I have received two calls in the last two weeks from people who were improperly served in connection with a debt collection. The first is a college student who has never lived with his mother. The law firm’s process server, however, turned up at his mother’s house with a summons and complaint. She refused to accept service, telling the process server that her son has never lived at that address. The process server told her to take it anyway, that he just needed a signature. And so the lawsuit begins.
In the second case, the summons and complaint just showed up on the porch of the debtor’s father’s house. It was dated some twenty days before it was found, and none of the family ever saw a process server. Plus, the debtor has not lived with her father in nearly a year.
Service was improper in both cases, of course, but under Minnesota’s ridiculous laws, the first debtor’s bank account has been garnished even though he was never properly served and the debt collecting law firm never filed the lawsuit. I’m sure the same fate is in store for the second debtor unless we can move quickly enough to get the case thrown out.
I hope these are isolated incidents, but I am concerned they demonstrate the willingness of debt collectors to shirk the rules in order to increase their financial gain.