Receiving a call or a letter from a decedent debt recovery agency can be a confusing and frustrating experience for a family member who has just suffered the loss of a loved one. AscensionPoint Recovery Services, LLC is committed to providing as much information about the decedent debt recovery process allowed by law in order to assist the consumer in making informed decisions about available options. Below we have provided responses to some FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS to help consumers navigate through the decedent debt recovery process.
AscensionPoint Recovery Services, LLC (“APRS”)
200 Coon Rapids Boulevard, Suite 200
Coon Rapids, Minnesota 55433
For general inquiries
- Toll Free Phone: 888-806-9074
AscensionPoint handles accounts for clients who have been informed their customer has passed away recently. We are one of several national probate collection agencies that receive these specialized accounts for resolution. The placement of an account with our office is not a negative reflection upon the account or our clients’ customers. We attempt to locate an Executor or otherwise authorized Estate Representative to determine if a probate administration has been or will be filed in the probate courts. Family members are not personally responsible for the bills but may be contacted to help determine the identity of the authorized party or if a probate has been filed.
That letter is often referred to as a “Location letter,” and is sent to the last known address our client had on file for its customer. The letter is an attempt to locate the Executor or authorized Estate Representative to determine if a probate administration has been or will be filed. The initial letter does not contain any account information because we are required by law not to disclose any information about a debt in a location letter addressed to the “Estate of” (please see the Federal Trade Commission’s Statement of Policy Regarding Communications in Connection with the Collection of Decedents’ Debts). This is in order to preserve the integrity and security of the account information and prevent possible fraudulent activity resulting from information being obtained by an unauthorized third party. However, once we have identified who the authorized party is then a letter with the account information and other important disclosures is sent to him or her within 5 days of the initial communication.
No, you are not personally liable for the account balance. Only the estate may be responsible for account resolution if it is solvent enough to do so. This is why we contact the family and look for the personal representative of the estate. We operate on the assumption that our clients’ valued customers would like to see their accounts resolved through their authorized estate representatives. We are trying to help facilitate that process.
No, an authorized user is not personally liable for the account balance. Only the estate would be liable for paying the debt assuming it is solvent enough to do so.
Please accept our apologies for any previous misunderstanding. When the cardholder passes away the account is in fact closed so no new charges can be made on the account. If there is a balance due, however, then the account is assigned to AscensionPoint or another national probate collection agency for resolution. As a reminder, only the estate is responsible for resolving the account balance. Family members or authorized estate representatives are not personally responsible for the debts of the estate.
If you are receiving unwanted calls or letters then please call our toll free number so we may immediately discontinue communications. Please be sure to provide ALL the numbers we have been calling so we can make sure every one of them is added to our Do Not Call list. If you do not reach a representative then please leave a message with the name of the decedent and/or the number called so we can identify the account(s) and have the number(s) removed. Our toll free number is 888-806-9074
AscensionPoint is unable to disclose account information until it has verified it is speaking with the Right Party Contact. This is in order to prevent Third Party Disclosure to unauthorized parties. The verification process includes the decedent’s full name, the authorized party’s full name and ONE of the following: decedent’s date of birth, date of death or the last four digits of the decedent’s social security number. This must be completed on all calls even if you previously completed it on a recent call. This is similar to the process we go through as consumers when we contact our own financial institutions; they will not take us at our word and discuss account information until we have verified our identity. If you are uncomfortable with confirming any information then let our representative know you no longer wish to discuss it or be contacted by us.
Neither AscensionPoint nor any of its clients are attempting to scam consumers. The majority of our clients have customers who passed away and had outstanding, or unpaid, balances on their accounts so the account was sent to us for resolution. Unfortunately, we are unable to control what people post on the Internet. Not everything found on the Internet is always accurate. However, if you would like to no longer receive calls or letters then please contact AscensionPoint so we can immediately discontinue communications. If you would like to know what the call or letter is about then please contact us if you are the Right Party Contact or authorized Estate Representative. You will then be asked to complete a verification process before we are able to disclose account information to you.
Accounts where our clients have received information that the customer is deceased are placed with us or another probate collection agency regardless of whether it was delinquent or not. If a customer paid a bill in full but then used his account one time right before he passed away, then it is likely that the account will be placed with a probate collection agency even though it is not yet due. Circumstances may vary but if the balance is large enough and the client is informed about the death immediately then the account would be placed with us or another agency. This is not a negative reflection on the account or the customer. Different states have different probate requirements which is why the accounts are sent to us for resolution. Our task is to determine if a probate has been or will be filed, where it was filed, when it was filed and the timeline to present claims. Family members are not personally responsible for the estate’s bills but may be contacted to help determine if a probate administration has been filed.
Our clients place the accounts with us as soon as they are notified their customer is deceased. Most times, they are informed immediately or relatively soon after their customer’s date of death. Occasionally, they are informed several months or even years after their customer’s date of death. In some instances, it may be due to an authorized user on the account. We are not informed of how or why they received the information about their customer’s death.
If the second letter you received is a location letter then it was sent for a different client account that was not placed in our office at the time you spoke with us. If it is for the same account you spoke about then it is the “Validation” or “Not Liable” letter we are required to send within 5 days of identifying the authorized party. This letter is addressed to the authorized party and contains account information that we are not allowed to include in the initial location letter. This “Validation” letter also contains important disclosures about your right to dispute the validity of the account balance, and confirms that you are not personally liable for the estate’s bills.
If the estate is a no asset estate or is completely insolvent (i.e. no money to pay creditor claims) then you may call or write to let us know so we can discontinue contacting you. We may ask you to provide an inventory if one is available. If not then please let us know there is no inventory or accounting (i.e. a document that lists the assets and liabilities of the estate). If the estate is insolvent but has funds to pay a portion of creditor claims then please provide us with the information on the pro rata distribution.