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ScottyMacESQ
ScottyMacESQ, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 16149
Experience:  Texas General Practice Attorney
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I have a question. I have an old electricity bill ($200) un

Customer Question

I have a question.
I have an old electricity bill ($200) un paid in US and maybe one medical ($700) and now I won a DV lottery. is it something that might be noticed at the interview and affect the final decision.
Is it part of the background checking?
it was 10 years ago. When I ordered the service I had no SSN yet. I received one later. If they have sued me, wouldn't I be informed while entering the US.
Is it possible to be sued if there is no contact since I moved out of US 10 years ago (no written formal letter form court was ever received by me)?
I visited US in meantime few times and also once renewed my B visa.
Is it a good idea at this point to contact the them for some payment plan?
Does USCIS has access to this kind of information?
What should I do now how to find out what is the amount due and what steps I should take first.
thank you
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  ScottyMacESQ replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

To be clear, neither of these bills have been addressed in the past 10 years? Have you run a credit check to see if they're still showing up on your credit?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I tried but I am not in US at the moment and some websites are not accessible form outside .
Expert:  ScottyMacESQ replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for that additional information. Please give me a few minutes while I type a response. I am still here with you, but it does take a bit of time to type a complete response.

Expert:  ScottyMacESQ replied 6 months ago.

The first thing that you need to know is that these items are civil, not criminal. If you don't pay a bill, that simply means that they'd have a civil claim against you. They could sue you in court, but they can't throw you in jail. The prosecutor is not going to come after you for not paying (unless there's some element of a crime that could be proven, such as fraud). Furthermore, if this happened 10 years ago, the statute of limitations for any crime or civil action would have run (meaning that they can't now take you to court).

A credit check is not performed by the USCIS as part of the green card application process. The background check is looking at national security and criminal background concerns. They're looking to see if you're a threat to national security or if you may be a criminal. They look for "crimes involving moral turpitude" (CIMT). These are "bad" crimes such as murder, rape, drug trafficking, etc... Again, unpaid bills isn't even criminal in the first place, much less a CIMT, so you wouldn't have to worry about it.

Like I said above, the statute of limitations would have run anyway, so if they didn't sue, they can't sue. The "Fair Credit Reporting Act" (FCRA) states that creditors can't report debts past 7 years after the last event (when it was incurred without payment or the last time that something was paid towards it). So if it happened 10 years ago and were not sued, etc... then it wouldn't even show up on your credit. But like I said, credit is not a part of the DV lottery background check in the first place. That's not what they're looking for, and they don't care about your credit.

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

Expert:  ScottyMacESQ replied 6 months ago.

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
thank you. just one more question in NY do I need to get some kind of written notification for such case to be open? Also if tha electricity company had my account number ( from the checks I mailing to them). would have they use it if some legal steps had been taken?
Expert:  ScottyMacESQ replied 6 months ago.

There needs to be "legal notice" given to you, but if they can't find you physically, they can simply publish notice in the newspaper. Legal notice is not necessarily "actual notice", so it's possible that you could have been sued without knowing it. As far as your account number, I'm not sure what you mean by that, but they typically don't "use" it any more than simply charging you and potentially suing you if need be. But again, if they can't find you, that means that they're less likely to sue as they might not get paid. But to answer your question, it's not going to have any impact on the DV lottery background check.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
ok thank you
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
can I have this conversation e mailed to me?
Expert:  ScottyMacESQ replied 6 months ago.

My pleasure.

I can't email anything, as that's a conversation off site and against the terms of service of this site. But you can copy and paste the text into a word processing program, etc... and you can also come back to this site at a later point to review it. You can also print the text.

If there's nothing else, please rate this answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time (~30 minutes) and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

▼ RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service positively. It's only then I am credited.

Expert:  ScottyMacESQ replied 6 months ago.

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

Expert:  ScottyMacESQ replied 6 months ago.

Can you see where you need to rate this answer? You may need to scroll up/down/to the side to see the stars that you'll need to click. But please note that a rating is required to close this question out.

Expert:  ScottyMacESQ replied 6 months ago.

Are you there? Please note that I am still here, awaiting your response or rating... (please note that rating closes this question out, so if there's nothing else, please rate it so that I can assist other customers that are waiting for answers to their questions)

Expert:  ScottyMacESQ replied 6 months ago.

Hello???

Expert:  ScottyMacESQ replied 6 months ago.

Should I continue to await your response, or may I assist the other customers that are waiting?

Expert:  ScottyMacESQ replied 6 months ago.

My apologies, but I must assist the other customers that are waiting. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time (~55 MINUTES) and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★).

If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

▼ RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service positively. It's only after you rate that I am credited.

Expert:  ScottyMacESQ replied 6 months ago.

I see that you have not responded in some time. Please note that this question is still open until you rate it. I believe that I have answered your question, but if you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

Expert:  ScottyMacESQ replied 6 months ago.

I see that you have not responded in some time. Please note that this question is still open until you rate it. I believe that I have answered your question, but if you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

If you can't see the stars, you may need to scroll up/down/left/right so that you can see them. Again, please note that you have to click the rating and submit it for the question to close out and for me to get credit for the answer I provided.

Expert:  ScottyMacESQ replied 6 months ago.

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

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