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  1. #1
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    Jul 2006
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    Default Old Judgement on car accident that I was never properly served

    Hello there! Any suggestions on this matter would be greatly appreciated!

    My husband was in a car accident almost 10 years ago in the state of California. At the time he didn't have insurance. The two parties exchanged personal information but the other party said they were fine, no police report was even taken. Parties when on their way.

    Almost two years later she decides to sue. My husband was "supposedly" served court papers to make him aware of this. I say "supposedly because the "papers" were sent to his mother's house where he didn't even reside and the signature wasn't even of her name. It just says Mrs. ______ (mother). His license was suspended, but he just thought that was because he didn't have insurance at the time of the accident.

    Now all of the sudden, almost 10 years later we receive a letter from a collection agency saying we owe $9,800. We didn't even know what it was for. The collection agency sent a copy of the judgement which he didn't even know he had. What can we do about all of this???

    Thanks for your help! hsando

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Practicing in Los Angeles, California
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    411

    Default Re: Old Judgement on car accident that I was never properly served

    [QUOTE=hsando]Hello there! Any suggestions on this matter would be greatly appreciated!

    My husband was in a car accident almost 10 years ago in the state of California. At the time he didn't have insurance. The two parties exchanged personal information but the other party said they were fine, no police report was even taken. Parties when on their way.


    Almost two years later she decides to sue.

    MY RESPONSE: That statement cannot be accurate. Ten years ago, the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury was One Year. However, if this is strictly for property damages, the Statute of Limitations for Property Damages was, and still is, Three years.



    My husband was "supposedly" served court papers to make him aware of this. I say "supposedly because the "papers" were sent to his mother's house where he didn't even reside and the signature wasn't even of her name. It just says Mrs. ______ (mother). His license was suspended, but he just thought that was because he didn't have insurance at the time of the accident.

    MY RESPONSE: If his license showed his mother's address, then he was properly "Sub-Served" the lawsuit via his mother. This is especially true if he moved from that location.



    Now all of the sudden, almost 10 years later we receive a letter from a collection agency saying we owe $9,800.

    MY RESPONSE: He's probably been sued by her insurance company in what is called a "Subrogation Lawsuit", and a judgment in California is good for 10 years, and renewable for another 10 years. So, this is a big monkey on his back, to say the least.



    We didn't even know what it was for. The collection agency sent a copy of the judgement which he didn't even know he had. What can we do about all of this???

    MY RESPONSE: Pay it, or his wages will be garnished, his bank account will be emptied, and one day he'll see that his car is missing.

    IAAL

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Old Judgement on car accident that I was never properly served

    So they can really do all of that...garnish wages, repo his car? We would have paid it 9 years ago had we'd known. Now $4,500 of the $9,800 is interest.

  4. #4
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    Practicing in Los Angeles, California
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    Default Re: Old Judgement on car accident that I was never properly served

    [QUOTE=hsando]

    So they can really do all of that...garnish wages, repo his car?

    MY RESPONSE: No, I was just kidding with you. I always waste my time by typing jokes on legal sites. OF COURSE IT'S TRUE!!! "Turnover" orders can play a vitally important role in the execution process. They may be the only effective way of reaching tangible property that the judgment debtor is secreting or keeps at home or in a private place. They can also be used to reach negotiable instruments, stock certificates and other documents that must be seized to constitute an effective levy. Thus, turnover orders may facilitate reaching assets with a situs outside California or eventual collection of a debt or sale of property such as a motor vehicle. A vehicle, vessel or aircraft in the judgment debtor's possession is levied upon by taking the property into custody (Ca Civ Pro 700.030)


    We would have paid it 9 years ago had we'd known. Now $4,500 of the $9,800 is interest.

    MY RESPONSE: Okay. That's understandable - - 9 years at 10% interest, plus attorney's fees and court costs. Yes, that sounds about right. It's better than you can get in a bank account! I'm absolutely sure he would have paid it 9 years ago; so I must presume from your statement that he hasn't spoken to his mother in 9 years.

    IAAL

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Old Judgement on car accident that I was never properly served

    Sometimes it is possible to negotiate a reduction in the amount of the debt, even a judgment debt, in return for your payment. If you wish to resolve the debt through payment, perhaps you can negotiate a reduction. The worst that can happen if you try to negotiate is that they say no.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Practicing in Los Angeles, California
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    Default Re: Old Judgement on car accident that I was never properly served

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    Sometimes it is possible to negotiate a reduction in the amount of the debt, even a judgment debt, in return for your payment. If you wish to resolve the debt through payment, perhaps you can negotiate a reduction. The worst that can happen if you try to negotiate is that they say no.

    My response:

    Very true. However, now that they know his location, it's probably not going to happen until a "debtor's examination" in court is completed. They will want to know the truth about his income and property ownership. Debtors often employ an attorney to negotiate a settlement and/or seek an extension or composition. If a consumer debt is involved, debtor's counsel should be prepared to advise the debtor about applicable exemptions from enforcement of a judgment.

    Even if the judgment is not satisfied by execution sale, levying a writ will usually get the debtor's attention and demonstrate that the creditor is serious about collecting the judgment. This may encourage the debtor to negotiate a good faith settlement of the judgment.

    The debtor may even contact creditor's counsel immediately after the examination order is served to offer a settlement. However, unless the debtor is believed to be truthful or the judgment is small, and insofar as the creditor is concerned, it may be advisable not to negotiate until after the examination is conducted and all the facts are known.

    IAAL

  7. #7
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    Jul 2006
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    3

    Default Re: Old Judgement on car accident that I was never properly served

    [QUOTE=IAAL]
    Quote Quoting hsando

    So they can really do all of that...garnish wages, repo his car?

    MY RESPONSE: No, I was just kidding with you. I always waste my time by typing jokes on legal sites. OF COURSE IT'S TRUE!!! "Turnover" orders can play a vitally important role in the execution process. They may be the only effective way of reaching tangible property that the judgment debtor is secreting or keeps at home or in a private place. They can also be used to reach negotiable instruments, stock certificates and other documents that must be seized to constitute an effective levy. Thus, turnover orders may facilitate reaching assets with a situs outside California or eventual collection of a debt or sale of property such as a motor vehicle. A vehicle, vessel or aircraft in the judgment debtor's possession is levied upon by taking the property into custody (Ca Civ Pro 700.030)

    response: Didn't make you feel like you are waisting your time. I asked the question because I really don't know.

    We would have paid it 9 years ago had we'd known. Now $4,500 of the $9,800 is interest.

    MY RESPONSE: Okay. That's understandable - - 9 years at 10% interest, plus attorney's fees and court costs. Yes, that sounds about right. It's better than you can get in a bank account! I'm absolutely sure he would have paid it 9 years ago; so I must presume from your statement that he hasn't spoken to his mother in 9 years.

    IAAL
    response: Yes we would have paid it had we'd known. Why would anyone want to rack up $5000 interest and live with fear that their wages could be garnished. I am being truthful about not knowing. And without having to give you our whole life story, his mother isn't the most responsible person in the world. Yes we have been in contact with her in the last 9 years but it wouldn't be unlike her to throw it away and say she never received it. When confronted with the issue she says she doesn't remember.

  8. #8
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    Jul 2006
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    392

    Default Re: Old Judgement on car accident that I was never properly served

    After the examination is completed, one of your options is to pay a credit counseling bureau, to help you pay all your bills (this one included), and they are good at getting finance charges and fees lowered. The only thing with this is you sign your checks over to them, and they pay your bills for you, but if they can get that lowered, it would be worth it.

  9. #9
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    Jun 2006
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    Practicing in Los Angeles, California
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    Default Re: Old Judgement on car accident that I was never properly served

    Quote Quoting turbowray
    After the examination is completed, one of your options is to pay a credit counseling bureau, to help you pay all your bills (this one included), and they are good at getting finance charges and fees lowered. The only thing with this is you sign your checks over to them, and they pay your bills for you, but if they can get that lowered, it would be worth it.

    My response:

    Turbo, this is a judgment, not your run-of-the-mill debt to a doctor's office. This has gone way beyond being a mere "debt." A credit counseling bureau is not going to help at this point, and the judgment creditor will want the "whole enchilada."

    Oh, and all these new expenses for the Debtor's Examination, the Writ, the Levies, and the Garnishments, will all be tacked onto the final judgment. Attorneys and Sheriffs don't work for free. In other words, there's much more money this writer is going to owe, plus all the interest that's still accruing.

    IAAL

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    392

    Default Re: Old Judgement on car accident that I was never properly served

    Quote Quoting IAAL
    My response:

    Turbo, this is a judgment, not your run-of-the-mill debt to a doctor's office. This has gone way beyond being a mere "debt." A credit counseling bureau is not going to help at this point, and the judgment creditor will want the "whole enchilada."

    IAAL
    Thanks IAAL! I needed the heads up!

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