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Old 08-20-2008, 07:00 PM
 
Location: America
6,979 posts, read 15,114,652 times
Reputation: 2059

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Quote:
Originally Posted by klf2008 View Post
What if I owe credit cards (25k among 9 cards) and I want to go abroad to work for several years. I have paid these cards for some time and recently stopped, I had the intention of paying but I am drowning now, so the fraud issue is out of question. I have no property, no car in my name, no stocks, no assets, just a paycheck every other week and hardly any money left over because of the cost of living and all the debt that is like a domino effect since I haven't paid for a few months, there is no way I can find the money to get back on track.
I know that the debt will be there if I leave, passed to collections, and I can be sued, and that there are statue of limitations. When I come back I can deal with all of this. I have paid minimums for a few years, so there is no fraud here, I didnt just get these cards and rack them up and want to bail.

The problem is that I am worried that due to my extended absence, the court will serve me and say that I was served (they just publish it in the paper, or leave it at your door and say you were served) and then a judgment is issued due to default. Then they subpoena you from what I understand for "discovery" to see what assets you have. I hear that this is the one where if you don't show you are in contempt and an arrest warrant is issued??

So, in a nutshell, not paying your unsecured credit cards and leaving town for a few years = jail.???? So am I stuck here in Florida? I cant move abroad? Can anyone get a concrete answer to this? I have found nothing on the net.
Thanks!
No, you will not go to jail. This is how it works. If you stop paying after a year they sell your debt for pennies on the dollar. The original company writes off your debt and I THINK they get some sort of tax break on it (I have not looked into this in awhile). So, after 4 or 5 years depending on the state the cards were taken out in the companies can no longer come after you. If they do come after you they can garnish your wages, though I am not sure how that would work being as you are in another country. I personally don't think it would be possible but you would be better off asking a lawyer that has knowledge of how all this works. Just remember, ask a lawyer that specializes in debt issues etc. other wise the person may not have any clue what they are talking about.

Anyway, after 7 years, federally these delinquencies have to come off your credit report. It will be as if it was all a bad dream :S

Best of luck
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:25 PM
 
516 posts, read 1,685,070 times
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I'll grant that I've never had $25,000 in credit card debt, but really, people get sued so rarely that I wouldn't worry so much about it.

I think you're working yourself up way too much.

Speaking as someone who has been there, and finally managed to dig himself out:

What is the worst that could possibly happen?

You have no job right now, right? You have no assets. Let's assume they sue you. You are served a summons to appear in court on a civil action. You can (a) go to court, or (b) not show up.

If you choose (b), the creditor will probably win a default judgement - that is, they win because you didn't show up. The judge will not issue a warrant, and you won't go to jail. The penalty for not showing up in a civil case is that you lose.

If you choose (a), you go to court. Then you can either (a) lie about the debt, or (b) admit that you owe it, and explain that you don't have any money.

If you (a) lie, well, now you're in trouble, because that could be perjury, which IS a criminal offense. So don't do that.

If you (b) admit to the debt, the judge may lecture you on paying your debts, and will enter a judgement for the creditor. This puts you in exactly the same position as if you had not gone to court.

Now, you have a JUDGEMENT on your credit report, instead of an unpaid credit card. What, exactly, does this mean?

Well, if you don't file bankruptcy at any point along this path, that means that your credit is pretty well shot for the next 7 or so years (I don't know exactly how long these things last). If you DO file bankruptcy, that means your credit is shot for 7 years. And if you don't get sued, well, your credit is shot for 7 years.

So, really, don't be so worried. Stay focused on the end goal, and try to get your life back on track. It's hell, yes, but you'll get through it.

PS - if you CAN somehow cough up $1000 or so, I think it would be very worthwhile to have a chat with a bankruptcy attorney. If you DO get a bankruptcy, that means that all those collection actions are over, and you can't be sued over them.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Ohio
17,915 posts, read 13,195,267 times
Reputation: 13677
Quote:
Originally Posted by klf2008 View Post
Scenario 1
I am about to leave abroad to work for a year or so, and I receive a summons in the mail 1-10 days before my trip. Life is funny like that. What do I do? Make believe I didn't receive it? Not sign? Postpone my trip? Hire an attorney? Stressful scenario for me.
Ignore it. Worse case scenario, the response time passes, you don't answer, you don't appear, so Plaintiff moves for default judgment, a few weeks later default judgment is entered, a few weeks after that, they might move for a Debtor's Examination/Hearing, you'll be served again, they find out you don't live there, end of story. You have judgment that may or may not appear on your credit report. If it does appear, it might be 6 months to 3 years from then.

In Florida, judgments are good for 10 years. They can be renewed for 10 years, but it isn't automatic. Whoever owns the judgment (they can be bought, sold or traded just like any other instrument) will have to file the proper papers at the right time.

If you come back and live in a different state, too bad for the Plaintiff. In order to transfer the judgment to the state you live in, they'd have to file and notify you, and you can raise objections, like you were out of the country. The burden of proof is on them to prove you weren't.

You can also use your new state's statute of limitations on judgments as a defense.

Maybe you'll have enough money to pay it off, or settle it (if you settle it correctly -- that means you have the settlement in writing).

Quote:
Originally Posted by klf2008 View Post
Scenario 2
I have left abroad already and several weeks later, or months, I receive a summons or subpoena in the mail and a family member that lives with me receives it at my address and calls me. I still have my current address as an official address as per my drivers license but I am out of town for a year!
Well if you would get a Texas driver's license like I said, that wouldn't be an issue. If I remember correctly, as a Texas resident working out of the US, you'd be subject to federal taxes, but not Texas state taxes. Another advantage.

If you get sued, see Scenario 1. But if you're already gone, there's no good service, so the lawsuit will never proceed.

I don't think you understand the situation here. Credit card issuers do not sue.

I know some idiot will go to a county clerk of court web-site and say, "B-b-b-ut I saw CitiBank, WaMu, Capital One etc"

Did you read the complaint? Who's actually suing? Not CitiBank, and not WaMu, and not Capital One. It's collection agency, collection law firm, or junk debt buyer.

Creditors don't sue. Many states have state collection laws that define creditors as collectors who are subject to the act. That's a whole lot of liability that the banks don't want, so it's easier to hand it off to a collection agency or sell it to a junk debt buyer for pennies on the dollar.

Once your credit card is charged off, and it will because federal banking laws say that a bad unsecured credit debt must be charged off at 180 days, it'll get lumped in with other bad debts, sold to a debt broker who will then auction it off to junk debt buyers, who will come after you. That's a long process, about 6 to 12 months.

It might be another year before they file. What they normally do is wait until you start looking for a house. They get e-mail alerts every time someone checks your credit reports, so they know you got money and they want a piece.

If you aren't looking for a house, then they usually wait until just before the statute of limitations expires to file a lawsuit.

So you're really kind of obsessing over something that won't happen for another 6 to 12 months, unless the debt's already been turned over and you're getting collection notices.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:23 PM
 
702 posts, read 2,014,019 times
Reputation: 649
You can go for years without being bothered by creditors, as long as you live under the radar. If enough time passes, it will be written off as bad debt.

If you return to the US and run into problems, just file bankruptcy. And don't ever sign up for another credit card again.
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Old 08-21-2008, 05:28 AM
 
11,625 posts, read 16,384,828 times
Reputation: 16216
You plan to work abroad. Great! Where, how and doing what?
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:30 PM
 
7 posts, read 80,757 times
Reputation: 16
I am currently employed making 39k/year before taxes living paycheck to paycheck. Garnishment would ruin me so I want to go abroad for a bit, it would be a great change of scenery and a change from the rat race.

Mircea, thanks again for that response. The reason I was worried was because of the second court date after a judgment which you called a Debtor's Examination/Hearing...check this out taken from a link listed later on below:
"In order to collect another court date must be assigned to conduct a discovery." "If you don’t show up for this one you may be arrested for contempt of court." This is the part of the process where the facts will be laid out. This is the part where they get your employment information for wage garnishment or asset info for liens."

Taken from Can you go to jail for not paying your credit card debt? | Debt Prison

Reading that made me worry but it seems that you cleared it up for me. I work and it will be hard for me to go to Texas. I might just cancel my drivers license before I leave. This way I cannot get a jury duty summons which would be a real contempt of court issue and haunt someone. (In Florida it is by DMV License # for jury duty not voters registration)

Last edited by klf2008; 08-21-2008 at 08:44 PM..
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Old 08-22-2008, 01:17 AM
 
Location: Ohio
17,915 posts, read 13,195,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klf2008 View Post
"In order to collect another court date must be assigned to conduct a discovery." "If you don’t show up for this one you may be arrested for contempt of court." This is the part of the process where the facts will be laid out. This is the part where they get your employment information for wage garnishment or asset info for liens."
Yes, but you must be properly served. That's the key. You can't be served at your former address if you aren't living there (which is why it is a former address).

Anyway, a Debtor's Hearing/Examination only takes place if you answer the original complaint or appear in court lieu of answering the original complaint.

If they get a default judgment, there typically isn't a Debtor's Hearing/Examination.

Want to know why?

Most collection agencies, junk debt buyers and collection attorneys look at your credit report to find one of your older address and sue you there.

That's unethical, not to mention illegal.

So a lawsuit if filed and the summons and complaint are sent to and address that you haven't lived at in 3 to 10 years. Naturally, you don't answer the complaint, because, well, you haven't lived there in 3 to 10 years, so they get a quick default judgment.

Due they motion for a Debtor's Hearing? No.

Why not?

Because you haven't lived there in 3 to 10 years and you aren't going to answer that either.

Then the judge sends the bailiff out to cite you for contempt of court and the bailiff comes back and says, "Judge he ain't lived there in 2 years and there's a bunch of Russkies living there now."

So the judge has proof you were improperly served and dismisses the whole case and sanctions the attorney and won't find the collection agency or junk debt buyer credible in future claims.

I think your main problem now is that you have a street address, which would lead any collectors to believe that you have money or assets.

As soon as you drive over to Texas and get a freaking driver's license, a lot of your problems will be solved.

Quote:
Moving to Texas?

[LEFT]New residents moving into Texas, who have a valid driver license from their home state, have 30 days after entry into the state to secure a Texas driver license. To apply for a Texas driver license, applicants will be required to: [/LEFT]
Applicants age 18 and over with a VALID out-of-state driver license
  • Provide proof of Identity. (http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/driver_licensing_control/identificationrequirements.htm - broken link)
  • Provide proof of Social Security Number. (http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/driver_licensing_control/socialsecuritynumber.htm - broken link)
  • Provide proof of Texas vehicle registration (http://www.txdot.gov/services/vehicle_titles_and_registration/registration.htm - broken link) and proof of liability insurance (http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/docs/TN/content/htm/tn.007.00.000601.00.htm - broken link) on all vehicles owned.
  • Complete required forms available at any Texas Driver License office.
  • Pay the required fee. (http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/driver_licensing_control/dlfees.htm - broken link)
  • Pass a vision exam.
  • If you have a VALID out-of-state license in your possession, it must be surrendered at the driver license office.
NOTE: If you have never been licensed or have an EXPIRED out-of-state license, you will be required to pass both the written and driving exams, in addition to a vision test.
Quote:
Orange

  • Address711 Highway 87Orange, TX 77631
  • General Information409-883-0273
Right off of I-10 across the border. Find a vacant apartment and use that as your address.

Quote:
Originally Posted by klf2008 View Post
Reading that made me worry but it seems that you cleared it up for me. I work and it will be hard for me to go to Texas.
Take a vacation day. Take a sick day. Take a day off. Trade hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by klf2008 View Post
I might just cancel my drivers license before I leave. This way I cannot get a jury duty summons which would be a real contempt of court issue and haunt someone.
And then you will have to take the whole driving test over again, the written part and the driving skills part.
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Old 08-22-2008, 07:50 AM
 
4,711 posts, read 10,503,483 times
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I don't know about Texas, but some states require PROOF of your address.
Here in VA, it must be a lease or a utiliity bill (in the envelope it came in).
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:45 AM
 
69 posts, read 119,724 times
Reputation: 38
While I understand that a variety of circumstances causes someone to be in debt, I am amazed at the number of posts that are encouraging, even with detailed plans of how to do it, the original poster to walk away from the debt.

Guess that is the way now, just bet in debt, walk away or file bankruptcy.
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:54 AM
 
1,170 posts, read 3,081,020 times
Reputation: 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkemery View Post
While I understand that a variety of circumstances causes someone to be in debt, I am amazed at the number of posts that are encouraging, even with detailed plans of how to do it, the original poster to walk away from the debt.

Guess that is the way now, just bet in debt, walk away or file bankruptcy.
while I don't condone or wish that situation upon anyone, go ahead and put yourself in his situation. We are not encouraging anything or helping him walk away from nothing. Nobody wants to be in his situation, nobody....and fact is that he's not going to be walking away from anything. He'll eventually have to get it resolved one way or the other.
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