open letters from them.

I understand I am the one who got myself into trouble with credit cards. Unfortunately, the company I was working for in 1997 was closed by the state. Then it was discovered I had 3 big tumors in my uterus and had to have major surgery. So those cards helped me thru those times. I tried everyway I could to pay my bills but, eventually file bankruptcy. Thus the reason I now use NOTHING besides cash and will not even again - I learned my lesson the hard way. Bankruptcy did not feel good.....but there was no other way at the time.

So that's my story and now mom is concerned they will come after my brother and I when something happens to her....I tell you in all seriousness, when something happens to her I will be bugging out of the main stream and finding a nice secluded area with other people preparing for what is coming1 Until then.....I will look after my mom.

Thank you all for listening to me ramble.....








[edit on 3/4/2009 by Champagne]



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 01:09 PM
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reply to post by Champagne
 


Don't tear up any more letters you get from that credit card company, my friend! If the debt was legally discharged in a bankruptcy, it is highly illegal for them to continue to persue it or even report it as anything other than discharged. You quite possibly have a civil suit against them and could make a decent amount of money for being harrassed in violation of the fair debt collection laws.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 01:17 PM
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As to the OP, hidden between the lines of this article is clear evidence of how the media is in bed with the moneychangers.

Note how the lightly pass over the fact that relatives of the deceased have no legal obligation to pay these debts incurred by their dead family member. Then, even after only lightly mentioning that fact, they pimp the morality, upstandingness, and "honoring the deceased" qualities of paying these debts out of pocket.

Also take note of how lightly they touch on the fact that if a relative leaves an estate it can be seized and sold. See, they don't really care how they get the money, and in many cases they may actually benefit more from forcing the auction of an estate because that would mean they'd get all the debt paid up front and not have to deal with trying to tl survivors into installment plans or worry about those survivors losing their abillity to pay prior to the debt being settled.

The media is as sickening as the moneychangers themselves.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 01:20 PM
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Flagged and starred.


Ohgawd. Yet another reason to stay alive.



.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 01:34 PM
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What are they going to resort to next, digging up bodies to scavenge for valuables?

I swear to God, there is a special place in hell for these people.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 02:55 PM
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reply to post by burdman30ott6
 




I agree and yes I did notice that myself.

Shaming people who are grief strickened into paying debts that would otherwise just be written off without an issue. What kind of person would actually pursue this line of work as a career? What sort of gargoyle does one have to be to prey on the downtrodden and unfortunate ones who have had to deal with a tragedy?

Greed mongers have no class or tact, they dont give a sh** about you or your well being. To me this rank right up there with picking the pocket of a dead man. Only the lowest form of rodent would even dare entertain such an idea, must less make it a viable business practice.

For shame what we as human beings have been reduced to by the wicked dollar and cent.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 02:59 PM
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I don't understand the outrage here. A loan was made, and a company is trying to collect it. It is far easier to pay the debt, than to have to deal with a lien against property.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 03:06 PM
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Most of these bad loans are sold to third parties for pennies on the dollar. The companies buying the loans are out to make a huge profit if they can collect on most of the debt. The best thing to do is to ignore them. Yes they will bug threaten and harass but in the end they will sell your account to another party. Usually, these amounts are too small to take one to court over.


Next time somebody tries to collect money from you over a dead kin, give them the address of the cemetery.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 03:28 PM
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reply to post by stevegmu
 


Read the article, please. They're largely talking about people who don't leave any estate to file a lein against. Those with an estate, as I mentioned in an earlier post, are glossed over by the article almost purposefully, indicating these collectors almost would prefer their relatives not settle the debt so they can recoup as much as possible all at once and all upfront.

Ill tell you this, when my parents pass away, the only respect I'll show any creditors who call will be in the form of two middle fingers, shown to the phone and described verbally to them in glorious detail. We do not live in a society where the debts or sins of the father are passed onto the son, and I refuse to pretend that we do. Hell, knowing how hard my dad has worked his entire life, it would be a disrespect to him to pay these moneychangers one cent after he passes, not an honor to his memory as this article wants to paint it as.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 03:30 PM
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Originally posted by burdman30ott6
reply to post by stevegmu
 


Read the article, please. They're largely talking about people who don't leave any estate to file a lein against. Those with an estate, as I mentioned in an earlier post, are glossed over by the article almost purposefully, indicating these collectors almost would prefer their relatives not settle the debt so they can recoup as much as possible all at once and all upfront.

Ill tell you this, when my parents pass away, the only respect I'll show any creditors who call will be in the form of two middle fingers, shown to the phone and described verbally to them in glorious detail. We do not live in a society where the debts or sins of the father are passed onto the son, and I refuse to pretend that we do. Hell, knowing how hard my dad has worked his entire life, it would be a disrespect to him to pay these moneychangers one cent after he passes, not an honor to his memory as this article wants to paint it as.


I don't remember my account info for the NY Times, so didn't read the article.

I take it you are against the estate tax?



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 03:37 PM
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Originally posted by stevegmu
I don't understand the outrage here. A loan was made, and a company is trying to collect it. It is far easier to pay the debt, than to have to deal with a lien against property.



If you dont understand the problem with harrassing the surviving members of a dead persons family over debt that they are not even responsible for then there is no amount of explanation that can help you.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 03:45 PM
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reply to post by stevegmu
 


Try seattletimes.com which is where I read the whole article this morning. (I'm on my crackberry right now or else I'd link you... sorry)

And yes, I am completely opposed to the death tax. It is taxing wealth that has already been taxed, kind of the double jeopardy of the taxation system.



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