The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) makes illegal certain collection tactics used by collection agencies.
The FDCPA applies to debt collectors only, not to creditors collecting their debts. Here are some collection actions prohibited by the FDCPA.
However, some states have laws that restrict what creditors can do when collecting debts. For the most part, a collection agency cannot contact third parties about your debt. Collectors are allowed to contact: Collectors are also allowed to contact your spouse, your parents (only if you are a minor), and your codebtors.
But they cannot make these contacts if you have sent a letter asking them to stop contacting you. Debt collectors are allowed to contact third parties for the limited purpose of finding information about your whereabouts.
In these contacts, collectors: A debt collector’s first communication with you must tell you that he or she is attempting to collect a debt and that any information obtained from you will be used for that purpose.
In subsequent communications, the collector must tell you his or her and the collection agency’s name.
A collector cannot contact you: For more on what debt collectors can and cannot do, what to expect if your debt goes to collection, and how to negotiate with debt collectors, see our Debt Collectors & Collection Agencies area.) This is an excerpt from Nolo's Solve Your Money Troubles: Debt, Credit & Bankruptcy, by Margaret Reiter and Robin Leonard.As an executor, before you start deciphering a will in preparation for settling an estate, you should take a moment to consider whether the will is valid.The final word on validity will be issued by the probate court if you go through formal probate proceedings.But it's good to be confident that the will is a legally binding document before you begin following its instructions.(For tips on wrapping up an estate if no valid will can be found, see How Is an Estate Settled If There's No Will: Intestate Succession) First off, it's important to understand that certain circumstances can affect the will: For a look at specific situations that should trigger a reexamination of the deceased's will, see Settling an Estate: When Executors Should Take a Second Look at the Will.To be legally binding, a will must meet three requirements, all intended to protect against fraud or forgery.