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Widow says debt collectors caused death

TAMPA, Fla., Dec. 10 (UPI) -- A Florida widow has sued a mortgage company, charging that harassment by debt collectors caused her husband's death from heart failure.

Dianne McLeod's wrongful death suit against Green Tree Servicing is scheduled to go to trial in January, CNN reports. She says she and her husband sometimes got 10 calls a day at their home in Tampa after they fell behind in their mortgage payments when Stanley McLeod had a second heart attack in 2002 and was taken to a hospital by helicopter.

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One phone call allegedly made by a Green Tree collector referred to Stanley McLeod's medical problems: "Stanley McLeod, you need to call Green Tree and get your act together and make your payments on your mortgage and quit playing these games. Why don't you have that helicopter pick you up and bring that payment to the office?"

Senior Vice President and General Counsel Brian Corey of Green Tree Servicing called the complaint "meritless."

"We deny that the content, the number or the timing of the calls had anything to do with him dying in 2005," Corey added.

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