Regarding estate proceedings in: California
4/27/12, I posted the following: parent who deceased in 2010 had credit card debt w/bank. Trust admin. received collection notice w/debt amount from lawyer. Legal advisor said, "this guy sends out these notices by the dozens," & hinted at ignoring letter. Lawyer filed petition for Letters of Admin (probate). Judge dismissed b/c filed in wrong county. Can't get answers from bank about who owns the debt. . . getting the run around.

1) If collection lawyer bought the debt, can trustees negotiate a lower amount?
2) can we dispute the debt (paying nothing at all)?
3) can trust(ees) be sued?
4) what's statute of limitation on creditors ability to collect debt?
5) what is our best course of action?

flyingron's response: It depends upon the trust. If the trust was a LIVING TRUST the debts are recoverable as if the trust assets were just part of the estate.

1. You can try negotiating w/the debtor, but if the trust has assets enough to pay in full all debts, he'd be a fool to accept less.
2. You can dispute the debt, but if the debt is valid it will do no good.
3. The trust will be sued and the trustees will be named in the suit, so yes.
4. Same as collecting debts in general. Typically four years, but depends on the nature of the debt.
5. Pay the legitimate debts.

I found new info on: #4. "For claims against a decedent's estate there is a 1-year statute of limitations under CCP 366.2, stating that any claims against a decedent must be brought within a year of the decedent's death or they are forever barred." Lawyer filed suit in July 2012. I believe it is too late, since statute has run out. Can anyone verify?