…is the title of this expose (from personal experience), in Vox. A telling passage:
In most cases like this [i.e. attempting to collect a deceased's debt from his family], the family is not liable for the debts, something we informed them of — that is, if they asked. But if a family without an estate or attorney called in to pay a debt voluntarily, it wasn't my job to clear up the confusion.
The article also notes the important role of federal regulators, including the CFPB and FTC, in reining in abuses.
According to one longtime worker in the industry, practices have changed. … Why? In large part, it's thanks to the CFPB, he says[.]