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Old 05-11-2018, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Ohio
18,123 posts, read 13,303,693 times
Reputation: 13977

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Quote:
Originally Posted by raso87 View Post
Hello,
This is my first time posting and I am hoping someone can give me some guidance. I live in New York and about three weeks ago I received a letter from my mortgage company stating that they received a subpoena from a law firm requesting information pertaining to my loan. Bank stated that they are required to notify me of the request. I called the law firm which also turned out to be a debt collection agency. I was told that they are trying to collect on a judgement that was filed against me in 1998. I told them that I was not aware of any judgment and was told that I owe them $30,000.00. I hung up the phone and started doing some research.

I found out through the Florida Court website that a judgment was entered against me in 1998. In 1994 I moved back to New York after living in Miami for 9 years. I had purchased a vehicle in Miami around 1992. When I moved to New York I faced some financial difficulties and could not afford to keep the car. After falling behind on payments, i wrote to the bank in 1995 explaining my financial situation and made arrangements for them to pick up the car.

For the last 23 years nothing has ever shown up on my credit reports. No one contacted me or sent me any notices. I was able to download a copy of the judgment and saw that the bank filed a complaint in 1996 for $6581.82 in Florida Civil Court, and a summons was issued that same year. I never was served any legal documents or received any paperwork pertaining to this lawsuit. It looks like the bank sold the debt in 1998 to the debt collector/law firm listed on the subpoena after a judgment was granted that same year. I purchased my home last year in 2017 and I guess that is how they were able to locate the mortgage company. They had my previous address and yet no one ever contacted me.

I called the Florida County Clerk and was advise to try and negotiate with the debt collector or seek legal counsel. I contacted a lawyer in Florida, paid the fee, and was totally disappointed. I told the lawyer that I wanted to quash the subpoena, and to request copies of the summons and documents from the court. Paperwork was never filed to quash the subpoena and the bank sent out my information.

I don't know what to do. Can someone please advise me? Should I get a lawyer in NY or do I have to go to Florida? Will they go after my home, bank account, garnish my pay? This is a total nightmare! Ia there anything that I can do? Any response will greatly be appreciated.

The judgment is unenforceable.


A judgment is only enforceable in the State in which it was issued.


In order to enforce the judgment in New York, or any other State, the judgment holder must file the judgment with a court in the State in question, in this instance, New York. When an attempt is made to file the judgment with a court, the clerk of courts will send you a notice. If you do not respond to the notice, the judgment will be automatically filed with the court and valid in the State. If you do respond, you can challenge the validity of the original judgment, provided you have grounds to do so, and no service is grounds.


In your particular case, you can prepare ahead of time or have an attorney help you by creating an affidavit. You can search on-line for the proper format for New York courts for an affidavit. In the affidavit, you will state the fact that you relocated to New York from Florida in 1994 and attach any supporting evidence such as a housing rental contract, the date you opened a bank account, the date you obtained a driver's license or registered a vehicle (and your State DMV/BMV should be able to tell you the exact date), the date you became employed in New York, established telephone service or service for natural gas and electric, cable television service and any other evidence proving your residency.


The affidavit must be sworn, and an attorney as an officer of the court can swear you to an affidavit, or you can use a Notary Public, and many banks offer such services for a nominal fee, and many CPAs are also Notary Publics (but their fee may be higher).



Because you were not properly served, and the Florida court documents will show exactly where you were allegedly served, you have a chance to over-turn the judgment, or at the very least, bar the judgment from being filed in New York.


Until such time as the judgment is properly filed in New York State, a lien cannot be attached to your property.


Regarding the fact that the judgment never showed up on your credit reports, understand that there is no now, nor has there ever been any federal or State law that compels any creditor of any kind to report credit information of any kind to a credit reporting agency.


Credit reporting is 100% voluntary.


In order to report credit information to a credit reporting agency, one must pay a hefty annual fee for subscription service. If you want to report to Experian, you must pay an annual fee. If you want to also report to Equifax, you must pay an annual fee to Equifax. If you want to report to TransUnion, you have to pay them an annual fee, too.



There are three smaller credit reporting agencies (not Experian and not Equifax and not TransUnion) used exclusively by banks who report account holders who overdraw their account and never make good on it, or who write bad checks or engage in bank or check frauds.



There are credit reporting agencies for landlords (although they charge fees on a case-by-case basis instead of an annual fee), and even one for utilities like cable, satellite, cell-phones and gas and electric.


Local, State and federal courts do not pay fees for subscription services to credit reporting agencies, due to the costs, so how do bankruptcies, judgments and liens end up your credit reports?


Lexis-Nexis, which is also a credit reporting agency that most people are even aware, pays people to travel around a geographic area from court to court and collect information, and not just judgments and liens, and bankruptcies, but also civil and criminal actions, marriage and probate actions, and whatever other public records are available. Lexis-Nexis then sells the information on bankruptcies, judgments and liens to the three major credit reporting agencies.



If a judgment doesn't appear on your credit report, it's usually because the information was missed, or entered into the database improperly (which would bar its use), or it was reported from 1998 to 2005, but you didn't notice it, because you never accessed your credit reports, since judgments and liens are only reported for 7 years.


Regarding the attorney who took your money, but didn't do anything, telephone the attorney and very politely inform him/her that you expect a refund within 72 hours, and if not, they should expect a complaint filed with the Florida Bar Association, and with the county Bar Association (if there is one -- do your homework and search for a county Bar Association for that county).


The attorney's conduct in your case is inexcusable.



Motions to Quash are usually templated on word processing software, so it should have only taken the attorney no more than an hour to enter the pertinent information and file the Motion electronically, you know, on-line, since that's how most courts operate now regarding filings, so the attorney didn't even need to drive to the court to file it.


Regarding the statute of limitations on judgments, some States have them, while some do not. Florida does not.



Why? Some courts and many legal scholars hold the view that a perfected judgment is the final action of any legal matter, and as such, there shouldn't be a statute of limitations, since the action has been finalized.


If you do seek an attorney for assistance, do not accept any attorney other than a consumer attorney. Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC are the best, and even though they are based in Chicago, they have either offices or surrogates in most major cities. A surrogate is simply an attorney admitted to the Bar in a particular State who does nothing but file the paperwork and pleadings. These class-action attorney you see on TV operate that way. They do all the work, and a local attorney functions as surrogate filing all the documents.
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Old 05-11-2018, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Vermont
10,098 posts, read 10,650,616 times
Reputation: 13466
1. Do not say anything to the alleged creditor acknowledging the debt.
2. Do not communicate with the alleged creditor at all.
3. Get a lawyer.


You don't know if this ever was a valid judgment, whether there was valid service, or even whether under Florida law a judgment that old is still valid. Don't attempt to resolve this on your own.
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Old 05-11-2018, 04:32 PM
 
Location: In a vehicle.
4,566 posts, read 2,804,169 times
Reputation: 7346
Quote:
Originally Posted by don1945 View Post
How did $6500 grow to $30K ? Interest ? Penalties ?

Seems excessive.
Heh! I had a bad debt go from $1,200 to $16K+ I wrote the debt buyer and said "Keep adding the interest and penalties, I get a chuckle out of how you're not going to get a dime for this"...They finally stopped sending me the demands after it hit $18K
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Old 05-11-2018, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
4,984 posts, read 5,492,702 times
Reputation: 9219
OP, Mircea gave you some great advice!

Whatever you do, don't ignore this situation, but don't talk to the collection agency. This is a large enough debt that it will pay for one of the debt collectors to pursue it. Get your ducks in a row.

I had some zombie debt. I was able to sent them a cease and desist letter because the debt was 15 years old, well past the statue of limitations for my area, but there wasn't a judgement against me.

I'm not a deadbeat but in this case the wisest thing to do was tell the collection agency to go pound sand.

Good luck and keep us updated!
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Old 05-11-2018, 05:40 PM
 
2,360 posts, read 1,042,932 times
Reputation: 2071
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disgustedman View Post
Heh! I had a bad debt go from $1,200 to $16K+ I wrote the debt buyer and said "Keep adding the interest and penalties, I get a chuckle out of how you're not going to get a dime for this"...They finally stopped sending me the demands after it hit $18K
haha, txdot try to pull that stunt with the tolls. Said ill pay the toll fee but rest you can stick it. Lady said ok, next month got another bill with interested added again, so repeat phone call.. did this for about 6 months, 40$ toll bill went to 2k.. and a legal letter. I paid the 40, but they wanted interest payments too.. Nope not going to happen.. every now and then i get a new bill with another 10% interest added to a bill thats been paid. See how far i can get it up till they stop.
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:26 PM
 
4,144 posts, read 1,751,093 times
Reputation: 11728
Quote:
Originally Posted by hitpausebutton2 View Post
haha, txdot try to pull that stunt with the tolls. Said ill pay the toll fee but rest you can stick it. Lady said ok, next month got another bill with interested added again, so repeat phone call.. did this for about 6 months, 40$ toll bill went to 2k.. and a legal letter. I paid the 40, but they wanted interest payments too.. Nope not going to happen.. every now and then i get a new bill with another 10% interest added to a bill thats been paid. See how far i can get it up till they stop.
Why didn't you pay the $40 right off the bat, when it was due and saved all the nonsense? Not to mention they also had to come looking for their money?
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Old 05-11-2018, 07:03 PM
 
Location: la la land
27,427 posts, read 11,491,506 times
Reputation: 19401
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiminnm View Post
yep, in California a judgment is only valid for 10 years unless the party the money is owed to go to court to reaffirm the debt.
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Old 05-11-2018, 07:10 PM
 
2,360 posts, read 1,042,932 times
Reputation: 2071
Quote:
Originally Posted by LLCNYC View Post
Why didn't you pay the $40 right off the bat, when it was due and saved all the nonsense? Not to mention they also had to come looking for their money?
Forgot about it, as i was traveling at the time before i moved here. Soon as i got home, I paid the bill but they wanted interest.. nope.. not going to happen.
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Old 05-11-2018, 07:19 PM
Status: "I kept my promise, please keep your distance" (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: 11235
1,588 posts, read 490,996 times
Reputation: 3028
There should be a statute of limitations on this stuff. Most people keep financial records for 10 years incase of a tax audit. How many of us think about keeping credit records and payment information freakin' forever, incase of unscrupulous 'debt collectors'?

I guess its just another good reason to pay by cash, and not to buy something until you can afford it.
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Old 05-11-2018, 07:49 PM
 
2,360 posts, read 1,042,932 times
Reputation: 2071
Quote:
Originally Posted by ComeCloser View Post
There should be a statute of limitations on this stuff. Most people keep financial records for 10 years incase of a tax audit. How many of us think about keeping credit records and payment information freakin' forever, incase of unscrupulous 'debt collectors'?

I guess its just another good reason to pay by cash, and not to buy something until you can afford it.

Google does wonders. I lost count on how many "ACS report to court" Emails i get. Sometimes i will just go along with them just to waist their time and i get a good laugh or track them down and report to local offices. Each time i get a letter or email from a debt collector it gets google and/or trash can as i know what debt i have, and its just 2 cars.. so rest is just pure BS and goes into the trash can.
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