Wrongful Death Frequently Asked Questions

by Kyle Kosieracki on May 28, 2018

In situations where the reckless behavior of another brings about the death of your loved one, the level of suffering and pain you experience is beyond measure. It’s important to know that during these trying times, you have the ability to take action and fight for your justice.

Who can bring a wrongful death claim?

Generally, claims arising out of an injury to a person die with the person. The Minnesota wrongful death statute, Minn. Stat. § 573.02, makes an exception to that rule. Under the Wrongful Death Statute, only a court-appointed trustee can bring a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party.

Who can ask the court to appoint a wrongful death trustee?

It depends on which blood-relatives survive the decedent (the person who died). The rules are pretty complicated, but the list below identifies who could ask the court to name a wrongful death trustee in the most common scenarios.

The decedent is married, without children, at the time of death: The decedent’s spouse or either of decedent’s parents can ask for a trustee to be appointed.

The decedent is married, with children, at the time of death:  The decedent’s spouse or any of decedent’s children can ask for a trustee to be appointed.

The decedent is not married, but has children, at the time of death:  One of decedent’s children can ask for a trustee to be appointed.

The decedent is not married, and has no children, at the time of death: Either of the decedent’s parents can ask for a trustee to be appointed.

The decedent is not married, has no children, and parents have passed at the time of death:  One of decedent’s siblings can ask for a trustee to be appointed.

Of course, scenarios other than those described above also occur.  Because the law on who can seek appointment of a trustee is complex and only a properly appointed trustee can bring a wrongful death claim, it is important to speak with an attorney about your specific case.

Who can be named wrongful death trustee?

Although the law is strict regarding who can ask for a trustee to be named, almost any competent adult could be named the trustee.  Usually, the trustee is one of the decedent’s family members, but that does not have to be the case. Often, the person asking the court to appoint a trustee requests that he or she be appointed trustee.  Courts regularly grant such requests.

How do the courts value the loss of a decedent’s life?

They don’t. A wrongful death action seeks to recover the losses suffered by the decedent’s family because of the death, not recovery for the life lost itself. A wrongful death action is not about valuing the loss of life; it’s about determining the value of the services, financial benefits, guidance, and care the decedent provided to those he or she left behind. The law calls these losses “pecuniary losses.”

Some examples of pecuniary losses that might be suffered by a next-of-kin include:

  • Loss of income where the decedent provided financially for a next-of-kin;
  • Loss of services where the decedent provided services for a next-of-kin; and
  • Loss of aid, comfort, and society where the decedent provided assistance, comfort, and companionship to a next-of-kin.

Who can benefit from the proceeds of a wrongful death action?

Only a court-appointed trustee can bring a wrongful death action, but any of the decedent’s “next-of-kin” can claim a portion of the proceeds, so long as he or she suffered a pecuniary loss because of the death.  The decedent’s “next-of-kin” is made up of a broader category of individuals than those who qualify to ask for the appointment of a wrongful-death trustee.

The decedent’s spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, grandparents, and cousins are all next-of-kin who can seek recovery from the proceeds of a wrongful death action.

After a settlement or judgment, how are the wrongful-death proceeds allocated among the next-of-kin?

Often, the next-of-kin agree how the money should be apportioned. When that happens, the wrongful-death trustee files a petition with the court, asking the court to distribute the wrongful-death proceeds pursuant to that agreement. Usually, the court will honor the family’s wishes.

If the next-of-kin cannot agree on how the proceeds should be allocated, the court will determine the distribution. Each of the next-of-kin seeking a portion of the proceeds must present evidence of his or her pecuniary loss caused by the death. The court will consider the evidence and make a distribution in accordance with the law.

Additional Resources

Below you will find a list of additional Minnesota Wrongful Death articles that may prove helpful:

How Can We Help?

At Tarshish Cody, PLC law firm, we understand how emotionally devastating and tiring dealing with a wrongful death suit can be on a family. Not only do you need a compassionate lawyer, but you need one who will fight for the compensation you deserve from those who are responsible. Our wrongful death attorneys have handled many cases and have helped our clients recover the compensation they deserved.

We welcome your call today at 952-361-5556 (or fill out the free Case Evaluation Form) to help you through the legal issues of your wrongful death case. We know we can’t bring back your loved one, but we can fight for your justice so you can get some closure.


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AFNI Collections Is Harassing me. What Are My Options?

by Benjamin Tarshish on May 14, 2018

Who is ANFI Collections? Is This A Scam?

AFNI began as a collections agency in Bloomington, Illinois in 1936. The agency used to be known as H.A. Slaven’s Collection Bureau. In 1976, the agency was purchased by Earl Anderson and the name was changed to Anderson Financial Network Inc (AFNI). Nowadays, AFNI is a third-party debt collection agency which is still based in Bloomington, Illinois. AFNI presently operates satelite offices throughout the country which all report back to the main office in Bloomington.

AFNI Collections has received consumer complaints claiming Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) violations. Some consumer reviews have accused AFNI of using unfair and deceptive tactics in pursuit of debt collection. Other examples of alleged violations include making improper contact with debtors, improper sharing of debtor information, and threatening to take action which cannot legally be taken.

Nonetheless, AFNI collections is not a scam and they are in fact an authorized debt collection agency with more than 6,000 employees. Businesses from many industries use AFNI as a debt collector, however the agency specializes in working with telecommunication companies such as AT&T, Verizon, and Direct TV. If ANFI has contacted you, it is important that you learn your rights and how best to protect yourself before offering any response.

What Are Common Complaints Against AFNI?

As of April 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has received over 2,200 complaints related to the debt collection practices of AFNI Inc. Examples of common complaints against AFNI include trying to collect a debt not owed and using improper communication tactics (a typical case would be when you tell them to stop contacting you, but they keep trying).

The following two real-world examples of complaints against the AFNI debt collection agency illustrate these types of alleged violations.

Consumer alleges improper communication tactics
“I just got this number last month. The debt belongs to another individual. I’ve asked numerous times for them to quit calling. The company ‘s name is Afni. I spoke to XXXX at XXXX today and again advised that this person does not have this number please put me on the do not call list. Tried to get me to sign up for debt relief in my name. They call 8-10 times a week trying to collect debt from someone named XXXX.”
Consumer alleges attempts to collect a debt not owed
“I am writing to you in reference to the company Afni, INC. My credit report says that I have an account with them that was opened XX/XX/2016. I have never opened an account with the company. The account number they have on file is XXXX. The account is not mine. I have tried numerous times to dispute this account with the credit bureaus and they will not take it off of my credit report because the company is still falsely reporting this debt.”

What Actions Can ANFI Collections Legally Take Against Me? Can They Sue Me Or Garnish My Wages?

As a debt collector, AFNI Collections is not legally allowed to threaten to sue you, or threaten to garnish your wages. They are allowed to contact you via phone, text, or mail. However AFNI cannot call you at inappropriate times including before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m.

Though AFNI is not allowed to threaten lawsuit or wage garnishment, if you do not pay a valid debt owed to them, AFNI collections may legally sue you in a court. If they get a default judgement against you in court, the judgement will state the amount you owe and allow them to garnish your wages for that amount. If you owe a debt to AFNI and are concerned with the possibility that they might garnish your wages, it would be wise to speak to an attorney before it gets to this point. Our attorneys have assisted countless consumers in fighting back against debt collector harassment and protecting themselves against wage garnishment. Contact us now to see if we can help you as well!

Please call 651-505-3335 now or fill out our Free Case Evaluation Form and one of our attorneys handling Debt Collector Harassment can evaluate your case. If we agree to handle your case, our attorney fees will be FREE to you and will be paid for by AFNI.

What Should I Do If ANFI Collections Contacts Me? How Do I Stop AFNI Collections From Harassing Me?

The first step is to determine if AFNI collections is in violation of your rights. Please refer to the following list:
  • AFNI is contacting you about about a debt which is not yours, or a debt amount which is more than you owe
  • AFNI is unable to prove that the debt is owed by you
  • AFNI is not authorized by the original creditor to collect the debt
  • AFNI is making automated robocalls to your phone in order to collect
  • AFNI is using inappropriate language, or trying to intimidate you.
  • AFNI is accusing you of criminal behavior, or threatening to arrest you.
  • AFNI is threatening you with negative credit reporting, lawsuit, or violence
  • AFNI is calling you at work, or calling your friends, coworkers, and neighbors
  • AFNI is calling you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • AFNI is calling you many times per week

If any of the above applies to your situation, our attorneys can help! Tarshish Cody PLC represents consumers experiencing harassment from debt collectors like AFNI, and our attorneys are experienced in protecting your legal rights. If AFNI is in violation of the FDCPA, we can not only make the debt collection calls stop, but our attorneys can sue AFNI and recover up to $1,000 in statutory damages for your FDCPA claim. Furthermore, AFNI would be required to pay your attorney fees and court costs.

Please call 651-505-3335 now or fill out our Free Case Evaluation Form and one of our attorneys handling Debt Collector Harassment can evaluate your case at no charge to you.

Is Your Law Firm Able To Assist Me In Filing A No Fee Lawsuit against AFNI?

If you are being harassed by AFNI, we can help! The attorneys at Tarshish Cody PLC have filed many lawsuits against debt collectors like AFNI who are in violation of the FDCPA. In total, our clients have been awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars via these lawsuits.

What Do Our Clients Say?

“[Tarshish Cody PLC] helped us win a settlement from an aggressive debt collection company. [The law firm] was very professional and explained the process and the plan of action. We really didn’t have to do anything. Settlement was reached in a short amount of time. We recommend [Tarshish Cody PLC] to anyone seeking settlement from a debt collection company.”

“[Tarshish Cody PLC] won my case for me against the collection agency that was garnishing my wages. I was really stressed out & embarrassed about my situation, but [Tarshish Cody PLC] successfully sued [the collection agency] & they backed down; we settled out of court, they paid me my damage reward & stopped all garnishments. [Tarshish Cody PLC] went above & beyond for me & when I needed a competent professional who could deliver & be trusted, [Tarshish Cody PLC] was the law firm I needed.”

Can You Help Me Remove An AFNI Collections Account from My Credit Report?

Yes we are able to assist with this. Contact us now to learn more.

AFNI Contact Info

Afni Inc
1310 Martin Luther King Drive
Bloomington, IL 61701

AFNI Collections Telephone Numbers

In trying to reach customers, AFNI calls from a multitude of phone numbers. Here is list of phone numbers from which consumers have reported getting calls from AFNI, pertaining to debt collection:


How We Can Help

  • Stop The Harassment: All debt collection calls stop once you’ve retained Tarshish Cody, PLC.
  • Get up to $1,000: We can Sue and Recover up to $1,000 in statutory damages for your FDCPA claim
  • 100% Free Legal Assistance: Harassing Debt Collectors must pay our fees in FDCPA claims.

Tarshish Cody PLC represents consumers experiencing harassment from debt collectors like AFNI and our attorneys are experienced in protecting your legal rights. Our law firm understands how difficult it is for consumers who fall behind on bills, when pressured by harassment that is illegal and needs to cease. Dealing with harassment is a positive step in the process of managing your late payments or debt. Our attorneys can discuss remedies such as debt consolidation, short sales, bankruptcy, and more, but most importantly, we can get the harassment to stop.

Please call 651-505-3335 now or fill out our Free Case Evaluation Form and one of our attorneys handling Debt Collector Harassment can evaluate your case.

What is the Debt Collection Statute of Limitations In My State?

May 5, 2018

A statute of limitation is the time limit during which a person is allowed to take a legal action related to a previous event. Regarding debt, the statute of limitation refers to the duration of time during which a debt collector is able to request the court make you pay for a debt. It is […]

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I Was Lied to By a Debt Collector. Is That an FDCPA Violation?

April 16, 2018

Debt collectors are forbidden from being dishonest with you in the process of trying to collect on a debt. There is a federal law known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) which expressly prohibits debt collectors from engaging in any deceptive, misleading, or untruthful practices. What is considered a false statement? A debt […]

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Can They Repossess My Boat?

March 27, 2017

If you bought your boat on a loan, the lender will likely have a lien put on the boat title. The lien lasts until the loan balance is fully paid off. If you do not adhere to the terms of your loan, or if you default on your loan, the lender will generally be able […]

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When and How to Freeze Your Credit

March 20, 2017

What is a credit freeze, and how does it work? A credit freeze is something that you can do if you want to block your credit reports from being accessible. They provide you with a secret PIN number that you can use if you ever need to apply for credit, so that you can temporarily […]

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Are You a Physician Facing Age Discrimination In Minnesota? We Can Help.

November 22, 2016

Minnesota physicians, as well as medical doctors throughout the country, are entitled to legal protection from age discrimination in the workplace. Health care facilities are not allowed to use a doctor’s age as a determining factor regarding his or her competency. Nonetheless, age discrimination is reportedly increasing in the United States, which is why it […]

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Are you getting collection calls for another person’s debt?

November 10, 2016

Whether called intentionally or by mistake, the most prevalent consumer charges that are received by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are frustrating collection calls for someone other than the person it is intended for. If you are receiving letters or calls from a collector for another person’s debt, you likely aren’t interested in the reason why […]

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Debt Collectors Calling Your Friends and Family? That’s Illegal And You May Have A Case.

November 3, 2016

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act usually forbids debt collectors from calling friends and family. In reality, most collection calls to third-parties are illegal. In some rare cases, there are exceptions to this rule however. If a debt collector is contacting someone else about your debt, here is what you should know. “Debt Collectors” Gathering […]

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Messerli & Kramer Sued Me. What Are My Options?

October 27, 2016

The largest debt collection firm in Minnesota is Messerli & Kramer. They are very adept at what they do, and if you are on the receiving end of this giant, you’ll want to know how to properly protect your interests. Messerli & Kramer can be a very difficult adversary. Immediate Response to a Collection Lawsuit […]

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