Statement of Policy Regarding Communications in Connection With Collection of a Decedent's Debt
The Federal Trade Commission (``FTC'' or ``Commission'') requests public comment on a proposed statement of enforcement policy regarding communications in connection with collection of a decedent's debts.\1\ The statement addresses three issues pertaining to debt collectors who attempt to collect on the debts of deceased debtors. First, the proposed statement announces that the FTC will not bring enforcement actions for violations of Section 805(b) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (``FDCPA''), 15 U.S.C. 1692c(b), against collectors who, in connection with the collection of a decedent's debt, communicate with a person who has authority to pay the decedent's debts from the assets of the decedent's estate. Second, the proposed statement clarifies how a debt collector may locate the appropriate person with whom to discuss the decedent's debt. Third, the proposed statement emphasizes to collectors that misleading consumers about their personal obligation to pay a decedent's debt is a violation of the FDCPA and Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (``FTC Act''), 15 U.S.C. 45.