WASHINGTON, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Consumer advocates say the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has asked for trouble by revising rules for collectors chasing debt from people who have died.
The new rules allow for a wider circle of people to be contacted, beyond family members and the legal executor of the estate. There is also the term "spouse" that some advocates say is inaccurate as a marriage ends when one of the partners dies. The Washington Post reported Monday.
Some advocates warn that some debt collectors will press even friends to pay the debts of someone who has died, using a "moral obligation" argument, the Post said.
Robert Hobbs, an attorney with the National Consumer Law Center said the FTC should "strengthen protections for grieving families and friends, not open the door to debt-collection efforts."
"Presumably we're dealing with elderly people at the most vulnerable time that you could imagine," said attorney Richard Rubin, a consumer rights advocate in New Mexico.
"The debt doesn't disappear when the person dies. It's still a valid debt, and the collector can still collect it," said Joel Winston, FTC associate director of financial practices, the Post reported.
"We are determined to ensure that the collectors play by the rules," he said.
The FTC has extended the deadline to Dec. 1 for the public to comment on proposed rule changes.
|Additional Business News Stories|
ERBIL, Iraq, June 19 (UPI) --Iraq's Kurds have consolidated their growing energy sector with Chevron Corp. securing a third exploration block in the semiautonomous northern region that increasingly operates as a de facto independent state and France's Total buying a majority stake in another.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, June 19 (UPI) --Britain's BAE Systems, Europe's biggest defense company, reportedly expects to wrap up a price deal with Saudi Arabia for 72 Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets after two years of tortuous negotiations.