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City refuse bill and Collection Agency Collecting

Northern Lights

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A collection agency used by a City in Pennsylvania regarding past due refuse/garbage bills sent a letter regarding said debt to my deceased parents.


The collection letter states they are collecting for the City and if you dispute said debt respond within 30 days. This was done on an earlier letter we had received without a response from collection agency. Another leter addressed in my deceased parents name was received today requesting payment from this agency for the City.  Some of this debt go's back to early 2006.



1. Does anyone know if collection agency hired by the City to collect a debt for the City is covered under FDCPA?


2. I have read if a collection agency is collecting a debt they are in fact a collection agency and must follow FDCPA but unsure relative to municipal listings.


Any help regarding municipal collection efforts by a collection agency would be helpful.

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Is this your bill or your parents?  If it is related to your parents you simply send a letter to the city and their CA stating that they are deceased and the estate has been closed.  The time to make a claim for the debt has lapsed.  They may try and convince you that you are legally obligated to pay the bill but you are not.  Once the estate was probated and closed any creditors who failed to make a claim during probate are out of luck.

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I apologize, I know this is difficult to deal with. We still have collectors contact us occasionally on my MIL's debts. She passed away in 2008. And, since she shared accounts with FIL (deceased also) who had the same name as my husband these debts have popped up on his credit report. We have written many dispute letters with "as the alleged account was opened 2 years before I was born, obviously this is not my account".

If the will has been probated, then tough. If it has not, then I would let the attorney who is handling the will know. Good luck.

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This was the parent's old bill.

City and Collections is stating Estate is responsible for bill.


The estate IS responsible for the bill but once probate has closed then any creditors who did not file against the estate do not have to be paid.  The City is hoping you do not know that.  If the estate is insolvent then the creditors also do not get paid.  For example:  John Doe passes away and has $5,000 in assets but $15,000 in debts at the time of passing.  Creditors make a claim against the estate and once the money runs out the rest of the creditors are out of luck.  They get nothing. 


If the estate is closed you can simply send them a letter telling them that the time to file a claim against the estate  has lapsed and therefore the bill will not be paid.

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