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BC81

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Mystery DFAS debt dinging my credit Help
In 2009 I was placed on TDRL from active duty Army due to injuries sustained in combat in 2006. During that time, after someone messed up my last pay making a lot of problems for my family and I, DFAS dropped $7,000+ into my bank account. I called them up the next day and asked them what it was for and they said, "It's your severance from the military." after talking with the rep some more they said it was all the paid leave I had not taken and assured me I could use it and it wasn't something I had to pay back. They also said they would send me a letter detailing it, which they never did. At this point we used the money to clear up some late payments due to the last pay error and to live off while I battled with the VA about my rating while my wife was looking for work. Fast forward to 2010 and my wife and I had gotten my VA home loan guarantee and we were looking into a manufactured home. The guy came back and said we were denied, in hindsight probably for the best as the town we were living in was not so good for Veteran care, because of an $8,000+ debt owed to DFAS. We called them and they said that it was severance and that I should have been told I would have to pay it back. I told them that I was waiting on my VA claim to be approved and that after that I might be able to make some kind of payment arrangement. Well, things with the VA took longer than expected and my wife had to quit working to help me. I called them a couple more times to ask about the debt and to see what we could do and each time they gave me a diffrent answer; it's a booboo in travel pay, it's severance you have to pay back, I don't know what this is and most recently, It's uncategorized so we don't have a clue. Each time I asked them for a letter by mail detailing the debt so I had some record of what I was paying. Each time they they said sure no problem and never sent anything. So this has been dining my credit for some years and it may seem foolish not to have set something up, but I'm not paying a debt that they can't even tell me what it is. I have no idea what to do. I can't even get a personal loan to fix this now. I have gone through some organizations that are suppose to help with this kind of thing, but no one can help because my credit is now too low. I don't know what to do. Help please

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You may also want to consult with a consumer law attorney, they may be able to help or steer you in the right direction. Many law firms offer free consultations. I wish you the best with all of this and thank you for serving the country.

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Why is it that the young people believe they can get all the answers they need and solve virtually any problem simply by making a phone call?  Have you not heard of needing proof?  When you talk to someone on the phone, you don't know if they have any authority to handle a situation or if they are just a "phone drone" with a pat script they read from.  Right now, the only thing you have to work on is that some money was put in your account as a "severance" pay (according to the person you spoke to) and that you would receive written documentation shortly. And you spent the money before this verification arrived, which never happened. It would have been smart to contact DFAS in writing two weeks from that phone conversation to make sure everything was as you were told and, despite how desperate you may have been feeling, putting that money in a savings account until you were clear on this situation. Red Cross might have been able to help there. I would suggest a letter to DFAS detailing what you posted and request clear investigation of this situation and a thorough explanation of what had been expected of you, which hadn't been done as promised before.  DFAS dropped the ball on this by not being specific in writing as promised and you didn't help because of not doing a sensible follow-up.  Also, contact your Congressional representative and enclose a copy of the letter you write to DFAS.  The DFAS letter should also have a notation that a copy is being sent to 'name of congressman'.

I did not have this problem when placed on TDRL, probably because I was single.  But I have dealt with governmental agencies enough o[ver the yearsm to have a fair idea of how to try to get problems taken care of and the phone is not the way.      

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BC81

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I apreciate your responce. Trust me I kick myself about not getting in in writing all the time or following up on the letter they were supose to have sent, it was a really rough transition for me, and the only thing I can do moving forward, and I have been doing this, is to get everything in writing and make sure to teach my Daughter to not make the same mistake.  I will try and see if I can do as you said. I am glad that you didn't have the same issues and I would just like to add that this came at a time when my family was in the worst way as the VA only started me off at 10% and my wife was having trouble finding work. Not to mention the finance office had messed up and I didn't receive my last pay for three months due to the person who had entered it into the system putting 2008 instead of 2009. Once again I apriciate you responce and I am happy you had an easy time on TDRL.

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