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Lawyers attempting to collect back taxes..


John Galt
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Last week I received a letter from a lawyers office claiming I owe back property taxes on a vehicle in another state I lived in from 1997-1999. Funny I never received ANY bills for these when I was living there, and now out of the blue they claim I owe them 1143.20 in unpaid taxes, fees, and interest.

I have no idea what to do. I thought about calling them, but read on here to always deal in writing. My Credit is finally getting very good and I'd like to keep it that way. Does anyone have any suggestions on what steps to take...i.e. - send Validation letter, attempt to settle..?

Thanks for your help!

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Property taxes? On a car? That doesn't sound right. Then again, some states just have different words that basically mean the same thing.

Is it state taxes you owe for residing there or something? Is it licensing the vehicle once you're a legal resident of that state? I'm a little confused. :oops: Would you mind posting some excerpts from the letter you've received?

The one immediate thought I have is that it's been 5 yrs since 1999 and I'm wondering if the SOL is expired. If it's "taxes" then you may not be in luck...or that could be why they're bothering you NOW (because it's about to expire).

Have you checked your credit reports (all three) recently? You may want to go ahead and order those.

I'll wait to hear back. Also, someone else more experienced here may know what's going on here.

I've heard of licensing a vehicle when you move and that you only have so long to do that (once you're a legal resident of that state and it depends on THAT states laws--in some states you're a legal resident after 6 months and I've heard some states are a year...so check THAT state) but either way, only AFTER that period would you begin owing I would think. A person could say they were visiting to see if they could find work, etc, etc...

Also, I always thought it didn't matter unless a police officer pulled you over and such...once you've moved I didn't think they could hunt you down and say, "Hey you lived here 2 yrs and didn't relicense your car!!" That's like sending a letter to say, "Hey, we never pulled you over for speeding but we're assuming you sped at least once so here's your ticket..."

One thought my husband just mentioned is that back then the car taxes/registrations were really high--and he said, "Are the states hurting that bad for money that they'll go back and find people who lived there and charge them?" I'd be interested to see what their licensing fees are NOW vs. what they were when you lived there and that could be your answer as to how they found you...gosh...that's crazy if that's the case. In WA state if we're caught driving the vehicle that hasn't been relicensed (new tabs) then we get a TICKET...but otherwise we do get a notice that it's due...but then that's because we've registered the car in the state so that they CAN send us the letter of reminder. If your car was NEVER registered in that state I'm wondering how they found you. They were able to find you in ANOTHER state years later for pete's sake.

I'll wait to hear what the letter says. This is interesting.

Elyse

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Thanks for the quick reply and help. The state I lived in is Ct, and I moved from there back in 1999. And all property is taxed there. This is what I got off of their site:

Town Property Tax Information

Motor Vehicles are subject to a local property tax under Connecticut state law. This applies whether or not the vehicle is registered. The local property tax is computed and issued by your local tax collector.

If you do not register a motor vehicle but retain ownership, you must annually file a declaration form with your assessor(s) between October 1 and November 1.

What happened was I moved from my home town to a different county in the years they are mentioning. I don't recall if I paid property taxes or not for my car then, but If I received a bill I certainly would have paid it. So I'm guessing there is a chance in fact that they are unpaid, I'm just wondering why this is the first I've heard of it, and what to do next to keep it off my reports, and to not just pay something out of the blue like this, especially if I don't have to. I just pulled Experian and there is nothing on there about this.

from the letter:

"Our client has placed your motor vehicle tax account with this office, and has advised us that your account is past due. The amount due includes unpaid tax, collection fee, and interest as authorized by Ct. public act 93 318 (2).

Unless you notify us within 30 days after receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of this debt this office will assume it's valid. "

They also state if I notify them in writing within 30 days they will: obtain verification of the debt or obtain a copy of a judgement a mail me a copy of such.

I thought about calling them, but figured I'd ask here first for some advice.

Thanks for the help, congratulations on your coming baby!

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Send a DV letter immediately to the collection attorney. Make sure you get a copy of their authorization to collect on behalf of the OC and a complete numerical breakdown of the accounting. Make sure you clearly state that you are disputing the debt and that you require proof from the State agency making the claim.

Once the CA gets this they are forbidden by Federal law to continue collection activity, including reporting information to the CRAs, until they provide it.

Understand, you will likely have to pay this if it is legitimate. States keep pretty good records but are subject to making mistakes now and then. It is entirely possible that they continued to charge personal property tax on the vehicle after you moved if you did not properly turn in your license plates to their DMV or if your current State didn't cancel your CT title when issuing you a new one. I'd use this reason when contacting the CA-attorney to justify the dispute.

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DV them and state in the letter that you moved from that municipality on xx date to such and such address and therefore you beleive they are in error as they were not due personal property tax as you were not a resident of that municipality during the time in question. Ask them for the tax bills and show where the bills were mailed.

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GOSH, I just had no idea! :shock: So if you're a resident of CT then you pay a property tax on your car, wow! Learn something new every day! :lol:

Well John, I agree w/ the others--definitely DV them immediately. Also, is there any way to check your records to see if you've paid it? Could you maybe check w/ whoever you banked with then? Just a thought, I'd hate to see ya pay it twice to!

Good luck and thanks for the Congratulations! You're the first to mention it, lol!! We are SOOO ready to! Found out I'm 1 cm dialated to! Take care.

Elyse

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