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Buying A Car With A Judgement On File

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  • Buying A Car With A Judgement On File

    So here is my dilemma. I received a judgement for about $9k over 6 months ago, but had no assets to worry about so I didn't contest it. I have approx 6 more outstanding cards that could potentially sue me. Have about 1 year left on the 3 year SOL. While SC has a no wage garnishment law, and I was leasing a car and owned no home, my car lease recently ended and now I have to go about getting a car. As I cannot finance or lease a car due to my credit, my parents have recently said they would give me $15 to 20k to buy a new car. Exemptions for an automobile from a judgement in SC are approx $5,500 with a wildcard exemption I believe I could use another $5,500. If I bought a new car for $15 to $20 k, do you think there is a chance a creditor could try to seize it from me. Has anyone heard of this happening? Should I try to stay around $10,000 on a car so as to avoid the potential of this happening. Any advise or experience on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Have you contacted the same company that your previous car was leased from? Just an idea, but what about listing your parents as the lien holder? Also with 5k down, you can most likely can get financing with someone! Let us know what happens, good luck to you!

    Sounds like if you buy a car for around 10K you would be safe!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by CCM620 View Post
      Exemptions for an automobile from a judgement in SC are approx $5,500 with a wildcard exemption I believe I could use another $5,500. .
      Look up the Kelly Blue Book value for a used version of the car in which you are interested in buying. Try to find one that is at or below this exemption amount to be completely safe. But, in most cases, you could buy a car that was a few thousand dollars above that amount because you have to figure what it would cost them to hire someone to come take your car, store it, insure it, and then auction it off.

      They wouldn't make any profits from it, it would just be for spite, and they can't stay in business very long if they are just going around seizing cars for spite.

      In most cases, debt collectors are simply not interested in seizing cars. It is more trouble than it is worth. They mainly go after wages (yours are safe in your state), checking accounts, and real estate to put a lien on. Only the most aggressive ones go after cars.

      Do a google search on your debt collector and put in the words "car" and "replevin" and "seized" and "repossessed" etc., to see if this is something they normally do in their attempts to collect debts. If it is something they do, then stay at or below the exemption amount (using the Kelly Blue Book value for your car) for your state to keep your car investment safe.

      If it is not something they normally do, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

      Another thing to keep in mind is that eventhough you have bad credit, there are all sorts of lenders who will still loan you money for a car-- at horrible interest rates of course-- but if you are very concerned about them coming and taking your car, then you could just get one on credit, puting down as little as possible cash, and just make monthly payments on it for the next 6 years, which would keep it quite safe from a judgment creditor. Around here we have a lender who gives car loans to people with horrible credit called Drive Time. You might have a similar company in your area.
      Last edited by GoingDown; 11-10-2012, 10:12 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


      • #4
        If the car is titled in your name, you do run the risk of having the judgment holder attempting to seize it. The judgment holder would file a lis pendens with the court and have the car seized and sold at auction. The amount of the allowed exemption would come off the top of what the car sells for then the judgment holder would get what is left. If that amount satisfies the judgment, then that is well and the matter done. If it doesn't then the next car you get, if it is titled in your name, the judgment holder could repeat the process.

        Now if you purchase a car that is totally covered by the the allowed exemption, you should be okay. But if you ever decide to buy a camper, boat, motorcycle, or anything else that has to be titled, then you will potentially have problems for as long as the judgment is in place. It depends on how mean the judgment holder wants to be. And in most cases, the judgment can be renewed. Potentially a judgment can hang over your head for 20+ years.
        Last edited by AngelinaCat; 11-10-2012, 04:34 PM. Reason: can't spell
        "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

        "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."

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        • #5
          It seems like the smart thing to do would be to find a used car closer to that $10,000 limit. I could title the car to my mom (who's paying for it anyway) but she seems reluctant to do that. While it might be a longshot they go after a new car in that price range, the risk is probably not worth it. That seems to be the consensus here I think? Judgements here arn't renewable after ten years, but that's still a long ten years.

          Comment


          • #6
            If your state's auto exemption is $5500, which is a generous amount compared to some states, then you should stay below that amount. You should not attempt to buy a more valuable car, with the idea in mind that you can "stack" exemptions, because that may or may not work, and you might end up needing the other exemptions to cover something else.

            You can buy a decent car, which is not too old for less than $5k, and then you don't have to worry about a judgment creditor trying to seize it, or place a lien on the title. For example, a used Toyota Corolla from the late 1990's or early 2000's can be had for less than $5k, and if properly maintained might very well outlast the judgment (assuming the creditor doesn't renew it, of course)!

            Comment


            • #7
              I too was trying to do the SOL waiting game. I didn't have a ton of debt, but it was spread out over a lot CCs like you. I finally got tired of the harassment of me, my family, etc and filed BK. While preparing the paperwork I checked my credit reports and found the many of the CCs had restarted the SOL. I never talked or wrote to any of them. I think maybe they used a conversation with a relative, or just the fact that one of them answered a phone, I don't know. My point is that you may not be as close to SOL as you think. Also, once I checked my credit reports (after not touching them for over 3 yrs) I started getting all kinds of calls again, and someone even tried to serve me before I filed. I would play it really safe and just not have a car in your name if that's possible.

              Another note, as far the wild card thing. I know this is a different situation, but I tried to use the wild card on an old motorcycle and trailer. Atty wrote it up that way, thinking it wouldn't be a problem. Trustee called it stacking since I used the vehicle exemption on my car. So, I wouldn't rely on the wildcard as an absolute.

              Good luck to you.
              BK7 Filed 7/10/12 • 341 8/15/12 • Discharged 10/17/12 • Closed 5/6/13 Thanks to everyone here!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by stray View Post
                I too was trying to do the SOL waiting game. I didn't have a ton of debt, but it was spread out over a lot CCs like you. I finally got tired of the harassment of me, my family, etc and filed BK. While preparing the paperwork I checked my credit reports and found the many of the CCs had restarted the SOL. I never talked or wrote to any of them. I think maybe they used a conversation with a relative, or just the fact that one of them answered a phone, I don't know. My point is that you may not be as close to SOL as you think. Also, once I checked my credit reports (after not touching them for over 3 yrs) I started getting all kinds of calls again, and someone even tried to serve me before I filed. I would play it really safe and just not have a car in your name if that's possible.

                Another note, as far the wild card thing. I know this is a different situation, but I tried to use the wild card on an old motorcycle and trailer. Atty wrote it up that way, thinking it wouldn't be a problem. Trustee called it stacking since I used the vehicle exemption on my car. So, I wouldn't rely on the wildcard as an absolute.

                Good luck to you.
                Had 7 years passed since the date of first delinquency (DOFD on Equifax, for example)?

                If so, the creditor or junk debt buyer and the credit reporting agency were in violation of federal law. A sternly written letter sent by certified mail to the credit reporting agencies would probably clear this matter up and get them to remove the outdated information from your credit report.

                I haven't yet experience any of this.

                When my bad debts got past the 7 year point, they all fell off my credit reports. It's amazing. They are all clean and clear of any negative items. I haven't seen them like this in such a very long time.

                The only files on there are positive ones-- a student loan and a paid off Fingerhut account.

                My goal is to keep it that way.

                I will never go back into debt for anything.
                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 hope my credit reports become "clear" again after 7 years from the DOFD, and I don't have to waste time filing disputes, threatining lawsuits, etc. I guess that by mid-2016, I should have good credit again.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CCM620 View Post
                    It seems like the smart thing to do would be to find a used car closer to that $10,000 limit. I could title the car to my mom (who's paying for it anyway) but she seems reluctant to do that.

                    NO! DON'T DO THAT. IF YOU GOT INTO AN ACCIDENT, YOUR MOM WOULD BE LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE. EVEN WITH INSURANCE, IF YOU JUST HAD THE MINIMUM $15,000 OF INSURANCE COVERAGE, THE PERSON YOU RAN INTO COULD COME AFTER YOUR MOM FOR ANYTHING ABOVE $15,000.



                    While it might be a longshot they go after a new car in that price range, the risk is probably not worth it.

                    MOST DEBT COLLECTORS WON'T COME AFTER CARS, PERIOD. MOST OF THEM JUST AREN'T INTERESTED IN THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE MORE TROUBLE THAN THEY ARE WORTH, AND MOST DEBT COLLECTORS ARE NOT SET UP TO DEAL WITH THEM. WHY? BECAUSE MOST DEBT COLLECTORS ARE NOTHING MORE THAN CALL CENTERS WHO MAY SOMETIMES HIRE THIRD PARTY ATTORNEYS IN YOUR AREA TO SUE YOU AND THEN GARNISH WAGES AND SEIZE CHECKING ACCOUNTS. THOSE ARE RELATIVELY SAFE AND EASY THINGS FOR THEM TO DO.

                    TAKING SOMEONE'S CAR WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT ALREADY HAVE A LIEN ON IT FROM A CAR FINANCE COMPANY, AND WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE ANY EQUITY ABOVE THE STATE EXEMPTION FOR VEHICLES IS A LOT MESSIER SORT OF OPERATION. ONLY THE MOST AGGRESSIVE DEBT COLLECTORS DO SUCH A THING, AND YOU CAN USUALLY GOOGLE SEARCH THEIR NAMES AND FIND OUT WHETHER THEY NORMALLY DO THESE SORTS OF THINGS.


                    That seems to be the consensus here I think? Judgements here arn't renewable after ten years, but that's still a long ten years.
                    I think you are far too worried about it.

                    After Capital One sued me and got a judgment, they called me (back when I was foolish enough to answer the phone when a debt collector was calling) and threatened to come to my house and take my car and my boat (I didn't even own a boat, by the way). I was so worried about it at the time. I frantically scoured the internet looking for solutions to this non-existent problem. I talked to my friends about it, etc.

                    But guess what?

                    It has been years and years since that phone call from them, and they never showed up to take anything from me.


                    But yes, if you want to stay on the safe side, look for something used, and look at the Kelly Blue Book Value and make sure it is worth less than $10,000. If you were really paranoid about it, you could stay below $5500. My current truck has a KBB value of less than $5000. It's not much to look at, but it gets me where I want to go, and it can haul a lot of stuff that I use to make money.
                    Last edited by GoingDown; 11-11-2012, 03:03 PM.
                    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


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bcohen View Post
                      I hope my credit reports become "clear" again after 7 years from the DOFD, and I don't have to waste time filing disputes, threatining lawsuits, etc. I guess that by mid-2016, I should have good credit again.
                      Save your old paper credit reports that list the DOFD. Some of them will even say the date when the negative item should be removed-- month and year. Keep them as evidence, in case you ever did need to send that letter to the credit reporting agencies.

                      I also noticed that my junk debt buyers usually listed the name of the original creditor in their remarks. If any of them didn't list the name of the original creditor, then I would dispute it with the C.R.A. and demand to know the name of the original creditor, and to have it listed on my credit report. You can then just match them up with date of first delinquency listed on original creditor's account.

                      This is where keeping paper records is very important.
                      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
                        The car I'm looking at now has a blue book value of $12k. The vehicle exemption is SC is $5,600 plus the wildcard of $5,600 (I own no home so I could claim the wildcard too). That leaves them nothing to go after (have to hire an attorney for court hearing, vehicle towing and storage, auction and related costs etc.) So just to be safe that would seem to cover me. If I had a $20k new vehicle, the worry probably wouldn't be worth it, even if it is unlikely they would go after the car.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          CCM620

                          Sounds like your good to go!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Don't you need the wildcard to exempt other things, such as your home furnishings, money to pay your rent and other living expenses, and so on? I will again repeat my advice: buy a car worth no more than your state's vehicle exemption. A $6k car will run and drive just as well as a $12k car, or even a $30k car. Believe me.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              No, those things are covered by their own exemptions. The wildcard is applicable to whatever you choose to use it for. I'm covered in all other catorgories by the available exemptions.

                              Comment

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