As Bob Collins reports for Minnesota Public Radio, a debt-collection agency faces a lawsuit under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This litigation involves the apparent tirade of an employee, a legal assistant, who allegedly told a disabled veteran (who had defaulted on a student loan): “F- you! Pay us your money!”
The tirade apparently went on for some length. Perhaps the worst part of it was the legal assistant’s statement that the disabled vet “should have died,” which, according to the legal assistant, would have been a greater service to the country than surviving and living off Social Security Disability benefits.
As it happens, disability benefits are exempt from the reach of debt collectors, but that didn’t stop the collection agency in this case from garnishing the vet’s savings account (an account funded by those benefits).
For its part, the debt-collection agency is looking for a recording of that phone call and has proactively asserted its position that the allegations are “contrary to the policies, practices and values of our firm.”
At this point, it’s simply too early to tell who’s telling the truth – which is, of course, the point of litigation. But what’s certainly clear is that swearing at someone from whom you’re trying to collect, and saying they should have died while at war, is a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.