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Constant intimidation, verbal abuse and phony lawsuits are only some of the methods that the bank industry uses to pursue illegally the widows and grieving family members for the financial obligations of deceased loved ones. These are debts that they do not even owe. A leading consumer finance website has revealed that exposure on national media about this problem has not stopped it.
A new report made available by CreditCardAssist.com featured a number of interviews with recent victims, and explored the human toll of the aggressive tactics of the banking industry.
Bill Hazelton, the CEO of Credit Cart Assist, said, “When you die, your debts are forgiven by the state, but that doesn’t seem to matter to the banking industry. Grieving family members are being strong-armed into paying money they don’t owe. It’s illegal in the worst kind of way, and everyone knows about it, and nobody is doing anything to make it stop.”
One widow remembered being contacted by collectors on the day of the funeral of her husband. After expressing their “sympathies,” she was informed that they expected her to settle all of his debts, including those he accrued seven years before their marriage.
Another woman was hounded aggressively by a debt collector for the money that her father still owed on the truck he bought just before he passed away. The collector called her constantly at her office and home for two months, usually leaving hostile messages and once causing her to cry in front of a client.
Although the FTC has fined a number of collection agencies for Fair Debt Collection Practices Act violations, it refused to establish a “cool-down” period that would have stopped lenders or their partners from contacting grieving family members within a period of forty-five days following the debtor’s death.