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New FTC guidelines regarding deceased debts

Aug 26, 2011 Mike Garretson

The Federal Trade Commission has released new guidelines for collecting debt which will be put into practice nationwide on Monday, August 29, InsideArm reports. Earlier in the year, the FTC restricted contacting a third party about a deceased debt. For instance, a widow being contacted by a debt collection agency about her husband's outstanding account. Earlier this year, J.C. Gunnell, CEO of Estate Information Services, LLC, told InsideArm he was anticipating a ruling on the acquisition of deceased debts. "People who are not experienced in this type of work can cause a lot of problems without proper processes and research," Gunnell said. "We are diligent in our efforts to identify the proper parties without improperly revealing the debt to others who are not authorized to pay … We welcome any clarification that may be provided by the FTC to address abuses in the industry with respect to working deceased accounts." Now, FTC's new guidelines state debt collection agencies will not be investigated if they attempt to seek debts through a third party related to deceased debts.