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TexLaw
TexLaw, Attorney
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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As I lost everything in 2009, one of my losses was my RV. I

Customer Question

As I lost everything in 2009, one of my losses was my RV. I gave it up voluntarily and three months later I got a bill for $35K. I did not respond to their mailed invoices for the next two years and they (after 2 years) stopped sending me an invoice. It has now been more than a year since I last received an invoice in attempt to collect this balance. Recently, I looked into buying another house so credit was pulled. Sure enough, this repo showed up (as I expected) but what was interesting, or maybe scary, is that the agency reported on my credit within the last month(2012). In fact, the lender who pulled my credit said they have reported this practically every month or so over the last few years. Simply said, the repo was in July 2009 and my credit report(s) reflect a repo occurred in Oct 2012. What is going on? What should I do at this point? My potential lender stated to me that all my credit looked great over the last 3 years but this "recent repo" needs to be removed or corrected to move forward on the approval process. Thanks for the input.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TexLaw replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your question.

While the creditor can show that an account is open on which payment is due, they cannot continually file a repo on your report. You need to dispute this on your report.

You dispute the report by sending a letter to the three credit reporting agencies. Information on how to file the dispute and where to send it (including a sample letter) can be found at:
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre21.shtm

I would avoid contacting the creditor at this point as you are nearing the statute of limitations date for debt in California (4 years). Any action you take which acknowledges the debt or if you make a payment on the debt, this can reset the statute of limitations. So its best to just keep your head low until that debt becomes uncollectible.

Please let me know if you need further information.

-ZDN
TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4213
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
TexLaw and 7 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you very much for your insight.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok. Thanks for the information. Following my first post,



I have had another discussion with the potential mortgage company credit department and they corrected what they indicated to me earlier. The past repo is being reported as "open" and balance still due. Not being reported as "continual repossessions. So, with that said, what should I now do? The representative from the mortgage credit dept. told me that this will stay on my record for a total of 7 years, at which time it will completely fall off. Any thoughts? This leads me to another question. If I "lay low" and the creditor does take this to court for a judgement before the SOL period expires, will I be officially notified via mail from the court? What I hope not to do is have this last period of time pass and then find out afterward I have an outstanding judgement against me and that I cannot attempt to negotiate the final amount. Bottom line is that if it looks as if I can fly under the radar, I will. But if I am forced to pay, I want to have whatever wiggleroom I can to negotiate if possible. The last correspondence I got from them (14-18 months ago) was an offer to pay half.


Expert:  TexLaw replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response.

If the mortgage company is not reporting a continual repossession, but is only reporting that the amount is due, then you can still file a dispute on the account. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the credit reporting agency must remove the statement from your report if the creditor does not respond back within a given time and establish a right to the amount claimed.

If you lay low, the court does not notify you that the statute of limitations has passed. It's up to you to keep track of this and to assert it. Even though the statute of limitations has passed, the debt can still be on your credit report for up to seven years (although it is legally uncollectable). Thus, after the statute has passed, it would be a great time to contact them and obtain a settlement for a very low dollar amount.

Remember also, that prior to the statute of limitations passing, any settlement will have tax consequences. Specifically, if you pay only half, they send you a 1040 for the other half and it is treated as income.

-ZDN
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I understand the court may not notify of the SOL timeframe passing. My main question is that while waiting out the last months to pass, if the creditor actually pushes this into court and gets a date in court, will I be notified in advance of this? If so, will the notification come from the court via certified mail? Or can they "claim" they "tried" to notify me? They have no record of a physical address other than my PO Box which has served as my billing/mailiing address for over 17 years. The physical address used when I purchased the RV was the storage facility where I kept it.

Expert:  TexLaw replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the clarification.

The creditor would have to file suit against you. In order to beat the statute of limitations, the creditor must not only file the lawsuit but would also have to have you served with the lawsuit prior to the passing of the statute of limitations. So, you would per se have notice of the lawsuit because the creditor is required to serve the lawsuit on you.

The fact that they don't know where you are physically located means that they will have to obtain an order from the court after filing the suit to allow what is called "substituted service". This means that they will be given permission to either post the lawsuit on your front door or mail it to you by certified mail. Since the physical address that they used was a storage facility, they will have to send it to you by certified mail (or will have to somehow figure out where you actually live and serve you that way).

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TexLaw
TexLaw
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Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs