They say you can't take your money with you when you die—and you can't take your debt, either. When people move on to that great air-conditioned lobby in the sky, their banks sometimes ask—and ask, and ask—their grieving families to pay off remaining debts.
Honolulu, Hawaii resident Deborah Crabtree is suing Bank of America based on claims that the casual life-wrecker had home loan servicing debt collectors calling her house "every 15 minutes" to remind her about a mortgage payment her recently deceased husband owed them:
Even after the wake, Crabtree said Bank of America collectors called her as many as 48 times a day — and even threatened to foreclose on her home, according to a lawsuit she filed last month against the bank.
Crabtree, who lives in Honolulu, said she had told the bank that she would pay the debt as soon as she received her husband's life insurance check. However, the agents told her that since the calls were computer-generated they couldn't stop them until the debt was paid.
Just nothing they could do! The computer is very grumpy and bear-like. It doesn't appreciate being interrupted as it goes about its business of repeatedly calling people while they're mourning the loss of their loved ones.
Crabtree's complaint says BoA began calling her about the payment the day after her husband died of cancer—that's some attentive customer service!—and that even though she explained that she needed 30 days to put his financial affairs in order, the calls came anyway. She and her family spent her husband's wake repeatedly hanging up the phone as BoA robocalled to redeliver its friendly, helpful reminder. Then BoA called Crabtree to demand evidence that her husband was truly dead. She sent it off to them, and they allegedly misplaced it. The bank also began asking to speak to her husband even though she kept telling them that he was dead. There are many more insane things Crabtree apparently had to deal with, as her complaint describes.
By the way, no federal laws exist to stop banks from doing this same thing to you.