Federal Trade Commission officials asked the public for more comments on its proposal to change policies related to collecting debt from the estates of deceased Americans. The FTC first published its suggestions in early October, which include:

  • Allowing debt collectors to contact attorneys, relatives, and other people potentially connected to the execution of an estate,
  • Relaxing restrictions on the information debt collectors can share with third parties when trying to locate an estate's executor,
  • Requiring debt collectors to make the distinction between unsecured credit card debt and loans tied to property that may have been included in an estate, and
  • Forcing debt collectors to refrain from suggesting that any individual should pay outstanding balance's on the estate's behalf.

Although the Commission voted 5-0 in favor of the action, Consumers have until December 1 to leave public comments about the FTC's proposal by completing an online form at ftc.gov or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). For comments to be included in the final report and decision, callers must reference the "Deceased Debt Collection Policy Statement."

About the Author


Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.