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how to check the current status of debt

Discussion in 'Other Debt, Collection, Garnishment' started by sosa, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. sosa

    sosa Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    I was involved in a car accident about 20 years ago and lost a case. Since then my driver's license was revoked for about 10 years but restated again. Currently, I do not see a record of any pending collections in my credit report, but I got a letter from a lawyer last year to my old address that I need to start to pay the money that I owe now with some threats

    Is it possible for debt collection agencies or lawyers come after me or levy my assets even if I do not see a record of any pending collections in my credit report?

    If so, how can I check whether this debt is still alive & pending as their lawyers are claiming to be or it's long-gone & resolved because of the statute of limitation or something?
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    When you say "lost a case" does that mean that you were sued and there was a judgment against you?

    If yes, what was the date of the judgment? The exact date is important. You can look up your case file at the courthouse if you don't know.

    What was your insurance company doing while the lawsuit was going on?

    California judgments are enforceable for 10 years and can be renewed for 10 year intervals if proper application for renewal is made.

    See:

    http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/f...sion=1.&title=9.&part=2.&chapter=3.&article=1.

    http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/f...sion=1.&title=9.&part=2.&chapter=3.&article=2.

    When you review the case file, check to see if the judgment was renewed.

    It's possible that your debt was bought by a junk debt buyer for pennies on the dollar and is trying to scare you into paying.

    What's on (or not on) your credit report has nothing to do with the enforceability of a judgment.

    Go check your case file (get copies) and come back to this thread with a report. Meantime, don't talk to anybody at the collection agency. They will mostly be bullshitting you.
     
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  3. sosa

    sosa Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yes, there was a judgment against me, but I was out of the country for almost 20 years. I did not think too much of it then. I don't know the exact date of judgment or anything at this point. the lawyer who sent me a letter had a case number on the letter. Would this be enough to find the file about this case? then where should I go and what should I do to check whether the judgment is renewed or not?
     
  4. sandyeggo

    sandyeggo Member

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    So you left the country rather than pay the debt?
     
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  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    A previous poster suggested NOT to have any contact with the person ALLEGING to be an attorney.

    You serve yourself best by avoiding all contact with anyone you don't know, especially alwyers claiming you owe a debt.


    As you should well KNOW, anything is possible, even things that might not be lawful.


    You know in what state and county the ALLEGED event supposedly took place.

    If you were sued and someone obtained a judgment against you, you might wish to start searching civil court records from the date of the alleged event forward for about two years.

    You should start your search in the county courts where the event is alleged to have occurred.

    To make sure you cover all bases, you might then search court records for the state where the alleged event occurred.

    There are several websites that will allow you to do this for a small fee.
    I am NOT endorsing any site, just illustrating that such sites do exist:

    PublicData.com | Pricing

    www.spokeo.com

    Your CA state courts also offer some access to civil court cases for FREE:

    California Courts - Home

    Happy hunting, mate.
     
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  6. sosa

    sosa Law Topic Starter New Member

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    maybe I am being cautious over nothing... I have been in the states over a year now since I came back, and they would have come after me if they had anything still pending. They mentioned to have checked my credit through Exprian, but nothing followed up...
     
  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    The case number and your name should be enough to locate the case.

    Once you find the case online, you can either go to that court location to review it or have a copy of the case file sent to you. You can pay the fee by credit card. Any judgment renewals should be in the same file.

    None of that matters. Junk debt buyers buy up old debts for pennies on the dollar and then try to scare people into paying. Unfortunately, if the judgment was properly renewed and still active, and the judgment amount is big enough, it might be worth it to them to enforce the judgment in court, adding their lawyer fees to your debt.
     
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  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Unless a LAWYER is your LAWYER, he/she is very often a LIAR.

    How do I know?

    I am a lawyer, and I know what SOME lawyers do.

    It is never wise to listen to a lawyer, unless that lawyer has been retained by you and becomes YOUR lawyer.
     
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  9. sosa

    sosa Law Topic Starter New Member

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    so... where or how can I locate my case with the case number online??
     
  10. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Step 1 - Figure out what county you were in when you got sued.
    Step 2 - Go online for that county's Superior Court case search feature.

    From there you should be able to bring up some information about the case and then you can either call the court and pay for a copy of the file to be sent to you or visit the court and review the file and have copies made there.
     
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  11. sosa

    sosa Law Topic Starter New Member

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    the accident incurred in La Crescenta, CA about 20 years ago. I just cannot seem to locate which court I have to go to find out about the current status of the case... need help
     
  12. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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  13. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Whether something does or doesn't appear on your credit report is completely irrelevant, and it's obviously "possible for debt collection agencies or lawyers [to] come after" you because that's exactly what you said is happening (or did happen last year). You indicated that you got this letter last year, which means over six months ago. Has anything more recent occurred?

    As far as levying on assets, that's only possible if someone has a non-expired judgment against you. Let me guess: this accident was the result of a third or fourth (or more) DUI?

    If a judgment was entered against you, then you can look at the court's case file.

    A person's absence from the state tolls the statute of limitations on any civil claim against him/her. I'm not sure if this applies to the enforcement of a judgment, but apparently someone paid enough attention to discover that you were back in the country after nearly two decades, so I'm guessing there's a lot of money at issue.

    Yes. The clerk's office of the court where the judgment was entered.

    Not every court in California has online case access like this.

    The first thing to do would be to input the case number here. From doing that, you should be able to tell whether the judgment against you was renewed. Also, please post the two letters at the start of the case number (should be "_C"). From that, I can tell you the specific courthouse in Los Angeles County where your case was filed.
     
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  14. sosa

    sosa Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks, I finally located my case information and which court currently the case is filed. According to the case access information, its case type is "RENEWAL JUDGMENT (LIMITED JURISDICTION)" and its status is "LEGACY JUDGMENT". also, I can see the last case transaction stating "PROOF OF SERVICE/NOTICE OF RENEWAL OF JUDGMENT & APPLICATION OF RENEWAL FILED" in 2017. ummm... so where what does all this mean??
     
  15. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    What that tells me is that the creditor renewed the judgment in 2017. I suggest you obtain the documents relating to the renewal, which will tell you, among other things, how much you're on the hook for.

    By the way, earlier in the thread, someone asked you about your insurance, but you didn't answer that question. Were you insured at the time of the accident?

    You also didn't answer my question about whether anything has happened since you got the letter "last year."
     
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  16. sosa

    sosa Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I owe more than $100K now... I drove the car, so I guess I had insurance... I don't recollect. I heard from my parents they have been getting some letters about collecting a debt from time to time
     
  17. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    You guess?

    When you were served with the lawsuit papers, you should have turned it over to your liability insurance carrier to handle your defense, but it sounds like that didn't happen. Water under the bridge now.

    If more comes of this than a letter, you might consider consulting with a bankruptcy attorney.
     
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  18. sosa

    sosa Law Topic Starter New Member

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    ummm... so, my only option now is to declare bankruptcy?
     
  19. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Active Member

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    It was suggested you consult with a bankruptcy attorney. That may not be your only option but because of your lack of action in the past, it may be one of the few you have left.
     
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  20. sosa

    sosa Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I understand my actions in the past is far from being astute, but I was immature then. I did not think much of it because I was young and naive... I was supposed to leave the country for the army, and It did not occur to me till very recently that I would ever come back here again. Well, like you guys are saying, I have to deal with it now...
     

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