Fraud affects all communities: debt collection


After 9/11, I knew I wanted to serve. And I served my four years in the US Army. I spent a year and a half in Iraq as a forward observer for the American artillery. I loved every soldier I served with there, I still do. And that carried over into what I do now as a Foreign Wars Veterans Duty Officer helping me with other veterans.

When I got out of the army, it was chaos. I worked two jobs at once just to support myself. I moved from place to place every year, until I decided to go back to college to get my associate degree. This was around the time I started getting debt collection calls from third parties that I didn’t recognize.

Bryan came to see us after receiving a court summons. A third-party debt collector was suing him for an old debt he didn’t know what the debt was for. And a third-party collection agent is when a company decides they can’t collect the debt and writes it off on their taxes. And then they sell it to another multi-million dollar company for cents on the dollar, and then that other company tries to collect that debt.

By working with Bryan, we were able to determine that they were unable to provide sufficient evidence to prove the case. Just asking them to try to prove it, they couldn’t do it. And we managed to get the case dismissed.

Scammers see veterans as targets. If you get those harassing debt collection calls, don’t feel pushed into a corner. Don’t isolate yourself. There are services.

We often tell veterans to ask for proof of debt. This is called a validation letter.

We suggest that people, if contacted by debt collectors, do not ignore this and look into the resources available through agencies such as the FTC.

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