Debt Collector Cleared of Veteran’s Damning Suit

     (CN) – A veteran dropped claims that a debt collector garnished his disability payments and said the soldier “should have died” in the Army.
     In an October 2012 federal complaint, Michael and Kim Collier had named Gurstel Chargo P.A., a Minnesota-based third-party debt collector, as a defendant.
     Collier said he suffered spine and head injuries in the Army and was declared 100 percent disabled.
     Though the disability payments he and his college-student wife receive are allegedly exempt from execution, the complaint accused Gurstel of garnishing Kim’s savings account and freezing her money to seek $6,000 from Michael’s defaulted student loan.
     More egregious, however, the complaint alleged that an unidentified Gurstel paralegal had told Michael Collier: “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 a– off. Too bad; you should have died.”
     The Colliers stipulated to dismiss the complaint with prejudice on July 25.
     That filing concedes that Gurstel did not commit any action that violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and that the “telephone call referred to in the complaint and the central subject of this lawsuit was not made by Gurstel Chargo, any employee or affiliate of Gurstel Chargo, or anyone acting on behalf of Gurstel Chargo.”
     The Colliers were not paid a settlement, the stipulation states.
     Gurstel Chargo CEO Todd Gurstel said, “We are very relieved to be done with this false and frivolous lawsuit.”
     “The outrageous allegations created significant negative publicity that wrongly disparaged our firm and our dedicated professional team,” Gurstel said in a statement. “Following an immediate investigation, we knew that the claims were false and did not happen. We were determined to make sure that the truth came out and we have spent nearly a year defending this case to do so.”

%d bloggers like this: