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My wife is being sued by a debt collector working on behalf of Progressive insurance for an auto accident where she was to blame

Cottonwood, AZ |

My wife had no insurance at the time of the accident and she is being sued for damage to the other parties vehicle (of which there was very little) and injuries sustained as a result of the accident (which was at less than 5mph).

We have both now received a letter from the AZDOT suspending both our driving privileges.

I must state at this point, I did not even know my wife when the accident happened back in 2011 but they are trying to hang this on me too because I was the one that signed for the summons that came to our door.

I have done some research and found that a debt collector has no authority over the AZDOT. Is this true? and how should we proceed to get her license back?

Can we counter-sue?

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Attorney answers 5


No the collector may have reported the accident to AZDOT and they may have suspended the license if monies are still owing the victim, do to the AZDOT and inquire.

213-819-1171 Please only call me if your case is in California as I am only licensed here and laws of other states may vary. I approach trials and issues from a legal and common sense approach, This is how the majority of judges I have appeared before in 40 years also make decisions. I do not intend by my advice to enter an attorney client relationship and in most cases advise to obtain legal representation. Sometimes if you can not afford it a consultation or limited scope representation is available. As an experienced attorney I can tell you, judges can be impatient, hate emotional arguments and over exagerations or lies. A brief outline of the problems and desired solutions is always best and I often in limited scope representations advise clients on how to proceed at time of hearing or trial and my fees are considerably less when I do not appear in court as it takes much less of my time.



They are also trying to garnish her salary. But suspending her license is counter-productive because if she can't get to work, there is no salary to garnish!


Contact a debt collection defense atty. They can attack the collector and judgment.


You can get a debt collection lawyer in your state right here on Avvo to fight it


There are lots of protections against debt collectors actions. Hire a debt collector defense attorney to help you.

None of the information found in my answer should be used as legal advice, a substitute for an attorneys evaluation or other type of advice. I do not know all the facts of your case and there are many factors involved when evaluating accident cases. You should meet with an attorney who can properly go over all the details of your accident.


As a former insurance company attorney I can tell you that these sorts of "subrogation" claims are very hard to win from the insurance company's point of view. They not only have to prove that your wife was at fault but also that their insured was injured and that the settlement was an accurate reflection of damages sustained. Many times, their insured will be less than cooperative (though technically they can't refuse to help the insurance company). FInd a good collections lawyer that also does auto accidents as part of her practice. They will know how to attack both the collections issue and the underlying case. This may not work if there has already been a judgment in Progressive's favor against you, which it sounds like that may be the case.



Yes Jason, she does have a judgement against her now. The accident happened back in 2011 for which she received a ticket as she ran into the back of the third party and had no insurance. She paid the ticket however (wrongly) ignored the letters from the debt collector/insurance company until they finally send a letter to her boss requesting a garnishment of her wages. It is at this point that they suspend both of our licenses. I managed to get my license back as I have a judges order vacating me from the judgement, however; both of our vehicle registrations have been suspended because my wife's name is on both vehicles. This means although I have my license back, I can't drive my own car! This seems wholly unfair and illegal! We have managed to put a hold on the garnishment for now by requesting a hearing but the hearing is not until the end of July so until that time cannot drive. We live 10 miles from the nearest store and have a child with a life-long condition that could require us to go to the hospital at a moments notice. Plus she has constant specialist appointments that are 50 + miles out of town. We really need help here as we can't afford legal costs let alone a wage garnishment. Even when they have the hearing, there is no expendible income to garnish as we live paycheck to paycheck! Any further thoughts guys???

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