Was there a judgment? I.e., a court proceeding that your boyfriend lost, resulting in a judgment against him? If so, when was the judgment handed down, and was it appealed? We need to know this to be able to answer your question.
Under 12 V.S.A. section 506, an action on a judgment must be brought within eight years after the rendition of the judgment. Section 506 also provides that an action to renew or revive a judgment must be brought within eight years after the rendition of the judgment. Assuming a judgment was rendered less than eight years ago, if the creditor moved to bring an action to enforce the judgment against the debtor's assets, or to renew the judgment, it would be timely under section 506.
Also, judgments accrue interest at a rate which I believe is 12% annually. It's one percent a month, which is easy to calculate, and is a pretty good rate of return in these dark economic times.
Not legal advice, just general information about the statute of limitations on actions on judgments, and the interest rate which applies to judgments in Vermont. You and I don't have a confidential attorney-client relationship and I don't know all the relevant facts, so you should not rely on what I say here. If you need legal advice, please consult a Vermont lawyer for an in-person legal consultation in which all relevant facts and circumstances can be explored.
The judgment obtained against your boyfriend is generally good for 8 years In Vermont. The judgment can be renewed for an additional 8 years. In the interim, the original judgment has been earning interest against your boyfriend.
What an attorney could do now is not resue your boyfriend, but rather take steps to seize his bank accounts, garnish his pay or seize other items which he may own. I suggest to try and make some kind of arrangement with the insurance attorney to pay off the judgment. The insurance carrier may be willing to take a smaller lump sum amount, if you are willing to pay a substantial part of the money owed all at once. If they are agreeable to doing that, you must be sure to get a satisfaction of judgment which wipes out the entire amount of the original judgment. If, for example, your boyfriend took a $4000 personal loan from a bank, they may accept that to wipe out the total obligation. Your boyfriend could then repay the bank at a substantially lower interest rate than the interest rate which is accumulating on the judgment.
If this is not feasible, then your boyfriend may want to think about filing for bankruptcy and wiping out this judgment and any other debts he may have. Unfortunately, your boyfriend has learned a hard lesson. No one should own or operate any motor vehicle without maintaining adequate automobile liability insurance on it at all times. Vermont requires liability insurance.
If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.
Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
Attorneys Lundeen and Taylor have provided good advise. I have two other thoughts / comments: 1). You say that the new lawyer tells you that "we now owe" $7,948. I understand that your boyfriend may have been responsible for causing an accident and for paying damages caused by that accident, but what basis do they have for claiming you are also at fault or responsible? Did the insurance company get an actual court judgment that included you as a defendant and ruled that you, and not just your boyfriend,were responsible for the iacciodent and damage? If not, I am not sure they have a claim against you. 2). If the other side did get a valid, enforceable Judgment issued by a court against either of you, you need to look at whether they file a lawsuit to "renew" the judgment w/in 8 years of the date of the original Judgment order.
Without carefully reviewing all the facts and paperwork, it is not possible for an attorney to give you firm advise on what is the best course of action for you or your boyfriend. I would recommend that contact and pay for a brief consultation with an attorney in your city to review your rights and options. I would recommend that you consult in person with an attorney before you speak again with the other side or their attorney.