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  1. #1
    ryanryanryan is offline Junior Member
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    Being sued by collection agency and want to know if they can take my car.

    I live in California and I'm being sued for about $4,500 for unpaid negative balance fees on a checking account originally totaling $400, this may also include a credit card balance that came with the checking account but I'm not sure, I don't think I have any of my own records. The collection agency says this went into collections less then 2 years ago but I seriously doubt that, it has to be at least 3 years if not 4 but I'm not sure how to confirm this (the bank is Washington Mutual which is now Chase).

    I just got the summons a few days ago but my question is what do they really want to accomplish here? About 2 weeks ago I was fired from my job so they can't garnish my wages but I do own 2 vehicles, one I just purchased a few months ago for $6,500 and the other vehicle was paid for long before I even opened that checking account and would probably sell for about $2000. My question is do I need to worry about having either of my vehicles repossessed at the end of this court case? Even tho both cars were paid for in cash and never even touch any banks. I really love this new car and would hate to see it go because I know I'll never find anything better, I'm really attached to it.

    I understand I need to turn in an Answer Letter in the next few days to the court and or a Notice of Appearance but I'm not sure what's next and how to start the Discovery Process to see what they have on me, I've never had to deal with this before obviously.

    Also I've been told that since I've been served a summons it's too late to contact the collection agency and try to settle an amount out of court so when does this negotiation process begin thru the court system.

    Also I'm very concerned about the court fees since one of the complaints in the summons says that I was notified earlier that if allowed I'll be charged for court fees and the legal fees of the plaintiff and was wondering what that is going to cost me.
  2. #2
    Tayla is offline Member
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    Since you have NO records and NO absolute defense, try this:
    Show up, listen to their evidence, review it and then the judge will most likely favor them . At which time a judgment will be passed for more then you can make arrangements for. You can then expect an attempt (based on your state of residency laws) to garnish your wages (future pay when employed), along with interest accured, and any collateral which contains a solid monetary value. Your credit will tank and you can expect this to show on your report for 7 to 10 years . Since you may lose , the courts may hold you accountable for the court fees.
    True fact: Answer the petition you were served with and show up at the court hearing.
    True inquiry- You had the chance to follow Debt validation procedure, what good did it do you to ignore this when it was at its beginning phase? Usually a collector will make attempts before going route of the courts.
  3. #3
    ryanryanryan is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you Tayla, I know I'm pretty much screwed. I was just suddenly worried about my new vehicle getting repoed even tho it's worth more than their demanding and it was paid for all in cash, it's kind of the only property I own that's worth anything.
  4. #4
    KimS1970 is offline Junior Member
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    Is this a small claims case? It sounds like it hasn't been actually entered for judgement yet, if not, you should be able to make arrangments with the creditor to pay the balance and they should be able to dismiss the case before a judgement is entered. It sounds like you may have to choose between your car and having a judgement entered against you.
  5. #5
    annajosie is offline Member
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    In answer to your question - yes, they can take your cars.

    You have exemptions you can assert but I don't know how much is considered exempt on a car in your state. If your creditor gets a judgement, they can take and sell your vehicles, especially if they are paid for.

    The judgement creditor can demand a debtor examination where you will have to disclose all of your assets; your vehicles, your income, your bank accounts, etc.

    If you don't have a job, of course they can't garnish non-existant wages, but they can sure go after any bank accounts and other assets you have.

    They would be less inclined to take your vehicles if you still owed money to another lienholder, but the fact that the vehicles are paid in full may result in the loss of your cars. Sorry, but that's what I have been told.

    Any of the senior members could answer your question with more accuracy, I'm sure. this is just MHO.
  6. #6
    CourtClerk is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by annajosie View Post
    In answer to your question - yes, they can take your cars.

    You have exemptions you can assert but I don't know how much is considered exempt on a car in your state. If your creditor gets a judgement, they can take and sell your vehicles, especially if they are paid for.

    The judgement creditor can demand a debtor examination where you will have to disclose all of your assets; your vehicles, your income, your bank accounts, etc.

    If you don't have a job, of course they can't garnish non-existant wages, but they can sure go after any bank accounts and other assets you have.

    They would be less inclined to take your vehicles if you still owed money to another lienholder, but the fact that the vehicles are paid in full may result in the loss of your cars. Sorry, but that's what I have been told.

    Any of the senior members could answer your question with more accuracy, I'm sure. this is just MHO.
    She has 2 cars.... they can take one, preferably that paid off one and have it sold at auction. There's no use to them for a car that already has a lien on it.
  7. #7
    annajosie is offline Member
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    Court Clerk,

    The OP did state in original post that both cars are paid in full. Can they go ahead and take both vehicles or can they only take one?

    TIA for your knowledgeable response.

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