To give a more complete picture, I will post 2 more letters written during this struggle. There is a pile of documents that pertain to my efforts that I will not post here. I am just trying to provide a complete picture as concisely as possible.
What follows to one of the initial collection agencies.
Thank you for your interest.
August 15, 2007
To Whom It May Concern:
I dispute the validity of the debt trying to be collected from me by your agency. DFAS
has been attempting to collect this bogus debt from me without allowing me voice to
dispute it directly with them. I have been going through proper channels for months to
dispute this debt, to have it corrected and therefore eliminated. My credit is now
ruined from their exploits and I face being continuously victimized without recourse.
They cannot prove the source or validity of this debt. They have mistaken the two
enlistment contracts that I had signed. The following should explain my situation
further. I wish for the elimination of these illegal collection proceedings at the source,
but they refuse to listen. My credit should not continue to suffer as I appeal.
I served in the United States Army from 23 Sep 02 to Nov 06. Since February of this
year, I have received letters from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service claiming
that I am indebted to them for fees ranging from $7091.11 to $1367.84.
The letter sent to me on February 2, 2007 stated that it was a ‘bns recoupment for the
unearned portion of your enlistment or reenlistment bonus based on your separation
code of KDG. Your enlistment contract obligated you to perform duty through
07/05/2010 and at separation you had 1324 unserved days. . .’ Succeeding letters
stated the same repayment reasons yet the amount of repayment changed.
They are as follows: 02 FEB07 from DFAS of $6668.18
05 MAR 07 from DFAS $1321.51 (letter accompanying this ‘debt
amount’ stated that ‘the principal debt amount of $6668.18 . . .
has been decreased . . . due to an error in auditing’)
05 MAR 07 from DFAS $6690.92
07 MAY 07 from DFAS $1348.33
07 JULY 07 from Collection agency $1367.84
Further explaining my situation, my original enlistment date was 23 Sep 02 for a period
of 5 years. In July of 2006, I reenlisted for another 4 years and waived a reenlistment
bonus as noted in section I4b on my Request For Reenlistment or Extension in The
Regular Army and on the Enlistment/Reenlistment Document (copies enclosed) section
Bb2 where it states ‘no bonus entitlement’. Although my intent was to remain in the
Army until 2010, while in Iraq my family situation deteriorated outside my control and I
was left a single father. Before returning to CONUS, the commander and SGM
repeatedly threatened to discharge me due to an unworkable Family Care Plan.
OCONUS discharges on that basis are 72 hours which would have left me in complete
disarray. So I tried to make it work with a follow‐up assignment in CONUS but with my
family situation I was unable to successfully report. Although my intent was to remain
in the Army, I was unable to provide a Family Care Plan and on 01 NOV 06, I was
honorably discharged from the Army.
You can imagine my confusion upon seeing these notices. The accounting
practices are nothing less than suspect. I left the Army due to family hardship and had
no knowledge of any type of repayment for any monies received. It was repeatedly
asked of me if I had any bonuses related to the reenlistment contract because if I did
then I would be bound to pay back that money. As you can see, there were no bonuses
included in the reenlistment contract. The response letter to the last appeal takes the
stance that an agent of their organization, specifically the Re‐enlistment NCOIC,
misrepresented herself purposely by telling me that the original contract is fulfilled and
moot upon re‐enlistment. It is my understanding that as an assigned and official
representative of the US Army, it is their legal responsibility to maintain and assure
accuracy. The terms of the re‐enlistment cannot be changed after‐the‐fact with the
disregard of the agreed upon terms. Misrepresentation is fraud and voids the contract
In summary, after signing my reenlistment contract on 06 JUL 06, it was
understood that the original enlistment obligations signed in 2002, were fulfilled and
the new reenlistment contract with no bonus would override any previous contractual
obligation. Under this circumstance, I do not owe any money to the United States Army
for the days claimed to be ‘unserved’. The remaining days served, the original
enlistment bonus money, and any other perk or obligation, was superseded by the new
contract and thus I was to not be bound to them. For instance, when I signed the new
contract the remaining days unserved were not added on to the new but rather were
eliminated. Since I was no longer legally bound to the original enlistment contract,
there can be no fees applied to me in relationship to that document. What this debt fails
to consider is that I cannot be bound to two contracts at once. The fact that this debt
had initially been misconstrued; upon DFAS realizing there was an error they re‐
miscalculated the imaginary debt 5 times in the past 6 months. This indicates to me
that this is not my problem, error or debt.
Also unjust and in violation of contractual parameters is the idea of being ‘pro‐
rated’ for bonus payments as a convenient way to collect payment from me. NOWHERE
in my contracts does it state the method of pro‐rating payments to me or as a method
of delivering the bonus money to me. The money came in lump sums and was never
directly attributed to a per diem scenario. My point is that after I signed the second
contract and therefore completing the first, nullifying the bonus payments and time
remaining on the first, I was not to receive the remaining lump payments of money from
DFAS. I CAN LEGALLY BE BOUND BY ONLY ONE CONTRACT AT A TIME.
What I am requesting is to be exonerated of DFAS’s accounting error and the
integrity of my credit restored. After speaking with the staff at the Carlisle Barracks, it
was explained to me that maybe the code of my discharge was incorrect. However,
regardless of what my discharge code is or was, I remain bound under the 2nd and final
contract which states a waiver of any bonus. How can I repay something that I never
received or existed? I proudly served in the Army for almost 4 years; 12 months of
which I served in Iraq. I am desperately trying to hold on to that respect and pride now
as I am victimized by the very country to which I committed years of my life in service.
(SPC) Dean Michael Dorman