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Credit card debt question?

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  • Credit card debt question?

    It's been over 18 months since I stopped paying my credit card debt. I have had only one creditor (Citi) serve me with a summons and complaint. They backed off after I sent them a certified letter containing a declaration of my assets and income exempt from garnishment. I owe B of A over 30k and have not heard from them in over an year. Plus several others with large balances. I have been told that a lot of these banks will file suit around the 2 to 3 year mark. Has anyone else experienced this?

  • #2
    It varies so much from person to person, Dylan.

    Sending them your judgment proof status letter was a good choice. I've done that many times, and it has worked very well for me. In essence, except for one creditor, I was able to wait them all out until they were beyond the statute of limitations, and now they can't win a lawsuit against me.

    In my own personal experience, if they don't do something within the first few years, they probably aren't going to do anything at all. My creditors were very active in the first few years and then fell silent, and slowly died out from the 6 year SOL for my state.

    One of them sold their Out of Statute debt at that point and I briefly heard from a new junk debt buyer, but I sent them a cease and desist letter and a letter stating that the Arizona statute of limitations had already expired on that debt and if they tried to sue me I would ask the court to award me court filing fees since they had already been informed in writing that the debt was beyond the statute of limitations. I haven't heard from them in months. I think they realized that they weren't going to get an easy default judgment against me, so they gave up and put the very old debt on the back burner. I'll probably never hear from them again.
    The world's simplest C & D Letter:
    "I demand that you cease and desist from any communication with me."
    Notice that I never actually mention or acknowledge the debt in my letter.

    Comment


    • #3
      GoingDown: Nice you see that you are back.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yep, thanks! I went from the relatively cool evergreens of Eugene, Oregon, back down to the blistering hot saguaros of Arizona.

        I was up in Oregon visiting family and some friends for a long, necessary vacation. It was nice to get away from the heat for awhile.
        The world's simplest C & D Letter:
        "I demand that you cease and desist from any communication with me."
        Notice that I never actually mention or acknowledge the debt in my letter.

        Comment


        • #5
          Question. If you send them the judgement proof status letter does that reset the Statute of Limitations or could it in any way. I have read conflicting statements about this on the site. Some say only making a payment will do it, others say acknowledging the debt will as well. Clarification would be nice. My SOL in SC is 3 years and I have another year to go. I have 7 cards total and have been sued and received a judgement from 1 already. I was hoping with one judgement on the books and with my state not allowing wage garnishment and judgements not renewable after 10 years, that the rest of the CC companies would leave me alone. I would very much like to get no more than 1 judgement as I dont want to file BK because I have no medical insurance, but 1 or 2 more may force my hand. The judgement proof status letter seems like it could be a good strategy in holding off the other companies, but I want to make sure it doesnt afffect the SOL. I would assume to only send the letter if the companies are giving you a deadline to sue or if contacted directly from a law firm?

          Comment


          • #6
            Sending them a judgment proof letter merely tells them that even if they sue you and win, they won't get a penny from you, so it is a waste of their time, effort, and money.

            It does not in any way affect their legal ability to file a lawsuit against you. They can still sue you if they want to, but they now know they won't get anything from you even if they do sue you.

            It does not reset the SOL. (In most states, only making a payment resets the SOL).

            You are not admitting to anything. You are merely telling them that a judgment will be as worthless as the paper it is printed on against you because you have nothing for them to take. Generally speaking, you would have to make a payment to reset the SOL, and/or make a written statement agreeing that the debt is yours and that you agree to repay it again. Telling them that you are judgment proof does not accomplish this.

            It does not toll the SOL. (Generally, leaving the country, making it impossible to sue you may toll the SOL)

            I am very careful how I word my judgment proof letters. I never admit to owing the debt. I never even use the word debt. I merely tell them that if they do sue me, they will get nothing from me. I tell them that I do not own any real estate, I do not have a checking account / savings account, and that I have (or had-- my status has changed since I am beyond the SOL) no wages to garnish.

            Since all of my debts are beyond the Arizona SOL, I no longer bother with this letter. I merely send them a cease and desist letter along with a statement that I know the SOL has expired, and that if they sue me, I will win in court against them, and then expect them to pay all my legal fees, since I have already told them in writing that the SOL has expired.

            The main thing to remember is to word your letter such that the word "debt" is never used, and to never admit to owing them anything.

            For example, if my debts were still within the statute of limitations, I would word the letter like this:


            "I demand that you cease and desist from any communication with me. All telephone calls are inconvenient at any time and any location. I revoke any prior authorization you may have had to call my cell phone, and I demand that you never call my cell phone number in accordance with the T.C.P.A. I will tape record all telephone calls from you and use them as evidence against you [if your state allows you to record, otherwise leave out this sentence]. I am judgment proof. I do not have a checking account / savings account. I do not own any real estate. I do not have any wages to garnish. It will be a waste of your time, effort, and money to file a lawsuit against me."

            See? I never mentioned the word debt, and I never admitted to owing them anything, but I let them know that I know my rights under the FDCPA and the TCPA, and that I also know there is nothing they can do to me even if they get a judgment against me. I took away their main way of getting paid-- calling me on the telephone. I also took away their second method of getting paid-- filing a lawsuit against me. They may still file a lawsuit, but they now know it will be a waste of their time.

            In all except one case (Capitol One), this method worked for me. Nobody else ever bothered to sue me, and I owed a lot of credit card debts.

            I sent the judgment proof letter to all of them, not just the ones threatening to sue me. I think it got to right people in their companies, and they decided I wasn't worth going after.

            I should point out that they did call around asking various previous employers about me, etc. Any employer who appeared on my credit report was called by them, to verify my information. They even called my landlord about me. So, only use this method if you are truly judgment proof, because they will try to check it out.
            Last edited by GoingDown; 08-26-2012, 11:44 AM.
            The world's simplest C & D Letter:
            "I demand that you cease and desist from any communication with me."
            Notice that I never actually mention or acknowledge the debt in my letter.

            Comment


            • #7
              I was not sued by any of my ccs (BOA, Chase, Citi ) except Cap One at around 18mos. I did notify Cap One of my limited income and judgement proof, they filed anyway. I let them get judgement, then when they wanted the debtor meeting to find my bank acct and retirement info, I decided to file as I figured the rest may follow. I filed at around 24mos of non payment.
              chpt 7 ,5-2009

              Comment


              • #8
                Yep. CapOne was the only one who sued me, too. They sued me so fast-- before they even charged off-- that I didn't even get the chance to send them a judgment proof letter before they sued me.

                They called numerous times, threatened to garnish my wages (ha!), take my car, take my boat (ha! I've never even had a boat!), and various other things. I immediately went out and closed all my checking accounts, etc.

                Later, they called asking probing questions like where I worked, where I had a checking account, etc. I just laughed at them and made animal noises and toilet flushing noises and had fun with them. I don't think that was the response they were looking for. They even called relatives asking questions about me, but they never got anywhere, and they never got anything from me.

                I considered filing bankruptcy, but the jobs I worked at (mainly construction and yard work) didn't check my credit, and were so temporary that I figured out they would never be able to garnish anything anyways. It wasn't like regular wages. I got paid by check usually, and then I would just go down to the bank it was drawn on and stand in line to cash the checks and then I just kept the cash in a safe location in my rented house. There was no way a creditor could get at it.

                They never did the debtor's exam with me. My guess is that hiring an attorney in Phoenix and then paying all the high court fees was more than they wanted to pay to go after someone who had no verifiable employment. I think when they can call you at work, they know they have a live one, someone they can garnish and scare into coughing up the cash and paying them. When they can't find that, they resort mainly to bluffing. I played chicken with them and won.
                The world's simplest C & D Letter:
                "I demand that you cease and desist from any communication with me."
                Notice that I never actually mention or acknowledge the debt in my letter.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I forgot to add that now I merely use this letter, since all of my debts are beyond the SOL.

                  "I demand that you cease and desist from any communication with me. All telephone calls are inconvenient at any time and any location. I revoke any prior authorization you may have had to call my cell phone, and I demand that you never call my cell phone number in accordance with the T.C.P.A. I will tape record all telephone calls from you and use them as evidence against you. The Arizona Statute of Limitations has expired, and if you file a lawsuit against me, I will fight it in court and win, and at that time I will expect you to pay all my court filing fees and legal costs since I have already notified you in writing about the fact that the SOL has expired."

                  I used to think I had to quote laws and legalese to them, but I now feel it is better to leave it simple and rather general. The letter goes over the head of the phone jockeys and gets to people who know very well what I mean and a simple search of my credit report will reveal that the debts are in deed beyond the SOL. They probably already have this information in their files, and so, for the ones who try to sue people beyond the SOL hoping for a default judgment, they realize that I will fight them in court and they know they will lose anyways, so I think they take my old worthless debt and put it in a different pile, where it may very well never see the light of day again.

                  This quote says it all...

                  Originally posted by df04527 View Post
                  Keep it simple is the best way to go, quoting laws to them is a waste of time, in my opinion, as they know exactly what the laws are.
                  The world's simplest C & D Letter:
                  "I demand that you cease and desist from any communication with me."
                  Notice that I never actually mention or acknowledge the debt in my letter.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I stopped paying citi in october of 09 still haven't been sued. I got a letter in late mid 2010 offer a 9500.00 settlement on the 24.000 owed. then a bunch of phone calls until i sent a letter stopping the calls. then 2 months ago a new letter came to my parents home then one to my apartment on augs 9th. from a company called credit control LLC
                    with the same 9500.00 offer. I started my own business thats cash only so I can't see them getting a garnishment from me...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by josephga View Post
                      I stopped paying citi in october of 09 still haven't been sued. I got a letter in late mid 2010 offer a 9500.00 settlement on the 24.000 owed. then a bunch of phone calls until i sent a letter stopping the calls. then 2 months ago a new letter came to my parents home then one to my apartment on augs 9th. from a company called credit control LLC
                      with the same 9500.00 offer. I started my own business thats cash only so I can't see them getting a garnishment from me...
                      You've got the right idea. Two thumbs up!
                      The world's simplest C & D Letter:
                      "I demand that you cease and desist from any communication with me."
                      Notice that I never actually mention or acknowledge the debt in my letter.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Anyone have any evidence that once you get one judgement on the books and the judgement has gone uncollected, that the other creditors will simple leave you alone since the first judgement has priority if you ever do get anything, and seeing that they have not collected anything with the judgement, its obvious you dont have anything to take? I have seen alot of people on here say they have one judgement, but rarely see people with 2, 3, etc. My state is one of the most debtor friendy in the US (no wage garnishment law, judgements expire after 10 years and are not renewable, same exemptions with judgements and bankruptcy) so I would think SC would be a state where this one judgemnet theory might be especially valid?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm just trying to stall another month or so citi is the only one i owe. I'm mailing out a letter next week asking for validation of the debit. figured that would buy me one month. my parents have offered to give me 5000.00 but thats all they are offering. that would be about just over 20% of my debit. i'm going to offer them that stating they have 30 days too decide or ill borrow the money and file chapter 7 and they will get nothing.. which I will do. surely these people would take 20% over getting nothing..

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I wrote all of my creditors about one year ago and offered to pay 60% of my debt in payments. In total there was about 11 or 12 creditors. Not even one written reply from any of them. U.S. Bank called and left a message on my phone saying thank you for your recent letter but we want all of the balance you owe us and in cash in the next 30 days. Now they have sold that debt to a junk debt buyer for a few cents on the dollar, does that make any sense?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              About a year ago, I also started sending a note stating that I have no assets and a permanent wage garnishment for student loans. I even sent this information a month ago to a local attorney who was obviously fishing for "risk" if he sued me. He quickly backed off when he realized I had no real assets and he could be in line for decades for wage garnishment.

                              I am now at the 4.5 - 5 year mark for my state's 6-year SOL on my debts. As a result, I have seen a slightly renewed interest in collections. This is especially true of accounts closing in on the SOL date. I can actually promise anything I want to over the phone in Oregon, but unless I make a payment or sign a letter of agreement, I can say anything I want and the SOL will not reset.

                              Everyone needs to study their own state's SOL laws.

                              As always, SOL is only a defense. It does not stop a potential lawsuit from occurring. This is why I believe it is often in your favor to suggest you are somewhat knowledgeable about the laws of your state when responding to a debt collector, including attorney collection firms.

                              Comment

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