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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    9

    Default Statute of Limitation on Court Fines

    My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: Hawaii

    Collector: MSB (private collector)

    Hi all -

    Got a very aggravating situation and hoping someone can help. I lived in Hawaii in the 1990's when I sold my last vehicle the new owner got an expired registration and safety check ticket - $145 total that went unpaid. Now being this was 12 years ago I don't have a bill of sale or title transfer or anything like that. I hadn't received any notification of the debt until I saw it appear on my credit report 3 months ago. I didn't know what the debt was about until I contacted the debt collection company.

    So my question is this:

    1. Is there a statute of limitation on court fines?

    2. I sent a fax and email asking for debt validation from the collection company. What other ways can I handle this?

    Any advice is appreciated. I don't have any experience dealing with collectors so I want to minimize the mental anguish of dealing with these jokers (short of paying a fine thats not mine.).

    Thanks in advance!

    mrxcoffee

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    9,660

    Default Re: Statute of Limitation on Court Fines

    There is no limitations on ticket collections.

    You should never have allowed your tags/registration to go with the sold car.
    You're chances to do anything with this are long gone. Pay the fine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Statute of Limitation on Court Fines

    Thanks for your response.

    In Hawaii you don't pull the plates off the car when sold. I submitted the title transfer but its been so long I don't have a VIN, plate or even model number on the car.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    74,059

    Default Re: Statute of Limitation on Court Fines

    What are your county's regulations (if any) pertaining to formal reporting of the transfer of a used vehicle?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Snohomish, WA
    Posts
    1,203

    Default Re: Statute of Limitation on Court Fines

    Contact the Hawaii department of licensing/DMV/whatever they are called to get your proof of sale. You may have to pay a fee to get it from the archives since it has been so long.

    Send the collections company a demand for proof that the debt is yours. If they do not respond within 30 days with proof, then you do not owe the debt, period, and they cannot put it on your credit any longer. If they do respond, send them the proof of sale and demand that they do not contact you ever again, and that they remove it from your credit or you will sue them for damages.

    This is simple stuff.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Statute of Limitation on Court Fines

    Thanks guys for the responses.

    @knowitall - I am trying to remember how Hawaii works. It has literally been so long I can't remember the procedure. I am going to look more into this when I get the debt information from the collector.

    @Speedy Gonzalez - Thanks - I did that yesterday. I contacted MSB and ask them to validate the debt and send me all information relating to the delinquency.

    On with the waiting game for the validation to arrive I guess.

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    LA LA Land
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    9,175

    Default Re: Statute of Limitation on Court Fines

    Quote Quoting mrxcoffee
    View Post
    Thanks guys for the responses.

    @knowitall - I am trying to remember how Hawaii works. It has literally been so long I can't remember the procedure. I am going to look more into this when I get the debt information from the collector.

    @Speedy Gonzalez - Thanks - I did that yesterday. I contacted MSB and ask them to validate the debt and send me all information relating to the delinquency.

    On with the waiting game for the validation to arrive I guess.

    Thanks!
    Mr. Knowitall's post included a link to the several methods used to report a sale of a motor vehicle in Hawaii... Should be enough of a reminder, I would think!

    Here is a link to HRS §286-52 Procedure when title of vehicle transferred; delivery of certificate mandatory: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscur..._0286-0052.htm (though it has been amended 7 times since 1990) it does state that it is the seller's responsibility to report the sale


    That aside, you might want to check out this link: http://www.courts.state.hi.us/self-h...agency.html#10

    It sounds to me that your case maybe past the stage where you can dispute a "debt" and hope it will go away... For one, this is not necessarily a "debt" as defined under FDCPA... Its a fine!

    So... Your request for proof of sale, is not likely to help much simply because *IF* the sale was reported in a timely manner, there would not have been any administrative penalty for "late registration and inspection" assessed to you, the registered owner of the vehicle at the time the registration became due! If on the other hand this was not an administrative penalty, meaning it was a citation, and while it is possible that the driver was issued a citation for driving a vehicle who's registration was expired, it is obvious that a citation was issued to the registered owner, which was you at the time, same reasoning would imply that there was no proof of sale filed before the issuance of the citation and therefore you are responsible for allowing someone to operate your vehicle without valid registration!

    But that is not all... While MSB is doing the collection as a third party entity (here is their website: https://www.msbpay.com/about.aspx ), they don't own the debt... So your request for "verification" (a method you'd use against a credit collection agency who at times are not in possession of credit card agreements and billing statements, and therefore could not provide proof of anything to substantiate the amount(s) due ... etc), will likely produce enough to document the penalty. In this case, I suspect that they maybe collecting on a judgement that was entered against you which would bring us back to flyingron's advice to just "pay the fine"!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Statute of Limitation on Court Fines

    @thatguy - thank you very much for your detailed response. The ONLY tickets we're for late registration and safety inspection which would have happened while the vehicle was parked and after I sold it. I know for a 100% certainty I didn't receive any citations for driving with expired registation/safety and I never lent my car to anyone when I owned the car.

    The frustrating part for me is that I sold the car in 1998 (I went to college in California that year) and I believe I turned in the required paperwork; although I can't say for sure because its been 12-13 years.

    I am going to wait until I receive the details of the case from MSB then head down to the courthouse, I live in Hawaii now, and see if I can't get the case dismissed. Before I go to court I will try to get a copy of the sales record from the DMV. I also have a copy of my college transcripts to bring with me to the courthouse so I will see if that is enough evidence to have the fine thrown out.

    Thanks for the advice I will let you know how it pans out.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    LA LA Land
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    9,175

    Default Re: Statute of Limitation on Court Fines

    Quote Quoting mrxcoffee
    View Post
    The ONLY tickets we're for late registration and safety inspection which would have happened while the vehicle was parked and after I sold it.
    My point is, if on the date that the citation(s) was issued the sale had not been reported to the proper authority, it will be the registered owner's responsibility to pay or dispute a "parking type ticket". But in addition to your presumption that it was a parking citation (or one which was issued while the vehicle was parked), it is also possible for it to have been issued to the registered owner of the vehicle even if it was driven by somebody else... So again, hypothetically, you sold it and mailed the papers, the buyer got caught driving it unregistered/un-inspected, the citing officer opted to cite the registered owner instead of the driver/buyer.

    In either of those cases, and assuming you had not submitted a change of address or a forwarding address, any subsequent late notices issued shortly thereafter, were un-deliverable.

    Quote Quoting mrxcoffee
    View Post
    I believe I turned in the required paperwork; although I can't say for sure because its been 12-13 years.
    I understand the difficulty in remembering... It is possible that the buyer had to submit something, a fee was required... In the least, it is obvious that he slacked on inspecting and registering the vehicle.


    Quote Quoting mrxcoffee
    View Post
    I am going to wait until I receive the details of the case from MSB then head down to the courthouse, I live in Hawaii now, and see if I can't get the case dismissed. Before I go to court I will try to get a copy of the sales record from the DMV. I also have a copy of my college transcripts to bring with me to the courthouse so I will see if that is enough evidence to have the fine thrown out.
    Proceed as you wish... I simply posted a hypothetical possibility that was not covered in previous posts!


    Quote Quoting mrxcoffee
    View Post
    I will let you know how it pans out.
    Please do.... Good luck!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Statute of Limitation on Court Fines

    I thought I would add a update and if there is anyone else in this situation it might be of some help.

    1. I first contacted Experian and disputed the charge.
    2. I then contacted the creditor to get the ticket number etc.
    3. I then got copies of my college transcripts to show I truly was out of state when the tickets we're issued.
    4. I contacted the courts in Hawaii and was told I needed to place a bond for the amount of the tickets in order to see a judge.
    5. Going to see the Judge wasn't any guarantee and if they found me guilty the bond wouldn't be returned. However, if I was found not liable then they would vacate the judgement.

    HOWEVER, it seems that the collector didn't respond to the validation requests of Experian and the record has been deleted from my record - so none of the other steps were necessary.

    Good luck to anyone in my situation.

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