First, here is a link to CA website, so that you can search the name of the attorney on the letterhead/correspondence:
If there is no attorney listed, that means that person is not licensed to practice in the state.
Also, a relative is not responsible for the debts of a decedent, unless they co signed on the loan, or otherwise assumed the loan. A legitimate creditor would have submitted a claim to the probate court or the personal representative/trustee of the estate. Many creditors will be very pushy and try to get the heirs to pay- a violation of the Fair debt Collection Practices Act, which imposes a $1,000 fine per incident.
Information on the Act here:
It is also a violation to make false statements; so if a judgment was never entered, that would subject the company to the $1,000 fine aforementioned.
While judgments are good for 10 years and renewable, the court would have a record- or the consumer can request from the collector a copy of the judgment.
If they are not legitimate, and one mentions the Act, and the $1,000 penalty, they will generally stop contacting the consumer, instead spending their time to find someone unaware of their legal rights and the protections under the Act.
It is very important to never give out personal information to unknown third parties as that may result in ID theft.
Here is a link to locate an attorney:
Should you have further questions please post here to continue our dialogue. Otherwise,
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