Categorized | Debt Stories

David and Goliath

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My story has many subtitles: “State seizes 100% of liquid assets over a paperwork snafoo,” “Ex-husband’s debt causes state to seize $25,000 from mother of disabled son.” “Medical bills from child’s fall at school ruin single mother’s credit.”

Another subtitle: “Student falls from climbing wall at school during gym class, school refuses to pay for surgeries.”

That’s pretty much the gist of my situation. I was trying to move to a new location from Minneapolis, MN area to northern Wisconsin. The county I was moving to had told me that I could build on some property I was buying. Then once I bought it and started clearing land, told me that “no, it’s wetlands” – with no water on it and wouldn’t let me build.

This started my own personal Katrina. I had to move 5 times in 1 1/2 years – much of the time spent living in a camper.

I found a rental house to live in, which we lost to higher-paying renters. At this point, I still had my credit cards.

My daughter was in Superior Middle School, Superior, WI for her 7th grade year. The following spring she was put on the climbing wall in gym class with no safety gear. No parental permission was obtained for her to be on this climbing wall. She fell, breaking a bone in her leg and requiring two surgeries. The school and the insurance company fought responsibility for these costs for three years. During that period of time, my credit took a nose dive as the hospitals and the doctors reported the unpaid bills to the credit agencies. I was not of a mind to pay them, because I could see that if I did, I wouldn’t ever win a case against them.

In the fall of 2005, I handled what I thought was the last of the parental fee payments that I owed the state of Minnesota for my having dared give birth to a son with disabilities.

This was a fee that was increased exponentially by Jesse Ventura when he was pretending to govern the state of Minnesota. Life with him as governor increased costs to the general public in hundreds of ways. It became impossible for a family like mine to afford myriad excursions such as state parks, etc., because he eliminated huge chunks of state funding and greatly increased the entrance and parking fees. Something that cost $2 per person increased to $8.

Since Ventura’s regime had increased my parental fee from $150 to $1,050 per year,I had been behind on my payment and paperwork. In the fall of 2005, I had some extra money and paid up. I talked to someone on the phone who said since my son was turning 18 the following February, I wouldn’t owe much more, so she gave me an estimate of what that would be ~ $400. I paid everything.

A year and a half later, I got a bill for $179,000 from that same state department. This happened right about the time my father died. Needless to say, I was so flabbergasted by the bill that I just set it aside. I needed to deal with the loss of my father.

Before I left to go cross-county to my father’s funeral, I paid down both of my credit cards so that I would have plenty of room to use them on the trip to Tennessee. On that trip, I was trying to pay a bill over the phone,  I discovered that my credit available on both those cards had been reduced to 0, leaving the balance owed right up to the max. This was as a result of the unpaid medical bills having been reported to credit agencies.

The state kept sending me those bills. I sent letters to them recounting the story of how I had paid the bills. In January of 2010, the state of Minnesota seized 100% of the available cash I had in two separate bank accounts. One of those accounts was an account I had set up for my disabled son’s trust fund so that I could keep those funds separate from my own cash and not co-mingle funds. I had put $25,000 of his money in there to pay for work on my property as I was planning on building a guest cottage at my house for him to come visit. I have had no bank account since then, as I am too afraid of having my money seized by the state of Minnesota.

It is probable that the seizure of this money was due to the fact that my ex-husband refused to pay his parental fee for our son’s care in the state of Minnesota.

I tried finding a lawyer that would help me get this issue settled, and not one of the numerous attorneys I called would touch it.

I’d like to have these issues settled, but can’t find an attorney to help. When I was accused by the county where my son lived of mismanagement of David’s funds because the state had seized them, I couldn’t find an attorney who would represent me. I was forced to drive four hours and stay in a motel so I could appear in court without an attorney present. They kept saying “This is not a criminal matter,” but everyone knows that only the attorneys that work in a particular county really know how things go, and how to handle the judges and their prejudices. I was treated like a criminal. I’m afraid that this will be used against me in the future.

I feel that since I live in a different state, I really need an attorney in Minnesota to help me get all these loose ends tied up. I’ve been unemployed for 2 yeas, a teacher replaced by a computer and substitute teacher. I really don’t know which issue to handle first. I have a potential door opening for me in that my husband just passed away and I have found an attorney that seems like she will be open to helping with other issues besides his estate.

I’d like to be able to have a bank account without the fear that the state of Minnesota will seize my last cent and leave me unable to pay any bills, eat, clothe and house myself.

I know that other levies – for unpaid taxes, for example – can only take up to 25%, but this seizure was 100%. They’ve seized about $25,000, and I don’t agree thtt I owe ANYthing. What I have actually agreed to pay (since I took the settlement money from the insurance company) is not much. Maybe $1000, although I’ll never agree that it should not be the school’s responsibility for that debt.

-Anonymous-

This is my story. My son, David, deserves his money back.

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One Response to “David and Goliath”

  1. Jonny Riches says:

    I feel very sad after reading your story. This is another of the stories that makes me hate the powers that be and the world for being so unfair. Just to focus on the medical bill situation – this is a massive topic for me as I am from the UK and the healthcare insurance system you guys have over there is alien to me. To have your daughter break her leg is bad enough. And this part I can understand. To have to worry about PAYING the bill for the treatment is something that I find difficult to imagine. (And furthermore having the school and the insurance company fight over it). In a country like America whose leaders (and people) constantly shout about how amazing it is, it is an abomination that there is no universal healthcare for everyone. If ever there was a doubt about how such a system can work, I can confirm to you now as a person from Britain that it is the best thing ever. The constant propaganda that the right pump out about ‘socialist healthcare’ and ‘terrible conditions in the hospitals’ etc is garbage. The system works, the patients are taken care of. And the doctors and nurses are well paid. We take the system for granted, but in a positive way, in that it is considered awful here that a country of similar standing such as yours, has none. It makes me angry how your country treat its people with regard to this issue. I feel very sorry for you and I really hope that you manage to overcome your problems. My objective is to spread the word about the failings of the American healthcare system and raise awareness. Then hope at some point in the future something changes. I wish you all the best.

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