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judgement agains my wife,please Help


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Thanks to everybody for your help,a few weeks ago I post my wife case and here is the problem:

My wife have a judgment for a Hospital bill in 1990 (originall bill 400 or 500 dollars),the case is in Monterey peninsula California the Collection Agency or Credit Bureau file a judgment in june 10 1992 and now they file a renew in March 2002 but the bill now is 1700 dollars and also we now that in California interest runs on an unpaid judgment(that I don't have)I tried to settle with the Bureau for 500 dollars and they said NO they want the 1700 dollars,I went to Monterey and I got the summons paper and she was served the summons in April 1992 at a bussines location but I can't find her signature,the service was done by a company because I can see a service fee of 15 dollars,also she didn't know about this judgment until a while ago when we run a credit aplication,please what can I do??I don't have the money I willing to pay for some but no 1700 dollars,HELP US,Thanks

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What is the SOL for this debt in California? You may want to go ahead and investigate that by clicking on the blue link above that says, Statute of Limitations. This debt sounds quite old and I'm thinking that this collection agency is attempting to collect on a time-barred debt and they may not be able to (or have difficulty if they did) take you to court to get the money--IE, don't pay it.

I'll go check out the statutes myself and come back.

Elyse

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Ok, for your state (CA) it says that Oral is 2 yrs and written, promissory and open-ended are all 4 yrs. These people are WAAAAY past SOL. You need to explain to them (in writing ONLY via CMRRR of course) that they are attempting to collect on a time-barred debt.

Here is what this site says about it...

****Every day, consumers pay off collection accounts and charge-offs which they do not have to pay off because the Statute of Limitations has already expired for the open account. Consumers pay off these accounts because the accounts still appear on their credit reports.

This information can be a powerful weapon in unburdening yourself of old debts, as creditors have a limited time in which to sue you. Remember: the Statute of Limitations begins to run from the day the debt - or payment on an open-ended account - was due. Also, this has nothing to do with how long an negative credit item can remain on your credit report. (Note from Elyse-7 yrs is max for negs unless it's a BK or some other "positive" item which I read both of those can remain for up to 10 yrs)

Consumers also pay off these accounts when they are not on their credit reports. (Is this on your CR? You may have to dispute w/ the CRA's as well-it's way past the 7 yr mark) Even though an account was removed from their credit file, a collector watched their credit report for any activity (actually the computer was watching any credit activity). When the collector spotted the activity, he called the consumer for payment. All the consumer needed to say to the collector was, "I have an absolute defense--the Statute of Limitations has expired."

The Statute of Limitations does not cause your debt to go away after it expires. If the creditor files suit, the consumer has an absolute defense. The consumer must offer the new evidence to avoid a judgement. The evidence will consist of papers the consumer files to support his claim. If the creditor sues you, and you do not prove to the court that the Statute of Limitations expired, you will have a lost lawsuit and a judgment against you.

When does the Statute of Limitations start?

You might be asking yourself, "It has been such a long time since my "open account" has had any activity. When does my Statute of Limitations started ticking." Use your credit report as a reference. Your credit report will tell you the date of last activity for your account. You will have your credit report with the date of last activity and a certified letter stating that the statute of limitations expired.

Depending on what state you live in, if you make a partial payment, you could be postponing the Statute of Limitations' taking effect on your collection account or charge-off. (Note from Elyse-make NO payments and do not speak to these people by phone or agree to payments or admit agreeing to payments)

A collector might call you one day and say you waived your rights when you made a deal with the collection agency. Do not take anything a collector tells you for granted. Make them prove it to you, in or out of court. (Note from Elyse-they can say all they want, make them prove it-this is a time-barred debt!!) For about half the population, the Statute of Limitations started ticking the day they made the last payment for their account.

What state should I use in figuring out the Statute of Limitations?

According to Ron Opher, of www.ron4law.com: In my opinion, the FDCPA applies, and so the only relevant jurisdictions are where the consumer signed the loan application and where the consumer currently lives (bank location is irrelevant). If those states are different, I believe the creditor has the choice of where to sue and can select the state with the longer SOL. There may also be an argument that the contract was signed "under seal" which might lead to a longer Statute of Limitations than an ordinary contract.

Summation:

Even though a debt is an absolute promise to pay, if the Statute of Limitations expiring is in force and the creditor tries to force you to pay the debt, you have the right not to fulfill the promise (debt)." ***

Good luck with this hon! Let us know what happens and don't forget to check out this sites "sample letters" blue link to. It may have a sample letter to send to a collection company attempting to collect on a time-barred debt.

Elyse

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Whoa, wait a minute ! The SOL for the original debt is pointless, they ALREADY HAVE A JUDGMENT !!! In CA, judgments are good for 10 years and can be renewed for another 10 for a max of 20 years !! The creditor DID renew the judgment so it is STILL valid and now your wife owes not only the original debt but 10+ years of INTEREST on the unpaid judgment itself !

You cannot challenge service of the summons for something from 1992, you would be laughed out of court. In CA you have 6 MONTHS to contest a judgment.

There's not much help we can give you. Aside from bankruptcy, the creditor is holding the cards here and CAN enforce payment thru wage garnishment, bank seizures and siezure of non-exempt property. About all you can do, besides paying it, is to claim your exemptions and don't keep any cash in the bank. Since CA is a community property state, it makes no difference if the debt was only in your wife's name IF she incurred the debt while you were married.

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LNR, that's a good point-my bad, sorry.

As to the original poster--I strongly urge you to retain an attorney immediately. This may include filing a BK, but in all honesty you'll want a professional opinion on that one. I'm not sure I'd file a BK over a debt that's 1700.00--if I read that amount correctly of course...maybe ya said 17,000!! LOL--

You may want to attempt some type of settlement--via an attorney. The reason I suggest the attorney strategy is because sometimes us lil' guys just aren't up to snuff on our rights or the law and sometimes we just aren't able to be as pushy as we should be when it comes to such important things as our rights. I understand you and/or your wife owe this debt, but ya still have rights and there's just got to be a way to work this out somehow.

If it were me, I'd probably go ahead and do like LNR said--keep NO cash in any accounts. File the necessary forms to protect your exempt properties...I've never personally had a wage garnishment or judgement so I'm not one to give advice on the how-to's there...besides, each state varies in their law on some level so what you're ABLE to do may be different. Again--consider contacting an attorney. Another possibility is a court facilitator who MAY be able to help you file the necessary forms--but be warned, they can't give legal advice.

Good luck and I'm really sorry this is happening.

Elyse

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Thanks for all your help so I guess in this case the creditor are the winners???So my only way to get out is pay or a BK???? :cry:

I can't believe this is no fair for us,anyway I guess I will contac the collection company tomorrow and try to arrange payments.

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