Back in 06, I had a car repossessed. I had bought it from a buy here pay here place and the loan had been transferred to a different company without my knowledge. I became late on my payments and it was repoed. I never heard anything from them after it was repossessed, until recently, almost four years later. I received a call from someone claiming to be a debt collector from the company i bought the car from. SHe has said that if i don't make payments on this, they will garnish my wages. Can they do that? the car has already been resold for less than I owe, and I am just afraid of having my wages garnished. Can you tell me if they have the right to do this?
Real Estate Attorney
No, they do not have the right to garnish wages on a claim of this nature. It is also against the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for them to threaten this since it is not available in SC. Debt collectors cannot threaten you with actions they are not allowed to take.
More good news, if the car was repossessed in 2006, it is likely they are outside of the statute of limitations to pursue you for the deficiency. The statute of limitations is three (3) years which will run from the date of last payment or the date the car was sold, whichever occurred later.
If you make a payment now, you will renew the statute of limitations or possibly, if you promise to pay the debt in writing, you may extend the statute. So be careful with how you proceed.
I am assuming they do not already have a judgment. If they file suit and you are served with papers, be certain to file an answer raising statute of limitations as a defense. If they do file suit, you may want to retain an attorney to assure all your defenses are presented and you do not fall victim to certain lawsuit “traps”. If you are served, give me a call, I can help.
I hope this information is helpful.
David Haar, Esq.
Spirakis & Haar, PA
Myrtle Beach, SC
* *This is general advice; please consult with a local attorney about the specifics of your situation as everybody's circumstances vary and laws may differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. No attorney client relationship has been formed by the providing of this advice.