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Tried to serve me papers but I live abroad


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Thank you 1stStep. I'm not planning on coming back, but still I feel like I should resolve this. It won't go away on its own even if I stay abroad, right?

The answers will depend on whether or not you plan on coming back to the US... if not, then I'd fax the lawyer and tell him to kiss my @a$$...

If you do want to come back, then fax the lawyer and make an offer - see what happens. Be sure you fax where the local phone number is visible (UPS store).

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If I was the OP, I would google similar cases to see how to handle it, but I would under no circumstances pay any of this debt. You're out of the country, they can't collect from you and no US Court has jurisdiction over you!

Just monitor any future or current lawsuits (see you local court's website for any progress- just enter your name and search), and timely file Motions to Dismiss for lack of court's jurisdictions.

also, stop paying any debts in the US- I think that should be obvious! by making any payments, you're resetting the SOL!

Speaking of SOL, did you check if your stature of limitations has not expired? see SOL for your old state- it could be another defense to get the lawsuit dismissed.

Edited by flashback
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Hi Flashback,

Thank you for your response. I had one lawyer in Florida suggest I contact the lawyer suing me and offer to settle.

Let's say I don't do anything. They'll get a settlement against me and then what happens?

I don't have any assets in the US nor a bank account, but I have 2 very old grandparents would are planning on leaving me some money when they pass away.

Could the court take that money?

If I was the OP, I would google similar cases to see how to handle it, but I would under no circumstances pay any of this debt. You're out of the country, they can't collect from you and no US Court has jurisdiction over you!

Just monitor any future or current lawsuits (see you local court's website for any progress- just enter your name and search), and timely file Motions to Dismiss for lack of court's jurisdictions.

also, stop paying any debts in the US- I think that should be obvious! by making any payments, you're resetting the SOL!

Speaking of SOL, did you check if your stature of limitations has not expired? see SOL for your old state- it could be another defense to get the lawsuit dismissed.

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You're out of the country, they can't collect from you and no US Court has jurisdiction over you!

Completely wrong. Foreign judgments are routinely enforced, Israel is one of the countries that does this.

I had one lawyer in Florida suggest I contact the lawyer suing me and offer to settle.

Of course. That's all they know how to do. You find an attorney in the US who knows how to defend a credit card case and I'll buy you dinner.

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I came across this:

Recognition and Enforcment of Foreign Judgments in Israel

Israel is not a party to bilateral treaties with other countries around the world concerning judicial recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments ( with the exception of Germany). It is however quite liberal concerning the possibility of both recognition and enforcement of foreign jugments (as long as there is reciprocity between the jurisdictions). Courts usually grant enforcement and recognition of foreign judgments if the process is done properly and thus cancel the need to open the case in Israel again.

A foreign judgment must be final with no ability to appeal, the country where judgment was given must allow Israeli judgments to be enforced and recognized (reciprocety) and the defendant must be made aware of the suit in order to be enforcable in Israel (service on the defendant).There are some other less important conditions that must also be met.

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  • 8 months later...

This has just happened to me. Just checked county court website and found out I am being sued by Amex in Florida for credit card debt. Filing date is middle of last month and case status is pending. No communication received other that occasional voicemails from CAs. Amex has previously been informed in writing of new overseas address.

The problem, or possibly problem for Amex is that I now live in Bangkok, Thailand.

May I ask for advice for advice of how to handle this matter and possibly suggest specific wording I could use to ask judge to dismiss the suit. I can have US Embassy here notarize such statement.

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Hi Daxbr,

I can tell you what happened with me.

I had 2 lawsuits in the end. One is still pending from Jan 2012. They tried to serve me papers, couldn't find me and the court case is frozen.

The second case the lawyer gave up and just dropped it.

As long as you stay abroad it seems you're safe.

Don't do anything. Don't contact anyone, don't respond to anything. That's what I did and it worked out fine.

Good luck!

This has just happened to me. Just checked county court website and found out I am being sued by Amex in Florida for credit card debt. Filing date is middle of last month and case status is pending. No communication received other that occasional voicemails from CAs. Amex has previously been informed in writing of new overseas address.

The problem, or possibly problem for Amex is that I now live in Bangkok, Thailand.

May I ask for advice for advice of how to handle this matter and possibly suggest specific wording I could use to ask judge to dismiss the suit. I can have US Embassy here notarize such statement.

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The truth is, that is one method and if you are looking at leaving the country anyways, then it is a plausible one. I however would not leave the USA simply because I owed a debt.

The crux of this comes from the fact that extradition treaties only cover serious crimes (and even then, they may not work, look at the Gary McKinnon case). A no show in a civil case or even contempt for not doing a financial disclosure will not even come close to that. Not only that, but you had a good reason for not doing a financial disclosure.

Also, many countries do not think that the US Legal system does enough to make sure judgements are valid so they require the case to be reheard in their courts before they allow a judgement to be imported from the US. These cases are under their rules which do not allow for non-judicial review summary judgements and the like.

Choose your country carefully however because there are some, like the UK, which seem to be more friendly to US Corporate interests than others (say China).

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Just called judge's office and talked to secretary. She advised to hire local attorney to defend the case. When I stated that the case can never be served, she replied that there are other ways to serve like publication.

She also stated there are other reasons why this case was filed in Broward County other than my residence, or lack of it. She said it can be filed there because of location of plaintiff, where card was issued, or could be other valid reasons.

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WhoCares is right - the UK and UK territories will recognize a US judgment without blinking.

Places like China, Hong Kong, and several countries in Latin America won't (Venezuela, Argentina, Panama, Mexico) either.

Others require the case be re-heard in their courts, which will require retaining local counsel and posting a bond of up to 3x the damages being sought with the court. Something like this is not in the business plan for Asset or any JDB.

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There won't be any judgement. There is large amount of unsecured debt in default for the last two years and zero attachable assets and no income.

The longstanding plain is to go nuclear the day the first case is lost.

My preferred way is to wait it out for SOL. I wonder if I should call Amex lawyer and make the situation clear to him.

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