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Old 06-13-2011, 04:11 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,146 times
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I have a total debt over the past 5 years of approx. 60kUSD from a handful of (5) credit card/banks. Last payments were made to these accounts about three years ago.
I have been out of the country for the better part of four years but plan to return to the U.S later this year.
I will be establishing a residence address again and I'm sure this will trigger an onslaught of letter and visits from CAs.
This new address however will be in a different state than where my credit/debt is established (California).
Obviously collection agencies have been unable to serve me, if they have intended to sue.
So if they file suit and win a default judgement against me, sometime after i return to the US this year, should i expect that they will freeze my bank account, which for years has had an average balance of less than 1000usd?
Also, being unemployed without any assests (not even a car)
means they know that there are no wages to garnish or any other means of collecting.
Strategizing the next step is imperative - probably filing for chapter 7, but for now....

Can't get into all the hows and whys of what lead to all of this but I'm willing to face the music, returning to the US-

Any thoughts on likely scenarios i may face post-return to the US, or likelihood of being sued at this point?

I realize that I need to consult a lawyer but any feedback or personal experiences or observations here would be appreciated-

thx
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:35 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,837 posts, read 57,830,396 times
Reputation: 29235
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly09 View Post
I have been out of the country for the better part of four years where collection agencies have been unable to serve me since I (ran up) a total debt of over $60,000 US from a handful of (5) credit card/banks.

Being unemployed, with no wages to garnish, without any assets (not even a car)...
I'm now scheming a plan to return to the U.S and establish residence in a different state than my debt (California).

When they file suit and win a default judgement against me...

...observations would be appreciated.
I'm reminded of the scene late in the classic heist film Diehard when Hans Gruber says (parphrased):
"Well, when you steal $600, you can just disappear. When you steal $60,000, they will find you..."

hth
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Old 06-13-2011, 04:35 PM
 
4,248 posts, read 10,228,903 times
Reputation: 3109
Is it possible to go on the usps and do an address change but put it for 4 yrs ago as the start time? I know you can go back in time but don't know how far back. If you can go back atleast a year then you should? get mail from the creditors since they are probably sending you mail every few months about what you owe. Then you should know if they have filed suit by calling them. But I'm sure there's a number you can call to find out if you've been sued or in the process of being sued.
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:27 PM
 
12,671 posts, read 20,487,421 times
Reputation: 2618
Which one has the highest? SOL starts from the last payment you made. SOL is 4 years in California. They have 1 year left to sue you, if they don't. They cann sue you again but SOL is your defense. They may still call and send you letters but you can send a 'cease and desist' letter and them to stop contacting you ever again.

Look at the laws about what they can do after judgement in CA.
Lot of assets are protected.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly09 View Post
I have a total debt over the past 5 years of approx. 60kUSD from a handful of (5) credit card/banks. Last payments were made to these accounts about three years ago.
I have been out of the country for the better part of four years but plan to return to the U.S later this year.
I will be establishing a residence address again and I'm sure this will trigger an onslaught of letter and visits from CAs.
This new address however will be in a different state than where my credit/debt is established (California).
Obviously collection agencies have been unable to serve me, if they have intended to sue.
So if they file suit and win a default judgement against me, sometime after i return to the US this year, should i expect that they will freeze my bank account, which for years has had an average balance of less than 1000usd?
Also, being unemployed without any assests (not even a car)
means they know that there are no wages to garnish or any other means of collecting.
Strategizing the next step is imperative - probably filing for chapter 7, but for now....

Can't get into all the hows and whys of what lead to all of this but I'm willing to face the music, returning to the US-

Any thoughts on likely scenarios i may face post-return to the US, or likelihood of being sued at this point?

I realize that I need to consult a lawyer but any feedback or personal experiences or observations here would be appreciated-

thx
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:29 PM
 
12,671 posts, read 20,487,421 times
Reputation: 2618
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
I'm reminded of the scene late in the classic heist film Diehard when Hans Gruber says (parphrased):
"Well, when you steal $600, you can just disappear. When you steal $60,000, they will find you..."

hth
Find you where? They cannot come to your home or workplace. They can send you letters and phone calls, perhaps try to call relatives.
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:31 PM
 
12,671 posts, read 20,487,421 times
Reputation: 2618
Quote:
Originally Posted by danieloneil01 View Post
Is it possible to go on the usps and do an address change but put it for 4 yrs ago as the start time? I know you can go back in time but don't know how far back. If you can go back atleast a year then you should? get mail from the creditors since they are probably sending you mail every few months about what you owe. Then you should know if they have filed suit by calling them. But I'm sure there's a number you can call to find out if you've been sued or in the process of being sued.
Call your local country clerk and find out about any of the OPs record. Also they physicall have to hand you the document to properly serve you.
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:55 AM
 
Location: Tampa (by way of Omaha)
13,752 posts, read 18,393,018 times
Reputation: 8941
You're walking into a potentially complicated situation here. Let's start from the top.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly09 View Post
I have been out of the country for the better part of four years but plan to return to the U.S later this year.
You might want to reconsider. Granted your debt isn't all that large, but you might want to wait it out a couple more years if you can.

Do you know whether or not they know you left the country?

Quote:
I will be establishing a residence address again and I'm sure this will trigger an onslaught of letter and visits from CAs.
Possibly. It depends on the collection agency and what has happened with these accounts. It's very possible that they could have dumped them into the "we give up" file and forgot about them, or these accounts could still be in active rotation, being bought and sold on the debt market.

Lots of variables that could happen. All we can do is speculate.

Quote:
This new address however will be in a different state than where my credit/debt is established (California).
That might help to keep you hidden, but it's nothing I would exactly bet on in the information age.

Quote:
Obviously collection agencies have been unable to serve me, if they have intended to sue.
That wouldn't necessarily stop them though. This is the debt collection industry after all, and they basically invented sewer service.

Quote:
So if they file suit and win a default judgement against me, sometime after i return to the US this year, should i expect that they will freeze my bank account, which for years has had an average balance of less than 1000usd?
Well, at least we can be fairly certain that you haven't been sued yet. If you had been and they found that bank account, you can bet they would have taken that money.

I wouldn't worry too much yet though. They'd have to sue you, win, and then enforce the judgement (you get about 30 days to pay voluntarily) and in the meantime you would be able to protect that money.

Quote:
Also, being unemployed without any assests (not even a car) means they know that there are no wages to garnish or any other means of collecting.
That tends to make them less aggressive in their collection efforts, no question.


Quote:
Strategizing the next step is imperative - probably filing for chapter 7, but for now....
Don't do that unless you have to. And that means actively being sued.
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:38 PM
 
12,671 posts, read 20,487,421 times
Reputation: 2618
You can also work out a settlement deal even after you get sued.
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:39 PM
 
12,671 posts, read 20,487,421 times
Reputation: 2618
I know in Texas, they cannot garnish your wages, retirement accounts like IRA's and 401K is protected. Texas is a consumer friendly state.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:01 PM
 
4,248 posts, read 10,228,903 times
Reputation: 3109
I had a collection agency send me something saying I owed money to ATT last year. But it was Houston Cellular back then and this was a bill from 1998 (I stopped making payments on the phone service). I called them and asked if they knew the statue of limitations is up. They tried to say that I was wrong and to just pay the 100 bucks. I told them to go get bent and if I paid one cent to them it would be reported on my credit report. I had it removed a few years ago since the 7 yrs was up.
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