Gurstel Chargo is a Minnesota-based law firm and debt collection agency and they decided it would be a good idea to illegally garnish the savings of a 100% disabled Army veteran and his wife.
The classy debt collectors are looking to cover a defaulted student loan, and even went on to verbally abuse the couple when they called to get their money back.
Michael Collier was declared 100% disabled after suffering major spine and head injuries while he was serving in the US Army. His disability entitled him to Social Security payments that are exempt from debt garnishment.
That didn’t stop the company from seizing the funds anyway, taking the money from the savings account of Kim Collier, Michael’s wife, in order to pay off a $6000 defaulted student loan.
In May, a judge ordered Mrs. Collier’s credit union to unfreeze her assets effective immediately after declaring that her account was exempt from garnishment. However, an attorney from Gurstel allegedly told the Collier’s that they would have to sue their company “to get her money back”. Collier attempted to settle the matter over the phone but ended up on the end of a series of obscenities and insults from the paralegal he spoke with.
Court Documents tell the tale:
“The assistant told Michael, ‘Fuck you! Pay us your money! You can’t afford an attorney. You owe us. I hope your wife divorces your ass. 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 ass off. Too bad; you should have died.”
Since then and understandably, the Colliers have filed a lawsuit that demand a variety of damages from Gurstel Chargo for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The act prohibits the employment of harassment or abuse in the collection of a debt.
Question: Do you think that Chargo is in the right for coming at the Colliers the way they did? Or are they a douchebag company coming after a man who debt they could easily forgive?