A Death Wish: For a Veteran?


This below story is one of the more troubling I have read in quite a while.  As we approach Veterans Day, we should all stop and reflect on the many sacrifices made by our military personnel and their families.  Too often our veterans and military personnel and their families are victims of scams and unscrupulous actors.  Even when times are difficult our veterans deserve to be treated with dignity.  Apparently one paralegal in Minnesota didn’t think so.  So he had his say and now he and his law firm are in pretty hot water. 

One thing that makes this story so bizarre is the veteran apparently was merely asking for the paralegal and his firm to obey a court order.  The veteran had defaulted on a student loan several years prior and in an effort to collect on the debt the law firm illegally garnished funds from the veteran’s wife’s bank account.  A month later a judge ruled the money in the bank account was exempt from collection and the law firm would have to return the money.  So the veteran calls the law firm to find out when the money would be returned and this is how he reports he was “saluted”:

“[Expletive] you! Pay us your money!”…“You can’t afford an attorney. You owe us. I hope your wife divorces [you].  If you would have served our country better you would not be a disabled veteran living off social security while the rest of us honest Americans work our [expletive] off. Too bad; you should have died.”

Nice work by a real piece of work….if this story is true.  As you would imagine the veteran hired an attorney who has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the law firm for alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and several other claims.  It will be interesting to see what happens with this case. 

If you owe a debt you have valuable legal rights.  Inability to pay or failure to pay does not allow a debt collector to harass you, intimidate you, threaten you, or otherwise treat you as a subhuman.  In North Carolina the North Carolina Debt Collection Act provides debtors with additional protection against rogue collection activities.  The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act allows military personnel certain extensions of time, forebearances, and other accomodations regarding debt obligations.

All persons—military personnel and civillians—should know their rights as relate to handling debt issues.  Realize there may be specific and sometimes exacting legal requirements and obligations imposed upon the creditor or debt collector.  Do not guess about your rights and responsibilities.  If you are having difficulty with a creditor or debt collector consult an experienced attorney to discuss your situation.

I end with a huge thank you to all veterans, military personnel, and their families for your commitment to our country.  Our nation is safer and better because of you.  Happy Veterans Day.

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    1. Debt Collection A to Z: Y is for Yellow–The Color of Rogue Debt Collectors | Law and Life Blog

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