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Category: Bankruptcy Law
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Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
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my question is related to the following...Federal law, The

Customer Question

my question is related to the following...Federal law, The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act As amended by Public Law 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009 (Sept. 30, 1996) Is it true if you are VERY unable to pay your debt you can contact each debtor you owe and ask them not to contact you regarding any monies you owe them. We wanted to file bankruptcy for my parents, but cannot afford to do that!! if this is not an option, what option do they have. the only source of income is their ss. (mom is with hospice now and dad is the primary caregiver and cannot work) she is 71 & he 73. I have been helping pay their bills that they have to have, but cannot afford anymore than that myself.  <br />ALSO one more question...when a spouse passes away does the surviving spouse still receive their ss benefits IE: checks<br />thank you for your time.   KTML
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  cfortunato replied 4 years ago.

Hi Customer,

Per the FDCPA - which applies to collection agencies only, not to original creditors - if your parents notify collection agencies in writing to stop contacting them, they must stop, or your parents can sue them for up to $1,000.

Additionally, if Social Security is their only source of income, unless they have property that can be attached, there is really nothing their creditors can do to them.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
thank you for your answer!!!!!
dont know if you saw this question and if you did i did not understand the answer.
'ALSO one more question...when a spouse passes away does the surviving spouse still receive their ss benefits IE: checks<br />thank you for your time.'
Expert:  cfortunato replied 4 years ago.

Sorry! I did not see that last question.

After age 67, the surviving spouse (widow or widower) continues to receive full benefits.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
You are great!! i need one more clarification, please. the 'debtors' must turn them into a collection agency FIRST, is this correct? THEN we can contact the collection agency. Thanks!
Expert:  cfortunato replied 4 years ago.

Your parents are the "debtors", the companies to whom they owe money are the "creditors". And yes - the creditors must first sell the debts to the collection agencies before the FDCPA applies.

cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience: Bankruptcy professor.
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