For months, Jimmy and Mandy Eversole of Centralia had their bank account frozen because a felon took advantage of Jimmy’s his military service, all in flying in the face of the law.
“Someone actually needs to get in trouble for once,” Jimmy Eversole said.
In October 2016, a Virginia company named Patriot Computers said Jimmy bought a computer in 2007 and failed to pay it off. The company took him to court a year later demanding $1,900. However, Jimmy was stationed in Korea at the time and he had paid off the computer.
The now retired army veteran couldn’t hold back his anger. “Now I’m irate… That’s what I am,” he said.
The Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act is supposed to protect military personnel from this type of action. But for some reason, this case kept working through the courts.
Jimmy didn’t know about the court date he was assigned and couldn’t show up for it.
Yet, an $8,000 default judgment was levied against him.
The Eversole’s financial institution, Navy Federal Credit Union, honored that judgment.
It left Jimmy’s wife Mandy stunned.
“We had no idea until the lean was placed on our accounts at Navy Federal,” Mandy said.
Patriot Computers and its owner, Mark Hartley, pressed on and demanded the money from the Eversole’s credit union.
But the Eversoles didn’t know Hartley was under investigation for stealing more than $800,000 in customers’ payments.
Jesse informed Virginia prosecutors about the Eversole’s case.
At Hartley’s sentencing last October, the government called Hartley’s collection efforts ‘reckless and illegal.’ He was sentenced to three years in prison.
But after all of Jimmy, Amanda and my efforts, it still took a lawyer to get the family’s entire situation unwound.
“We weren’t really given the benefit of the doubt, and not only that but we weren’t given the opportunity to prove that ‘hey, we’ve never actually seen this before,’” Mandy said.
Their bank accounts are now unfrozen, but the Eversoles feel burned by the very system they thought would protect them. Jimmy now worries about other scammers targeting those who serve.
“I got out of it, luckily, but there’s hundreds more out there,” Jimmy said.