ACA International, the association of credit and collection professionals, supports the Federal Trade Commission’s recently finalized policy statement bringing clarity to the complexities of collecting on a decedent’s debt.

“The FTC’s policy recognizes the challenges with estate administration and provides much needed clarity on how collectors may communicate with people to find those authorized to settle outstanding debts from a decedent’s estate,” said ACA International Chief Executive Officer Patrick J. Morris.

The FTC’s policy statement  clarifies the 1977 Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which determines whom debt collectors may contact after a relative has died such as the deceased person’s spouse and the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate. “The FTC showed great wisdom in updating the FDCPA to be consistent with the complexities of state probate law,” said Morris.

ACA International agrees with the FTC guideline that rightfully owed debt should be collected from an estate respectfully, without misleading relatives or by using deceptive or abusive tactics. As outlined by the FTC, family members are typically not obligated to pay the debts of a deceased relative from their own assets.

Consumers seeking information on their rights in debt collection can visit, a free resource to answer questions. In addition, the FTC has information for consumers about debt collection involving a deceased relative: Paying the Debts of a Deceased Relative: Who Is Responsible?

ACA International is the comprehensive, knowledge-based resource for success in the credit and collection industry.  Founded in 1939, ACA brings together more than 5,000 members in the United States and abroad, and their more than 150,000 employees, including third-party collection agencies, asset buyers, attorneys, creditors and vendor affiliates.  ACA establishes a wide variety of products, services and publications.

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