News & Resources

Debt collection beyond the grave

Oct 12, 2011 Mike Garretson

Nothing can be more tragic than the loss of a life due to an unexpected accident. With life as unpredictable as it is, events arise that result in the loss of life and leaves the family of the deceased grieving for years after. And while the funeral arrangements are quickly made after a passing, there can be something besides grief that the family members are forced to deal with head on - debt collectors. When a person dies and they owe outstanding bills, the collection agency can often contact the person's place of residence or work not knowing that the person has died and adding more pain to an already tragic situation. In one recent case, Michael and Ceilia Ingram of Delaware, were forced to bury their son, who had just graduated from college, after he was killed by a drunk driver going the wrong way on Interstate 95, WHYY-FM reports. Yet, a few days after the son's bills were overdue debt collectors began calling the house, asking to speak with their no longer living son. Michael Ingram recalls that even after telling debt collectors about the passing of his son, others would call up and demand to speak with him. He said that the continued calls rubbed salt on the already painful wound of losing a child. "We were getting calls five six times a day, shortly after those due dates," recalls Michael Ingram Sr. in an interview with the news provider "I'm asking these people, 'look I don't understand what just happened to me, please let me have some time to grieve.' And, it never stopped. " However, one of the reasons that debt collectors are so persistent is because they have grown accustomed to people telling them untruthful statements to avoid payment. In an interview with the radio station, Zachariah Stahre, a former debt collector, said that industry professionals needed to stay on top of their game if they wanted to be as effective as possible "You lose your edge, when you get yourself personally involved with the situation. You are done, you are done," he said in an interview with the news provider. Debt collection can be a difficult but necessary task for many professionals. Getting money that someone has failed to pay will often help companies meet their profit expectations and expand operations.