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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.
Sorry! I did not see that last question.
After age 67, the surviving spouse (widow or widower) continues to receive full benefits.
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.