My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: California/Washington
I've been royally screwed in this situation, it's a long story but I I'll try to summarize. I'm currently 21 years old. 2 years ago, in the summer of 2007 I was 19 and disowned by my parents and lived on the streets for a month in California, until I successfully established an entertainment company which legally made me lump sums of cash very quickly. When I would put on events, I would have to make large cash purchases and cash advances on my credit cards - I did this quite often, and built up my credit score pretty quickly. An older man and his wife that I was very close with, and had known for nearly 7 years previously, graciously allowed me to stay with them for a reasonable rent. About a month after staying with them, I had raised the money necessary to return to college (in Washington) and live there. His wife asked about my business and how I had managed to quickly raise the funds needed to return to school. When I told her what I had been doing, she asked if I would be willing to help her and a friend out with a problem. She basically told me that she would need to use my personal information to put a house into my name so a friend could live there and make the payments, as he needed to sell it and that if I complied I would receive $10,000. Naturally, trusting them, and realize I would have no stable income while in school, I agreed. After my semester started, they flew me back home from school for a weekend to sign some of the documents, at the offices of some financial professionals she seemed to personally, and very well.
I'm sure you know where this goes from here - she pretty much disappeared, moved away, and refused to answer calls. Not only was I never paid anything NEAR the full amount, but the house went into foreclosure as they literally only made 1 payment. A few months later, the woman called to tell me that the house had been sold and taken out of my name and that I wouldn't have problems - but I'm still getting collections calls nonstop in regards to the HELOC for $113,000 from "Academy Collections Services". I'm aware they are just a (very annoying) collections company trying to scare me into making a payment arrangement with them, but after getting fed up with their harassment I'm sending them a cease and desist notice.
I'm a student and young entrepreneur, i haven't had much time to deal with this now between passing classes and staying off the streets. I will be graduating soon (my primary focus, throughout all of this), and I'm wondering if there's anything I can do about this to keep some random collections company from coming around before the SOL expires and garnishing my wages - to repay a debt that I never saw a dime of, or if there is a way to go after the people that put me in this situation. Would a judge consider the circumstances in my situation when pronouncing a sentence, should i consider bankruptcy?
I'm aware I shouldn't have been so "stupid" (I guess that's what it is when you trust your friends), but should I be held entirely responsible when a bank loans $500,000 to someone whom at that point had never filed a tax return, had $3,500 in his only bank account, has had no stable or consistent source of income, and has been continually enrolled in school in another state? Furthermore, It's come to my attention that they don't even have my birth date accurate in their files and that the woman that did this to me fraudulently submitted a job history and references to the bank, which I was unaware of.
Thanks, sorry for the long message - I'm just looking for answers from somebody!