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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Default Driver's License Suspension Due to an Old Default Judgment

    My question involves judgment recovery in the State of:PA

    In 1988 I was in a car accident and didnt have insurance, I was 18 years old at the time. I was sued and had a default judgment filed against me in PA, this judgment was revived in 2000 and hasn't been touched since then. I went to the county clerks site and looked at the file, last anything has been updated is in 2000. I think I remember being served on the first one, in 2000 when they renewed it, the summons was sent to my father who wasn't speaking to me so I was never actually served when they revived it. He died several years ago. I was an absolute mess back then.

    I moved out of state in the late 1990's to get my act together, I recently went to get my Nevada drivers licence renewed and came to find out that my NJ drivers licence is suspended due to this judgment, I had a NJ drivers licence when the accident happened.

    The wierd thing is that this never showed up on any of my credit reports, I have immaculate credit. What I was wondering is this, is this considered a dormant/expired judgment? Can they still come after me? What would be my first step on getting my NJ drivers licence reinstated?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Driver's License Suspension Due to an Old Default Judgment

    Per statute,
    Quote Quoting 42 Pa. C.S.A. Sec. 5529. Twenty year limitation.
    (a) Execution against personal property.--An execution against personal property must be issued within 20 years after the entry of the judgment upon which the execution is to be issued.

    (b) Instruments under seal. --

    (1) Notwithstanding section 5525(7) (relating to four year limitation), an action upon an instrument in writing under seal must be commenced within 20 years.

    (2) This subsection shall expire June 27, 2018.
    From what you've written, the judgment appears to have expired @2005 when it wasn't renewed, and moreso in 2008 when it passed the twenty year mark. So it does not appear that the judgment can be enforced through a court.
    Quote Quoting 75 Pa. C.S.A. Sec. 1773. Continuation of suspension until judgments paid and proof given.
    A person's operating privilege shall remain suspended and shall not be renewed in the name of that person unless and until every judgment is stayed, satisfied in full or to the extent provided in this subchapter, and until the person furnishes proof of financial responsibility as required.
    The statutes authorizing suspension do not appear to excuse the nonpayment even after expiration of the judgment. See Subchapter G, here, including § 1774 regarding partial payment.

    It may be possible to negotiate for a satisfaction of judgment predicated upon a modest payment as a full and final settlement of the claim, but be careful about creating a novation and be sure that any agrement is signed, in writing, and is in proper form. It may also be possible to address the judgment through bankruptcy, although that seems like overkill for what appears to be an expired judgment. A Pennsylvania lawyer may be aware of case law dealing with the statute (the database I use may not be complete) or how local courts treat the issue. I suggest consulting a Pennsylvania lawyer about the facts and your options, so you can formulate the least costly, most expeditious path to reinstatement.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Re: Driver's License Suspension Due to an Old Default Judgment

    This issue happens in Pennsylvania all the time. The court can not take any action to collect, your credit report is safe, but your driving record is noted already. The only way to clear the hold on your record is to clear the judgment.

    You can contact the creditor and negotiate a settlement or payment plan, or you can post the money owed with the court to be held for 5 years then returned if un-claimed.

    The issue is that the amount of the judgment has been accruing 6% interest from 2000, so the creditor may take that into account, and the court will require collateral to include that full payment.

    Your final option is to file bankruptcy, this will clear the judgement and allow the request to remove the hold through this action.

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