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Father Passed, had bankruptcy but now collections


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Hello everyone :-)

My dad passed away at age 92 on 12.6.08 and before he passed away he filed for bankruptcy in August of 08. He had his 341 meeting October 16th and was pronounced terminally ill 10/31/08 and passed away 37 days later. He received his discharge from the bankruptcy court, Southern District of Mississippi in late December 08.

On 10/15/09 I received a letter from Creditors Interchange for an account with Bill Me Later in the amount of $3,030.94 which was from account he had with newegg.com (which is also Bill Me Later). The letter wanted to know about his "estate" (which there was none since he died penniless and buried as a pauper).

I did call these people and let them know he had no estate and it was not till later that I realized that this account was on his bankruptcy list of creditors. I both called and wrote CI (certified mail) about this, giving them his case number and date of discharge. I also wrote his bankruptcy attorney.

I did some investigating and called both newegg.com and Bill Me Later and was told that they had no interest in this account and that it had been written off due to bankruptcy and death. The also referred me to a firm call "ERI" and they even told me it was closed. I also know that Bill Me Later is a part of CIT Bank, but I have not tried to contact them. Nobody at Newegg.com or Bill Me Later has ever heard of Creditors Interchange.

My dad when he decided to file for bankruptcy in the summer of 2008 stated that he wanted to "go out clean" and basically he wanted to make sure I did not be in a position to have to deal with his creditors. Somehow this backfired and now I am having to deal with the one thing I never thought would happen. I am not in good health, having had one major stroke and several light ones. This is not good for me period !!! BTW, I also filed for bankruptcy shortly after my dad's passing. I did this in order to keep living in this apartment and to pay utilities, etc. My only other alternative was the "street".

Now given all this - what is the standing? Since he is (1) deceased and has no estate, (2) has on file a bankruptcy and discharge, finally (3) the original creditor (newegg.com) was on his list of creditors - does CI or anyone else have a "case" ? Why in the heck was this ever pursued in the first place ?

I know that technically legally I am not responsible for my dad's debts but what is my standing in all this ?

Any helpful suggestions, information would be highly appreciate and would help to ease my pain.

PS: I am a senior citizen, age 64, and have no living relatives.

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I would suggest consulting a lawyer too. Although Trueq is right about the FDCPA violation, I would think that a decent lawyer would look at this being a violation of the automatic stay for the bankruptcy which might get you a bigger settlement being that the BK laws have stronger teeth than the FDCPA.

BTW, the automatic stay was started on the filing date, not the discharge date and continues indefinately unless 1) The case is dismissed, 2) A motion to relief from the automatic stay is granted 3) The debt was not included in the bk paperwork or 4) The debt is removed from the BK either by law (such as student loans) or through court action (such as proven fraud).

This sounds like a slam dunk violation of the automatic stay, especially if they sent stuff in the mail. Also, the courts have ruled that the violation does not have to be willful to be actionable (recent case in Eastern TN district).

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To add to the above, this is actually a violation of the Discharge Injunction. You can collect big money for this....bring it to an attorney. Creditors Interchange is a collections agency and they buy up discharged debt in hopes to force payment. It is not legal to do, but you have to know your rights. They would also be responsible for your attorney fees....go get um!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have sent Creditors Interchange a carefully worded reply stating that I knew that the Bill Me Later & Newegg.com accounts were one and the same and that they had the same account number. I also sent them a copy I luckily had of a Newegg.com bill which showed the account number.

Then I proceeded to say that this was a discharged debt and that it it illegal to collect or attempt to collect on a discharged debt. Furthermore, I went on to say that the Attorney General of the State of New York and the FTC might be interested in this matter. I concluded by saying that courts have given hefty judgments in these matters.

In conclusion I stated that it would be in the best interests of Creditors Interchange for them to move on to more viable accounts and to let the dead rest in peace and to give me, his son, some closure.

I'm giving them a month from the date I receive their original letter (Oct 15th, 08), and then I am going to call them and ask what is the disposition of my late father's case. If the answer is that it is in any way still active I shall immediately write a letter to the AG of New York and also the FTC and if this does not produce any results then I am forced into seeing an attorney.

Additionally I did write to CIT Bank of Salt Late City, UT, which has connections with Bill Me Later to see if they could shed some light on the matter. I enclosed a death certificate and bankruptcy papers and a copy of the original Creditors Interchange letter. I sent this and any correspondence with Creditors Interchange by certified mail. I have no idea if CIT Bank will reply to my letter but I thought it was worth a shot.

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