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arthurfiguerasjr

Is There A Statue Of Limitations On Debt To Va?

Question

The VA is attesting that I was overpaid for my dependents because they never received notification of my divorce. At one time, I did have documentation of the package that I sent to the VA showing that my wife and I divorced, but I no longer have this. I had the postage receipt which of course, probably would not be sufficient even if I could find it again. I have not recognized this debt or did anything yet. I got the letter and then I looked for the postage receipt to show that I did send in the notification to them, but I can't locate it. I could call my ex-wife and ask her and she if she took it when she came back to get some things after the divorce, but why go through the grief if it doesn't do me any good. No excuse but I didn't even know what the total was that I was being paid every month. She was the one who handled the money and spent it all on herself. I just assumed that they got the paperwork and reduced my monthly pay. I should have paid more attention but I had many other things going on at that time. My twins had just turned 18 and they were going off to College and I had to move out and get my own place, plus get them settled at College, etc. So, as it happens, many years later, the VA attests that they did not receive the paperwork and this created a over payment. First, I need to know if the Statue of Limitations runs out on any debt with the VA or if that is not applicable? I had some very bad real estate investments and more debt from my girlfriend who just left me high and dry. The past 6 months have been financially horrible. I have been eating Ramen Noodles. I don't need the headaches from this whole thing. I have so much debt that I was considering filing Chapter 7. It's a drastic move but one that my be necessary because of many circumstances beyond my control. If I ever want to have a semi normal life again with a fresh beginning, then Chapter 7 Bankruptcy might be my only option. This debt only complicates matters more. I need to know if the Statue of Limitations applies to VA debt and if you can file Bankruptcy Chapter 7 for this type of debt. I know that when you owe the VA or government money then they will do everything in their power to get it. Will the VA still turn the debt over to the Treasury Offset Program after so many years have expired? If the SOL does apply then, how many years must elapse before they can't attempt to collect. Is there a time limit on the debt since time is of the essence when you wait years to find a receipt or paperwork to show as evidence? This information would be helpful. Thanks Guys and Gals.

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You can ask the VA to firgive the debt based on your circumstances.

Welcome to Hadit

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I agree w/Pete but this has been an ongoing event, so there is probably no statute of limitations. Not to be hard on you but it was your obligation to check, on this, and I find it hard to believe you haven't checked, at some point, to verify you are/were getting the correct amount. Chapter 7 won't discharge your debt. Government debts aren't dischargable(sp). Actually you should be kinda happy they aren't charging you with fraud. That being said, I'd request a copy of your c-file, just to be sure there isn't evidence, in there, that you notified them, if you really did. The VA does make errors. jmo

pr

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Yes,the C file might reveal their receipt of the evidence you sent them.If you had a vet rep at the time of the overpayment possibly they still maintain a file on you and a copy of whatever you sent to the VA.

My former reps have kept my POA file since 1998.

A former rep at the DAV however told me my POA file there was destroyed when I changed reps.

But the C file is your best bet.

These cases show how VA looks at this type of situation:

http://www.va.gov/vetapp10/Files4/1036733.txt

Many appeals like this one above are denied.

http://www.va.gov/vetapp10/Files4/1030633.txt

some are remanded to give the veteran further opportunity to provide more evidence.

http://www.va.gov/vetapp97/files5/9740331.txt

This is a partial recovery of overpayment.

There have been successful outcomes for overpayments. Particularly when the VA itself was at fault.

Did they give you a time limit in which to file a waiver? Did you comply withi9n that time frame?

Speaking of fraud -in a different situation-

I have been reluctant to post this at hadit but maybe best that I do.

I read BVA decisions for about an hour or more every week.

They help me have a pulse on thinking of the BVA lawyers and they have been a great source of good information for me as to how the regs are to be applied.

2 weeks ago my focus was solely on some Blue Water Claims at the BVA.

A BWN vet claimed his ship had docked at Vietnam and he went down the gangplank and stepped onto Vietnamese soil.

(His ship is not on the AO list so his evidence of boots on the ground-Vietnam- was critical to his claim.

He had also supplied VA with a Buddy statement.The buddy was in same unit, same time, same ship etc but the buddy's statement was completely different from the scenario the veteran claimed.

Although the BVA remanded the claim for more evidence and for something that corroborated the veteran's story- the BVA also reminded the veteran, in the decision of the serious ramifications of making fraudulent statements in any attempt to gain VA benefits.

A few months ago I read a similar BVA decision. The above vet was on remand with a chance to continue to prove his AO exposure but this other case I read had claims for 15 or more issues and the BVA practically called him an outright wannabee.

With good cause.

This has nothing to do with this vet here with the overpayment situation-at all-

But the VA has found incidents of fraud of many types and they will pursue some of those cases(like the famous Keith Roberts case)

Roberts had 4 buddy statements in support of his claim. The IG investigated the buddies who (per IG) all came up with a far different story then what the buddy statements revealed. ????

I was asked on 3 or more occasions over the years to help perpetuate what I personally considered to be potential fraud against the VA.One reasn I dont use email anymore re claims.

Only one situation involved a vet-the rest involved widows of vets.

In one situation I got so upset I emailed a Judge at CAVC and his court clerk called me for the evidence I had mentioned in my email.The evidence stopped that situation cold.

Fraudulent claims (while few and far between) are one more thing that VA has to deal with and they consume time that would be better spent on valid claims.

Again, nothing to do with this vet's situation-

scruffydogg- I found in my C file ALL the stuff I sent to VA that they said they never got! And a critical FTCA report they said never existed.

I also found a claim my husband was told was in rating board in the AM he died.VA since has consistently denied they ever got it.

It was right in the copy of my C file.With the Certified USPS number on it.

I am still poed about that because that is why they said they never gave him SMC.I have CUE pending on that.

Cripes they sure will jump on what they consider fradulence and I feel they should but what gets me is that those of us with valid claims are often treated like we are liars.

Edited by Berta

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This form may help in your overpayment. You can ask VA to collect a certain amount every month until the debt is paid but ask if they could waive it due to hardship. I agree that you should review your C-File. In your case requesting a copy of your C-File may take too long, you may have to take a trip to the VARO to look in your file. Since you know the date that you sent your documents to VA, you should look in your records around that time.

P.S. If you call VA and ask them to look for this information, it may disappear from your records, so you may have to take the trip to see for yourself.

http://www4.va.gov/v.../pdf/VA5655.pdf

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Scruffy, I had the identical situation about 12 years ago. I had been paid for a spouse for several years even though I had been divorced and had notified the VA that I was divorced. When I applied for my new ( and current spouse) I (not the VA) discovered the overpayment. I contacted the VA and asked if this overpayment could be paid off by retaining the "new" dependent compensation until the overpayment had been recouped or, as an alternative, in monthly increments equal to double the monthly increments that had accrued the overpayment The answer was a flat no to both offers. The VA insisted on taking all of my monthly disability compensation each month until the debt was paid. I objected and then called my Senator and an attorney.

Long story short, I filed for Chapter 7 and included the VA overpayment as an outstanding debt. No one appeared at the "341 Creditors Meeting" and my bankruptcy became final 60 days later. The following month my disability compensation did not get direct deposited. I called the VA and asked why. They told me they were recouping the overpayment. I informed them that the debt had been discharged though the bankruptcy court. I was told to take it up with the bankruptcy court. I called my attorney who then called the Regional Counsel. The Regional Counsel refused to act. My attorney called the bankruptcy Trustee. The Trustee called the Regional Counsel and informed him that if my normal disability compensation was not deposited into my bank account in 24 hours, the Regional Counsel would be held in contempt of court. A direct deposit for the full amount was made that afternoon. I also received a call and letter of apology from the Regional Counsel which confirmed that the debt had been discharged and was no longer outstanding.

If I were you, I would first check with the local Legal Aid agency where you live. (Your financial situation seems to indicate that you would qualify for free legal aid.) The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 also now requires you to attend U.S. Trustee Program approved Credit Counseling within 180 days BEFORE filing (Alabama and North Carolina have a similar but somewhat different requirement). Most of the Bankruptcy Trustee Program approved organizations offer free evaluations--NOT free counseling.

Check here for more information:

http://law.justia.com/cfr/title38/38-1.0.1.1.19.0.182.60.html

http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy.aspx

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre41.shtm

http://www.alperlaw.com/taxes_and_bankruptcy.html

http://www.rudikhlaw.com/bankruptcy-exemptions.htm

I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY AND NONE OF THE INFORMATION HERE CONSTITUTES LEGAL ADVICE. IT IS ONLY VETERAN TO VETERAN SUGGESTIONS.

PS: Philip, i usually agree with your posts but not this time. Fraud requires intent. Nothing in sdog's post suggests any intention to defraud. We are all mostly creatures of habit and usually react to something rather than proact. FYI, my monthly compensation checks were for a different amount for almost two years (80-81) after being rated except once. I visited the RO with the second check in hand and asked if I was entitled to the money. After several hours, I was told that it was indeed my money and to "enjoy spending it!" Two months later, I received notification of an "overpayment" on--you guessed it--the second check. I went back to the RO and spoke to the same person who responded, "Too bad! The VA giveth and the VA taketh!" The "overpayment amount" was taken from my next month's compensation. I appealed it to the Compromise and Waiver Committee and 22 months later the money was returned to me.

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