In order to garnish your bank account, they would have first had to obtain a judgment. And, before they could take a judgment against you, they would have had to serve you with a summons and the complaint. You need to take the case name and number and go to the court where the judgment was issued, and get a copy of the affidavit of service of the summons to see how they claimed to have served you. Then I would suggest you contact an Arizona consumer lawyer to see if the summons was properly...
Yes, the finance company can repossess the car even if suit was filed. But, once the car is sold, then the balanced claimed to be owed should be reduced by the amount realized by the sale.
I would recommend you contact a consumer lawyer and discuss your options at this point.
The judgment creditor cannot take money form your children's bank accounts, only those accounts which have your name on them. They are likely just looking for assets to go after. But your home is protected up to $150,000 in Arizona. You are likely to be judgment proof at this time.
You may want to have a consumer lawyer review the collection attorney's actions to see if they violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA.
The FDCPA is NOT a defense against a debt. You have to assert your defenses to the lawsuit claim, and then bring the FDCPA as a separate action usually in federal court with a lawyer.
If a debt buyer is the one suing you, then you have a pretty good chance of winning in court. You should probably hire a lawyer if the claim is large enough.
KEEP THE MESSAGES -- Don't delete!
If you don't have a balance, then there is nothing to settle. You need to contact a consumer protection lawyer concerning the collection agencies' harassing and threatening phone calls. The attorney can advise you on your options and what you can do to get the agency to stop calling you. There are several of us in the Phoenix area that do these types of cases.
He could give you a power of attorney to act on his behalf, but I can't imagine anyone getting too involved without your father's full participation. As a lawyer, I would not want to take on a case without your father's full interest and participation. The cases are difficult, and without his full participation, it just would not be worth it. You need to get him on board.
The statute of limitations under Arizona for a REPOSSESSION (voluntary or involuntary) is only four years, not six. So, if the suit was filed more than four years after you returned the vehicle, you have a complete defense to the deficiency action. In addition, it sounds like you may also have some misrepresentation claims or fraud claims or breach of warranty claims which you can assert against the finance company. I would highly recommend you consult with a lawyer who defends deficiency cases....
The debt is still owed, even though the statute of limitations has passed. The debt cannot be enforced, i.e. suit filed to collect, nor can it be reported to the credit bureau if it is over 7 years since initial delinquency. But, since it is still owed, the collection agency can access your credit report because, as stated, collection of a debt is a permissible purpose for pulling your credit report.
I agree that the impact of one inquiry will be small.
This sounds like a collection on a pay day loan. It is very difficult to get their true identify and track them down. They are usually calling from NY of Florida, and use various names, none of which are legitimate. They only take payments over the phone via credit card, or western union. They won't send letters, and if they do give an address, it is usually at a UPS store. So going after them with a suit is difficult and you usually end up with a judgment that is uncollectable.
Judgment are obsolete after seven (7) years from the date of entry. Date of entry is the date the judgment was entered. So if one of the judgments was entered more than seven (7) years prior to now, you should be able to send dispute letters to each of the credit bureaus which are reporting it. The other judgment will stay on your credit reports until the seven (7) year mark.