The death of a loved one is always a difficult time. You have to deal with the pain of losing someone you care about, as well as all the practicalities that come with it. On top of all that, you may also have to deal with debt collectors who are trying to get money from the estate.
Estate Information Services is one such company. They specialize in calling people who have recently lost a family member, in order to try and collect on any debts that may be owed. This can be a very distressing experience at an already difficult time.
However, there are steps you can take to deal with Estate Information Services and protect yourself from their aggressive tactics.
Estate Information Services is a company that specializes primarily in debt collection. While they may seem like a daunting opponent, there are actually a few things you can do to beat them should they file a debt collection lawsuit against you.
For starters, it is important to understand what Estate Information Services does and how their business works.
How Do Estate Information Services Work?
Estate Information Services is a debt collection agency that was founded in 2000. It is based in Columbus, Ohio, and is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The company has an A+ rating from the BBB.
The company specializes in collecting debt from deceased individuals. However, it also handles debt collection for credit card debt, bank debt, auto loan debt, and education debt.
There have been many complaints about the company’s collection tactics.
However, the company makes a point to address every online complaint by providing facts surrounding the particular online complaint and asserting that they don’t violate the law.
The company is most likely to be contacted for outstanding debts owed by a deceased relative. This would usually happen through interaction with the company.
What is Your Responsibility for a Deceased Relative’s Debts?
It is important to know that you are not liable for the debts of a deceased family member unless you co-signed for them. When a debt collector attempts to get repayment for someone who has died, they should only try to get the money from the assets of the deceased person’s estate.
However, there are many rules regarding calling the relative or friend of a loved one who has just passed away. The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and Federal Trade Commission guidelines, states what debt collectors are allowed to do.
As debt collectors, they are only allowed to contact the deceased person’s spouse, parent, guardian, or executor of their estate. They cannot make any misleading statements in order to convince a family member that they have some obligation to pay the debt. It is also important that they tell the family member that they are not required to pay the debt unless they co-signed for it. When contacting family members or friends, they must do so at appropriate times and places. They also cannot use threats of a lawsuit, negative credit reporting, or arrest as a way to collect a debt. Finally, they cannot use obscene language when trying to collect payment.
Estate Information Services may call you frequently after the death of a loved one, but unless they have filed a lawsuit, there is no need to entertain their calls. You can refer them to the executor of the estate and move on.
You Can Defeat Estate Information Services
Estate Planning Services may try to intimidate you by making harassing phone calls or filing a lawsuit. However, you can beat them in court by simply showing up. Don’t let Estate Information Services or any other debt collector bully you into submission. Respond to anything they file in court, and you’ll eventually win the lawsuit.
When you get something in the mail from Estate Information Services stating that they have sued you in court, it is important to take action within the required amount of time (which is typically 30 days). This means that you need to:
1. Answer The Lawsuit
Filing an Answer to a lawsuit may seem daunting, but with a little bit of research, it is easy to do. No matter what state you are in, there are usually similar procedures for filing an Answer.
2. Prove Your Responsibility
You are not liable for the debts of a deceased relative. However, you may be required to provide proof that you are not responsible for the debt. One way to do this is to contact Estate Information Services and request proof that you owe the debt. Most likely, Estate Information Services will not be able to provide such proof.
3. Consult an Attorney About Possible Countersuits
You may have a case against Estate Information Services for harassment. Not only are you generally not liable for a deceased relative’s debts, but it’s possible that Estate Information Services violated the law when they contacted you or made harassing phone calls. Talk to an attorney to find out more.
It’s important to be aware of companies like Estate Information Services that could end up hurting your credit score. This is especially important during times of stress, like when you’re dealing with the death of a loved one.