Collection and Probate
Could anyone tell me if the Fair Debt Collection Act applies to Probate?
I am the Independent Executor of my husband's Estate. My husband had a fairly new vechicle which I ended up surrendering to the finance company in July. I sent the original creditor (the finance company)a Claim Notice in April.
The sold the vehicle, but still came up with a BIG deficiency - much of it because they did not cancel any of the extra contracts --extended warranty's etc. though they had promised me they would. They are still trying to collect the entire amount.
They retained an attorney to collect the debt. I recieved a letter from the Attorney dated August 17.
I sent the attorney a letter August 27 (by certified mail) asking them to validate the debt and provide me with proof they are authorized to collect the debt.I also asked them to cease any collection activity until such time as they had mailed me such validation. They recieved my letter on August 29.
They filed a Claim with the Probate Court - filed September 10. (dated Sept. 4, postmarked Sept 5 - Not certified)(the last day to file a claim was September 8 - but that was a Saturday - so the 10th may still be considered "timely")
I also recieved a claim by mail (the same one filed with the court).
However, the only "validation" presented was an affidavit signed by the collection attorney that to the best of his knowledge that this was the correct amount owed, etc.
So my questions are -
1. Is my husband's estate protected by the Fair Debt Collection Act?
2. If I, acting as his executor, requested the debt be validated prior to them making any further attempt to collect on the debt - were they in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Act by submitting a claim to Probate Court on Sept. 10th?
3. Is the affidavit signed by the collection attorney considered "validation" of the debt?
4. Was I entitled to recieve some type of validation from the creditor PRIOR to being sent a claim notice against the Estate? (i.e. does the Claim Notice that was sent to both the court and myself considered "validation?" Or is it considered an attempt to collect a debt since the only "validation" is the affidavit signed by the collection attorney?