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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    7

    Arrow Notified of Lien. How to Dispute?

    My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: California.

    I recently received a letter from a California County Recorder's office, that a Lien against me was recorded. I used to live in CA, but I've lived in Nevada for over a year.

    It looks to be a debt collection, filed in 2008 against my EX boyfriend and I am named as an additional judgment debtor.

    When we were together back in 2001, I co-signed a credit card application to help him re-build his credit. The credit card was approved and it had a credit limit of around $10,000. We agreed to purchase a camera he wanted for about $700. I kept the credit card, so there would be no more charges on it and he would pay it off. Months later we broke up, and he agreed to keep the camera and pay off the remaining balance. I later found out he contacted the credit card company, changed the billing address and had a new card mailed to him. He then proceeded to buy a lot of things with the card. By the time I found out about it and called to cancel the card, he had maxed out the credit.

    I can still get in touch with him, but he currently lives in Japan. His Wife in in the Military and is stationed there. I'm not sure if he has a job or not.

    Looking at the case on the County website, the original debt amount is $10,000. It looks like it has been re-assigned to a new creditor and now the amount owed is $41,000.

    I know I co-signed for the credit card, but none of this is my debt.

    How can I dispute this Lien? Do I need an attorney?

    Thank you for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    18,161

    Default Re: Notified of Lien. How to Dispute?

    I know I co-signed for the credit card, but none of this is my debt.
    Sorry, but it IS your debt. You guaranteed to pay it if the other signer didn't. That's what co-signing means.

    There's nothing to dispute. The judgment has your name on it. You owe it as much as your ex does. The creditor can't get to him in Japan but it can get to you. That's the consequence of co-signing. No matter what your "agreement" was with the boyfriend the only agreement that counts is the contract with the credit card company.

    Judgments in CA are good for 10 years and can be renewed. Judgments can also be domesticated (registered) in NV and enforced in NV.

    You've got a real problem on your hands.

    There's two ways to cure it. 1 - Offer a cash settlement discounted from the $10,000 and see if they take it. Get it in writing if they do. 2 - bankruptcy and the whole thing goes away.

    Or, you can just ignore it and pray nothing ever comes of it. Meantime check your three credit reports at annualcreditreport.com and see if that's on it.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Notified of Lien. How to Dispute?

    You wrote:

    We agreed to purchase a camera he wanted for about $700. I kept the credit card, so there would be no more charges on it and he would pay it off. Months later we broke up, and he agreed to keep the camera and pay off the remaining balance.

    It would be worth your time to speak with a lawyer about that agreement. While it won't help you as against the judgment creditor, it may be a basis for you to seek compensation/reimbursement from the ex-boyfriend. If you and he had an agreement that the card would only be used for the $700 purchase, and if you also agreed that he was not to use the card for any other purchases, then the fact that he did use the card for other purchases would be a breach by him of that agreement, which would entitle you to damages -- likely measured as the amount you had to pay to satisfy the judgment resulting from non-payment of the card.

    The fact that he's currently in Japan is a complication, but is not an absolute bar to recovery.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    4,226

    Default Re: Notified of Lien. How to Dispute?

    Quote Quoting MiddlePart
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    You wrote:

    The fact that he's currently in Japan is a complication, but is not an absolute bar to recovery.
    It is a complication to the point that it would make the collection of any debt virtually impossible until he is no longer in Japan. Add that to the fact that the chance of collecting on the debt even if he was living next door to the OP makes it not worth the electrons spend posting it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    138

    Default Re: Notified of Lien. How to Dispute?

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    My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: California.

    I recently received a letter from a California County Recorder's office, that a Lien against me was recorded. I used to live in CA, but I've lived in Nevada for over a year.

    It looks to be a debt collection, filed in 2008 against my EX boyfriend and I am named as an additional judgment debtor.

    When we were together back in 2001, I co-signed a credit card application to help him re-build his credit. The credit card was approved and it had a credit limit of around $10,000. We agreed to purchase a camera he wanted for about $700. I kept the credit card, so there would be no more charges on it and he would pay it off. Months later we broke up, and he agreed to keep the camera and pay off the remaining balance. I later found out he contacted the credit card company, changed the billing address and had a new card mailed to him. He then proceeded to buy a lot of things with the card. By the time I found out about it and called to cancel the card, he had maxed out the credit.

    I can still get in touch with him, but he currently lives in Japan. His Wife in in the Military and is stationed there. I'm not sure if he has a job or not.

    Looking at the case on the County website, the original debt amount is $10,000. It looks like it has been re-assigned to a new creditor and now the amount owed is $41,000.

    I know I co-signed for the credit card, but none of this is my debt.

    How can I dispute this Lien? Do I need an attorney?

    Thank you for your help!
    I suspect that what you received from the county recorder was not a Lien against you, but a notice of an application to renew a judgment. Whatever, as I will explain below somewhere in the past you messed up big time, lady!

    I trust that you are now convinced that the California judgment is in fact your debt; at least a judgment debt that you and your former boy friend share as joint judgment debtors. Also, that you are fully aware that there is nothing that can be done at this late stage by way of disputing the debt or the ensuing judgment, attorney or no attorney.

    Perhaps this is your first awareness of the existence of the judgment, but I tend to doubt it. Somewhere in the past you and he were joined as defendants and sued in a civil action to collect the delinquent credit card account. And a money judgment against both of you then followed.

    And it is there that you dropped the ball. By that I mean your failure upon being sued by the credit card company to interplead against your former boy friend and obtain a judgment over against him for any amounts the creditor recovered against you.

    Its a bit complicated, and probably of little practical worth (as half of nothing is nothing), however, the consequence of your failure to act timely and obtain a judgment over against you ex boyfriend is that now he is only liable to reimburse you for what amounts you pay the judgment creditor. And only up to 50% of the total judgment. (See: Cal. Code of Civil Procedure Section 882 (a) Whereas if you had a judgment over he would be obligated to make contribution up to the full amount you were to pay the judgment creditor.

    The sad reality is that you have no legal recourse against your erstwhile boy friend UNLESS you make payments to the judgment creditor or its assignee/collector. And then limited to one half of the judgment. (It being assumed that the joint judgment made no mention of disproportional amounts being awarded.)

  6. #6
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    Jul 2018
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    2,595

    Default Re: Notified of Lien. How to Dispute?

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    I recently received a letter from a California County Recorder's office, that a Lien against me was recorded.
    What sort of lien? Sounds like a judgment lien. Correct?


    Quote Quoting BugOut
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    It looks to be a debt collection, filed in 2008 against my EX boyfriend and I am named as an additional judgment debtor.
    What was filed in 2008? The lawsuit? The judgment? The lien?


    Quote Quoting BugOut
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    I later found out he contacted the credit card company, changed the billing address and had a new card mailed to him. He then proceeded to buy a lot of things with the card. By the time I found out about it and called to cancel the card, he had maxed out the credit.
    Shocking. Not. Obviously water under the bridge, but when you broke up, you should have canceled the card (or at least your guarantee). And you should have followed up with both the ex and the credit card company to ensure that nothing further was charged. It sounds like you just assumed everything would be hunky dory and didn't give this any further thought. Unfortunately, that's the height of willful negligence.


    Quote Quoting BugOut
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    I know I co-signed for the credit card, but none of this is my debt.
    Sorry, no. Debt incurred by another on a credit card that you guaranteed most certainly is your debt. That's exactly what you signed up for.


    Quote Quoting BugOut
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    How can I dispute this Lien? Do I need an attorney?
    You "can dispute" anything you like, but you're probably screwed. It sounds like you got sued but didn't receive notice in time to avoid what I assume was a default judgment. I assume that judgment was entered many years ago and that the creditor has now renewed the judgment. If you can provide the dates (1) when the complaint was filed; (2) when the judgment was entered; and (3) when the judgment was renewed, I may be able to provide some additional information. It would also be helpful if you confirmed that the judgment was a default judgment. And, if you know, please provide details about how the creditor claimed to have served you with the summons and complaint.

    One thing to keep in mind that a judgment lien recorded in ____ County, California only encumbers real property that you own in that county. If you don't own any real property in that county, then the lien is effectively meaningless. However, the judgment creditor (or creditor's assignee) may seek to domesticate the California judgment in Nevada and try to enforce it against you by levying your bank account and/or garnishing your wages.


    Quote Quoting MiddlePart
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    It would be worth your time to speak with a lawyer about that agreement. While it won't help you as against the judgment creditor, it may be a basis for you to seek compensation/reimbursement from the ex-boyfriend. If you and he had an agreement that the card would only be used for the $700 purchase, and if you also agreed that he was not to use the card for any other purchases, then the fact that he did use the card for other purchases would be a breach by him of that agreement, which would entitle you to damages -- likely measured as the amount you had to pay to satisfy the judgment resulting from non-payment of the card.
    While I don't disagree with this, the OP already has an indemnity claim against the ex, so trying to make out a breach of contract claim is unnecessary.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    138

    Default Re: Notified of Lien. How to Dispute?

    Quote Quoting MiddlePart
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    You wrote:

    We agreed to purchase a camera he wanted for about $700. I kept the credit card, so there would be no more charges on it and he would pay it off. Months later we broke up, and he agreed to keep the camera and pay off the remaining balance.

    It would be worth your time to speak with a lawyer about that agreement. While it won't help you as against the judgment creditor, it may be a basis for you to seek compensation/reimbursement from the ex-boyfriend. If you and he had an agreement that the card would only be used for the $700 purchase, and if you also agreed that he was not to use the card for any other purchases, then the fact that he did use the card for other purchases would be a breach by him of that agreement, which would entitle you to damages -- likely measured as the amount you had to pay to satisfy the judgment resulting from non-payment of the card.

    The fact that he's currently in Japan is a complication, but is not an absolute bar to recovery.
    Worth her time? Do you sincerely believe that they OP could obtain a judgment against her ex boy friend for damages resulting from his breach of an alleged verbal agreement limiting his use of the credit card, etc., etc. - NINETEEN YEARS AFTER THE FACT?!

    She missed her one and ONLY opportunity to have the issues you mention adjudicated. That opportunity arose when they were both being sued over the credit card debt. There she could have appeared and filed a cross-complaint against her co-defendant in accordance with Cal. CCP Section 428.10 (b)

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