After my dad died, I had the unenviable task of managing his estate while working full-time and living in another state. One task was to contact credit card companies to cancel his accounts. He had MANY credit cards open because the person who lived with him up until 2006 (2 years before his death) was stealing from him and opening lines of credit under his name. I canceled quite a few credit cards in 2006 but there were still a couple open when he died.
One credit card was with Citi. I called the number on the back of the card to let customer service know he passed away and that I was the executor of the estate. I also sent a letter re: card member death to the office in Kansas City, as instructed. It included a copy of his death certificate and I provided them with an address to send any payment owed by him. I needed to have everything in writing for the estate records.
What I got instead was notification from a collection agency: DCM Services out of the Twin Cities. I called them and got perhaps the coldest, meanest woman to ever walk the earth on the end of the line. She treated me like garbage even though his death record was on file; she didn’t care that he had recently passed away. She didn’t care about anything except getting the money owed to CitiCorp. I was shaking and in tears after I got off the phone with that debt collector.
Ironically, DCM Services SPECIALIZES in deceased debt collections, from their website: “probate-focused, survivor-sensitive recovery is our singular focus. Honoring long-time customers as well as their loved ones“.
Please note: As previously mentioned, I was the executor of my dad’s estate and was legally obligated to pay any debts on behalf of my father’s estate. This does not mean I paid any of his debts out of my own pocket. With that being said, not every circumstance is alike and it’s always wise to consult an attorney regarding the legal rights and obligations regarding a deceased loved one’s debts; remember that DCM Services is not looking out for your best interests.