I have a default judgement from a credit card that's 4 years old now, got a letter from the 3rd. party debt collector saying

Asked over 2 years ago - Vineland, NJ

they can come for the purchases made from the card no matter how small the value if I don't pay, can they do that? I don't even remember what I bought from 5 years ago.

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Andrew Brian Finberg

    Contributor Level 5
    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . I don't believe they are indicating that they are going to come after actual purchases made on the credit card. In fact, I am fairly certain that they do not even have the necessary information to determine the aforementioned purchases. What I believe they are referencing is that they can have the Sheriff's office come to your residence and make determinations as to the liquidation values of your various personal assets. In advance, they may have sent you an information subpoena to get an idea as to property values. Once liquidated by the Sheriff's office, the proceeds would be disbursed to the 3rd party towards amounts due on the underlying debt. Should a bankruptcy petition be filed, this entire process would be stayed in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Bankruptcy Code. To summarize, I don't believe that any creditor is trying to come after the t-shirt that was purchased, on the credit card, several years ago. However, I am confident that any and all collection efforts will continue until this issue is formally addressed.

  2. Michael James Duffy

    Contributor Level 13

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Hi there,

    The statute of limitations for a civil court judgment in NJ is 20 years, so yes, they can take action to collect on that debt during that time. It sounds like the judgment was sold to another party, who can collect in this case. The reason for the debt is immaterial at this time, as the court has already issued a judgment. If you're unable to meet your financial obligations, bankruptcy may be an option.

    If you would like to discuss your matter further over a free and confidential phone consult, please contact me at your convenience.

    Regards,

    Michael J. Duffy
    Duffy Law, LLC

    1-888-414-5773
    www.mduffylaw.com

    mduffy@mduffylaw.com

    Please note: The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed... more
  3. Glenn R Reiser

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . You may want to explore bankruptcy as an option to avoid paying this debt. Alternatively, you could try offering the creditor a lump sum discounted payment to settle the account.

  4. Michael Stephen Agruss

    Contributor Level 10

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Do you owe the debt? What’s your ultimate goal? Are you interested in settling the debt? What collection agency has the account now?

    I have built relationships with credit card companies and collection agencies and can often times come to a settlement agreement quicker and at a more favorable rate than a debtor acting on their own.

    www.agrusslawfirm.com

    Information on Avvo should not be construed as legal advice, as each case is different. For information about... more
  5. Shawn B Alexander

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I agree with both previous answers. If the card was used at the place it was issued ( purchases at Sears with a Sears Card) they may be able to seek the items , however the burden is on them to show you used their card and that you still have the items.

    You will need to consult with a consumer protection or bankruptcy lawyer locally at once for private and specific advice on your particular issues.

    Many lawyers on this site offer a free consultation and you should find one near you, make an appointment for specific legal counseling, and take all your paperwork and perhaps a written chronological summary.

    1. Start keeping a detailed log of all calls and letters and a paper file of all information. Because persistent violations of the FDPCA are punishable by statutory fines and attorney’s fees under federal law, but you need hard evidence.

    2. Make a written demand that all further communications from creditors is in writing under 15 USC 1692 (c).
    The letter should also contain a dispute of the validity of the charges and include a demand for a complete accounting with signatures, and all contents of their file.
    The creditor then has 30 days to reply and they may not take any action until you have been sent the validation. Bear in mind that this may be motivation for the collector to work your account when the file comes to them from the original creditor with new information.

    3. Do not give them any personal information because that is how collectors decide on which accounts to recommend suing. Remember they may not tell the truth and will say just about anything to get a payment from you and that payment reaffirms the debt, gives them information about you and your bank and ability to pay.

    4. If you are going to make payments use money orders only and not personal checks, wire transfers, money grams, or “check by phone” because if the collector finds a bank account the collector will be more likely recommend a lawsuit to their legal department.

    5. All collections are negotiable; the original creditor has given up and is losing up to 50% on the face value already either by splitting any return or selling at a huge discount. In addition, the costs of a lawsuit although discounted still are a factor in the decision to settle with you.

    If you are going to settle mark the check “settled-in-full” at the very top back of the check and include a letter explaining you are offering a settlement, keep copies of everything.

    6. Get written confirmation of any payment plan the agency will accept before making a payment.

    7. Specify in writing that all payments will be applied to principle first.

    If you are ready to throw in the towel, go see a local bankruptcy attorney and explore your options for federal protection. The protection will even look back 90 days from filing and get back money taken by the collectors and apply it fairly.

    If your debt is with the government like the IRS or a State agency or for Child Support or taxes, the rules will be different and you will need a local lawyer at once.

    DO NOT use a paid debt settlement service; most of them are scammers.

    I have pasted a link to the FDPCA to help you with your state federal rights;

    http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit...

    Washington collection agency complaint form: http://www.dol.wa.gov/forms/600006E.pdf

    Washington statute regulating collection agencies: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=19.16

    Consumer rights in Washington: http://www.dol.wa.gov/business/collectionagency...

    Look for a qualified consumer protection attorney for a low cost or free consultation here:

    http://www.naca.net

    You should read the FDPCA from the links above and become informed about your rights; this will help you and your lawyer.

    I hope this information and generic advice is helpful and If you found this helpful, please click the link for a good answer. Thanks.

    Good Luck

    Only If and until you and I sign an Agreement for Legal Services, I am not your attorney. These answers are... more

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