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John Legal
John Legal, Attorney
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I have been notified of a collection agentcy (who has alot

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I have been notified of a collection agentcy (who has alot of comolaints filed against them) of filing a $44,000 claim against my mothers estate. I ask them for proof it was her debt and they never responded. What do I do in Arizona to get this off her probate file? The collection letter and the letter of "proof" it was her debt is signed by the same person
Welcome! Thank you for your question.

When did you open the estate? Have you published a notice to creditors? If so, when?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The estate was opened in August 2012. Yes, notice was published in news papers and this is where this collection agentcy got their information. She had no creditors at the time of her death. I paid her bills and all she had was her medical insurance and taxes on her home.

Again, when was the notice to creditors published?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

July 30. Aug 6 and Aug 13th

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Did you get my response with the dates? Or did I lose you?

Unfortunately the notice to creditors has not expired. It only expires 4 months after publication. That would be the easy way out.

With that said, you can deny the claim. You must send a clear notice of disallowance if you do not have enough evidence that the debt is valid. This notice is sent by a simple letter. I would suggest sending return receipt requested so that you have a receipt of the acceptance of the letter for later presentation to the court. The creditor then has 60 days to file suit to prove the validity of the debt to the estate. If they do not file within 60 days their claim is forever barred. Below is the statute on presentation of claims. Paragraph 3 is the procedure for your denial.

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14-3804. Manner of presentation of claims

Claims against a decedent's estate may be presented as follows:

1. The claimant may deliver or mail to the personal representative a written statement of the claim indicating its basis, the name and address of the claimant and the amount claimed. The claim is deemed presented on receipt of the written statement of claim by the personal representative. If a claim is not yet due, the date when it will become due shall be stated. If the claim is contingent or unliquidated, the nature of the uncertainty shall be stated. If the claim is secured, the security shall be described. Failure to describe correctly the security, the nature of any uncertainty, and the due date of a claim not yet due does not invalidate the presentation made.

2. The claimant may commence a proceeding against the personal representative in any court where the personal representative may be subjected to jurisdiction, to obtain payment of his claim against the estate, but the commencement of the proceeding must occur within the time limited for presenting the claim. No presentation of claim is required in regard to matters claimed in proceedings against the decedent which were pending at the time of his death.

3. If a claim is presented under paragraph 1, no proceeding thereon may be commenced more than sixty days after the personal representative has mailed a notice of disallowance; but, in the case of a claim which is not presently due or which is contingent or unliquidated, the personal representative may consent to an extension of the sixty day period, or to avoid injustice the court, on petition, may order an extension of the sixty day period, except no extension may run beyond the applicable statute of limitations.

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