PEORIA, Ill. (CN) - A woman claims an abusive bill collector told her that her ex-husband would not be allowed to return from military service in Afghanistan unless she caught up on her student loans.
Tiffany Norris says in her federal complaint that a bill collector from defendant Afni Inc. made the threat during a telephone conversation in July 2011.
Her ex-husband co-signed the federal student loan with Sallie Mae.
"Defendant's representation, as delineated above, that her ex-husband would not be able to return to the United States after his deployment if plaintiff did not pay the debt she allegedly owed was false, deceptive and/or misleading given that plaintiff's payment of the debt she allegedly owed had no impact on whether her ex-husband would be permitted to the United States after his deployment with the United States Military," the complaint states.
"Defendant's representation, as delineated above, that her ex-husband would not be permitted to return to the United States after his deployment if plaintiff did not pay the debt she allegedly owed was made by defendant to plaintiff in an attempt to coerce plaintiff into making a payment to defendant relative to the debt on which it was attempting to collect."
Norris claims Afni violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by using false or unconscionable means to collect a debt; falsely represented that nonpayment would lead to arrest or other legal action; and used unfair means to collect a debt.
She seeks statutory damages and damages for humiliation, mental anguish and other charges.
She is represented by David Marco, with Smith & Associates, of Chicago.
Read the Top 8
Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.