Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP Rip Off Military Widow and Veteran Internet, Internet
I joined the Army right out of high school at 17. I married a great man and fellow soldier. We deployed to Iraq together in 2006. He was killed in Feb. of 2007 and I was widowed at 19. I came home to a whirlwind of information and benefits. The Veterans Affairs was to pay me a monthly payment up until I re-marry. Well I few years later I did meet someone and got re-married. He is military. We moved from North Carolina to Georgia. Right after we married I called VA to let them know I had remarried so they would stop sending me the monthly money also known as DIC. Well about five months later I am still getting the money. So I call back. The young man on the phone told me I was still supposed to get the money and I wouldn't owe anything. I had to inform the VA employer that he was wrong and ask him to stop paying me. Six months passed since I had gotten married and I had almost $7,000 I would owe to the VA when they finally stopped the payments. I called the VA once again to ask how I pay the amount back to them. They told me I would be billed not to worry about it. I once again gave them my new address in Georgia.
Well my husband and I got orders to Germany. Shortly before we left I once again contacted the VA to inquire how to settle this bill. I tried again to change my address. This was February of 2011. We have lived in Germany for about 5 months now and during a Skype call back home my dad plays me a message from a lawyer representing the US Government. They called about 4 times and even once while I was on Skype. I took down the number and info and called back. Once I got through to my "representative" named Pat Dorn I was informed I owed the Government $8,862.72. I was floored. How could this be? She told me the VA tried to contact me for repayment and as of December 2010 I was reported to the treasury department. Remember I called the VA after that. No one even hinted that I owed!
Mrs. Dorn told me that because I failed to pay I now owe penalties and taxes on the money. On the money the VA overpaid me after my husband died in war. I was just about to give her my credit card for the original amount owed and dispute the rest. After all, I contacted the VA several times to get this taken care of. Before I gave her my info I decided to call the VA to see if they had my phone calls on record. Of course they did not. The young man on the phone for the VA actually told me they wouldn't have updated my address anyway b/c once they stop paying me I am no longer an active account. And that I should be calling the VA debt center. Why was this the first time I'm hearing about this? I didn't even know there was a VA debt center! So I call them just to do a change of address. Almost just to be sarcastic. He told me they would bring my debt back to the VA and away from the treasure so I wouldn't have to pay the penalties. He advised me NOT to pay the lawyer. OK I sigh relief and try to call the "nice" lady back from LGBS to tell her the good news.
Once I get on the phone with Mrs. Dorn from Linebarger Goggan Blair and Sampson, She tells me the VA was wrong and I should just pay her. Now I'm confused and I feel like I'm being ripped off. She tries to convince me that not paying her would be a big mistake. Basically threatening me that because I know of the debt it looks like I'm just not paying her. I tell her I just feel more comfortable paying directly to the VA. She continues to insist and basically beg me to give her my credit card. I try to get her to see my apprehension for giving this stranger almost 7 grand and my credit card info. So she tells me to google her law firm. I do and google came back with "Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson Scams." I informed her of my search results and she basically thought I was crazy and insulted my computer literacy. There is no wrong way to read "SCAM!" So after more of her basically scaring the crap out of me thinking I need to get a lawyer I ask her if I can call back. I then get back on the phone with the VA debt and talked to a wonderfully helpful young lady who pulled up my call record and assured me that I could pay directly to the VA with no consequences. She told me the only reason Mrs. Dorn was being so aggressive is because when I pay the law firm, she gets paid. Of course she didn't want the VA to take the debt back over. She wouldn't make any money!!
I was outraged to hear that! It was good news for me that the VA cleared everything up. And that woman with LGBS scared the crap out of me! I was hearing "thief" when I should be hearing "thanks for your service and thanks for your husbands sacrifice"
I'm so glad I didn't give those people my money! If they contact you with a debt, do yourself a favor and make a few phone calls before giving in! I don't trust them!!
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