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Can a collection agency have my license suspended?

Laguna Beach, CA |

I was in an accident, uninsured, was found not at fault but liable. Their insurance billed be 3200, and I am a student with no income. I ignored letters for a while until I picked up a phone call from a collector who said that unless I pay the 2000 settlement in the next 2 days or 500 then 100 a month, he will file paperwork to suspend my license for driving without insurance. Since the accident I have had steady insurance coverage, and no tickets. Accident did not get me a ticket either. I told him I had no money even for the settlement offers, but to show good will, I send them $12 from a temporary checking account. I heard that paying $10 legally prevents them from being able to have my license suspended, but he said he will still send in the [paperwork to suspend it. Can they do this?

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Attorney answers 5


You may want to consult with an attorney to review the details of your case and have a better understanding of your legal standing. Given that I do not know the details of the case, I do not know how much you should owe the insurance company. The "Find a Lawyer" feature here on Avvo is a great resource for finding local qualified attorneys. I hope you found my answer helpful.


Based upon the facts that you set forth, I would say yes under financial responsibility laws. You should contact the department of licensing to determine whether or not their actions are proper.


This is one of those instances where I think you need to find a local attorney quickly. States have different laws on this topic. Some states would find that the debt collector's threats would violate debt collection practice statutes. Some states do not have a license suspension statute for situations like these. You need to find a local attorney. Try a lawyer referral service or legal aid clinic in your area. Or, hopefully, someone on AVVO is local to you and can help answer your question.


"Not at fault but liable"? There is no such thing. Pay $10 and your license cannot be suspended? Again -- no such thing, i.e., not true.

The law requires each party to notify the DMV when property damage in an accident exceeds $750 and to provide evidence of financial responsibility. The process takes awhile while the DMV processes the paperwork but you will have your license suspended for at least one year if you are unable to provide proof of financial responsibility at the time of the accident. Failure to report on form SR1 is another reason to suspend your license.

I am not certain paying the amount demanded would prevent license suspension but your course of action looks to guarantee it.

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This is what happens when you drive without insurance. Contact the DMV to find out what steps need to be taken to get your license back.

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