Friday, March 20, 2009

An open letter for assistance in a fight against DFAS

I am still being persecuted by DFAS and collection agencies working for them. DFAS for those that do not know is the government's financial wing for the military. I need a politician or attorney brave enough to help out a veteran by standing up to these thugs on my behalf. The debt they claim I owe is not large in the perspective of a new car or national Debt, but it is more than I can comfortably pay and a debt that I should not owe.

My story follows, originally posted to the Black Sheep Books mailing list.

Hello All,

Walter summed up my situation pretty accurately but I feel compelled to just introduce myself by giving the story a complete view. It is not pleasant for me to recount these things. But, here it goes....

In 2003 I joined the Army just barely making the age requirement. I was a good soldier throughout my career, never getting as much as a negative counseling statement or told to shine my boots. I did PT on par with the 20 year olds. I had pride.

When we were given orders to deploy to Iraq for the year 2005, I prepared my home life as wisely as I could. Euphemistically, I had a contentious marriage to a woman that never quite became a mother to my children. At the warnings of the Army, I protected my money, thankfully, because almost immediately after I shipped out from Germany, my kids were neglected. At the time my son was 12 and my daughter 8 so they had a fighting chance of taking care of themselves but their school attendance languished, prepared meals were fewer and farther between, and the apartment was not maintained. I was also abandoned by this woman.

I came home on R&R 7 months later to find my apartment hip-high in garbage with a path worn into the filth on the linoleum floors where my 2 dogs paced for exercise. My children acted like zombies out of the confusion of what they had experienced. I found out that their mother had been having an affair with the married couple upstairs. That was the end. My R&R then consisted of disassembling my family to fly them back to the States. Fortunately my elderly parents were able to care for my children while I returned to Iraq.

She gave me custody of the children, knowing that she could never parent them again. They came back to me when I returned to Germany but I was facing another difficult change. My unit was deactivating and it was a mad scramble to find follow-up orders for everyone. The short version of this is that I was railroaded away from my support system in Germany and into taking orders in Georgia that would ultimately impossible for me to take. I had no Family Care Plan and no one to care for my children in any situation if I returned to Georgia. I fought to stay in Germany but was denied. Part of the follow-up assignment was a mandatory re-classing and thus a re-enlistment. I reluctantly signed up for 4 more years.

Upon returning stateside, I found that the schooling in GA would be impossible for me as a single father. The Powers-That-Be at Ft. Gordon didn't care and provided me no assistance so I turned to the local Chaplain at Carlisle Barracks, PA. I was processed out in 2 months. Then the letters from DFAS started.

I had an $11000 bonus on my first contract of which I received $9K or $10K over the 3.5 years I served. I was told by everyone involved in my former unit that re-enlisting 'completes' or 'negates' the previous contract so that any 'deals', bonuses, choices of duty stations, etc, would not be valid upon the onset of the new contract. Even the time remaining on the first contract would be moot. I originally signed for 5 years leaving 18 months on the first contract. I was assured that when I signed that second contract for 4 years and no bonuses that I would serve just those 4 years and receive no further bonuses.

That is not what DFAS tried to get me to believe. Their accounting was flawed from the start as they told me I owed them almost $9000. They creatively prorated my bonus from my first contract's start date to my second contract's end date. I protested and sought help of my State Representatives and Senators. The accounting and debt was changed each time as they found 'errors' but never relinquished the claim that I owed them. I recently was able to find a lawyer that would take my case since many refused on the simple basis that they would be fighting the government. The frequent calls from the debt collection agencies are harassing and unstoppable.

My credit has now been seriously impacted due to DFAS. They have given me no recourse as they refuse to hear my case directly. This situation was not precipitated by any culpable act of my own but yet I am persecuted for doing the noble, right things. I am looking for any help to have this debt and the blemish on my credit erased.

I appreciate your consideration for my situation and any aid that anyone can give.

Thank you,

Dean Michael Dorman


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That really sucks! None of the situation was in your control, it'd be great to have "them" see it that way too. Good Luck!

Blogger ybfjax said...

do you have a recent copy of any of the letters dfas has sent you? They would have to come directly from dfas on their letterhead, but maybe I can help. You can block out sensitive information.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wondering if you ever got this resolved as I am going through the same problem with DFAS at this moment.

Blogger Alisha said...

My husband ad I have been fighting a DFAS debt for over 5 years. They're claiming that he was somehow magically paid 5 years after he was discharged. At the time we had been married two years and he had no checking account. (we only used mine) They have stated that they have no record of a payment or check, and that's as far as we get before our paperwork gets "lost" for the hundredth time. It's prevented us from building any kind of credit or purchasing a house. Please post if you've gotten this resolved so we know there's hope!

Blogger Dorman said...

My situation is kinda resolved... the Feds took the money directly out of my tax return without warning. The black mark still is on my credit report and I am defenseless against whatever they decide to do. I've tried appealing, getting politicians to act on my behalf but all they do is politely ask DFAS "what's the situation?" Even the Tea Party candidates who are so fiery and bold in the media are pussycats once in office when it comes to fighting for a veteran's rights.

At this point, the gov can have their money but I want my life back! Take the mark off my credit, it was the ex-wife who screwed it all up, not me.

On a side note. For anyone in Northern Pennsylvania area. Do not do business with Citizens & Northern Bank. They put a mark on my credit too and refuse to take it off even after I explained I was in Iraq during 2005, that it was the ex-wife who made 1 (one, yes only a single) payment late. The rep was rude to me and said she didn't care "It was (my) name on the account, (I) should have taken care of it properly." I then explained the geological location of Iraq and what is still happening there. No effect.

The account was closed 5 years ago too. Thank for supporting the troops Mr. & Mrs. Bankers!

I wish I could give all of you hope. But I don't know any course of action unless we somehow could join forces.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you share who you got as a lawyer to help, as I am going through a situation myself that requires more pull than I have.

Anonymous Natalie said...

I am going through something similar and I am pretty sure there are others as well. This need to come out in the media what they are doing to people are wrong.You take the oath to defend your country lose out on time with your family and make other sacrifices only to be betrayed. I would like to start a class action suit against the department of defense as what they are doing is illegal. please get back to me my email address is

Blogger Unknown said...

I have been dealing with DFAS since 2009 on a debt they claim I incurred in 2007. If anyone has any tips on how to contest the validity of the debt please email me


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