Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed against Debt Collector

CNN reports that Dianne McLeod has filed a wrongful debt lawsuit against a debt collector over the death of her husband. She remembers her husband getting visibly upset when the debt collector called and believes that the harassing phone calls and other debt collection tactics contributed to his death.

“I think they were a major contributor to his death because of the stress and what I saw it doing to him,” she said.

McLeod is suing Green Tree Servicing, her mortgage company, for the wrongful death of her husband. She said he’d still be alive if not for the stress caused by debt collectors. McLeod said they called up to 10 times a day and even called neighbors.

“He would begin to sweat,” said McLeod. “he would also get very red in the face and complain about chest pains. We were worried he was going to have a heart attack right there on the phone.”

Stanley McLeod had heart disease and had his second heart attack in 2002. He had to go on disability, and his wife said that they fell about three months behind on their mortgage payments.

One phone message left by a male from Green Tree said, “Stanley McLeod, you need to call Green Tree and get your act together and make your payments on your mortgage and quit playing these games. Why don’t you have that helicopter pick you up and bring that payment to the office.”

The caller was referring to the helicopter that airlifted Stanley McLeod to a hospital after his second heart attack.

“It was so inhumane to talk to someone like that and to take an event that was traumatizing to him and to make a jest out of it,” said Diane McLeod. Her husband died of heart failure in 2005.

Senior Vice President and General Counsel Brian Corey of Green Tree Servicing said, “The collection activity did not lead to his death. The claim is meritless. We deny that the content, the number or the timing of the calls had anything to do with him dying in 2005.”

Bill Howard is the attorney who is representing McLeod. He’s had about 500 cases against companies who use what he calls “Tony Soprano tactics.”

“I think it’s frightening because these companies go after people and they utilize tactics people just don’t know are illegal,” Howard said. “Scare tactics work. They’ve worked for years. That’s how the mafia made so much money. That’s how these mafia-like tactics result in so much money. People are scared.”

“They did not seem to care,” said McLeod. “They didn’t care what they said or how many times they called.”

The trial is scheduled to begin in January. If you have lost a relative in what you believe to be a wrongful death, contact a Georgia wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation. Call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule a free consultation.