What is the name of your state? California
Hello all. I'm hoping someone might be able to help me. I purchased a used car from a dealer back in 1997. The car was fine for about a year before it caught on fire. After the ordeal, I went through hell & back trying to get the insurance company to fork out the money to get the vehicle properly fixed. I met with difficulties with the insurance company claim adjuster. Needless to say after the limited "cheap" or lack of complete repair the car was never the same. The situation was that the fire department had to come and put out the car fire. The claim adjuster said and I quote "you should of let it burn". My interpretation was that it was more expensive to fix the car versus it's value at the time however the loan contract at the time was 18K to pay it off. I complained to the insurance company to no end. I contacted the finance company as well to let them know their vested interest in the car (18k) and the problems I was having with the insurance company which they "chose" (in the loan contract) in hopes they would get the insurance company to listen to reason and fix the car correctly was only met with yet more red tape and how this wasn't their problem. Shortly after that (2 months later and already a little over one year into the loan contract) I informed the car loan company I wouldn't be making any more payments on the car and to come and get it. They never came to get the car after repeated phone calls & letters. The car has been in my possession and in default since 1999. During the ordeal I also contacted the dealership who sold me the car as well as the car's manufacturer in regards to the fire, and was basically told they could not help me. In my opinion, the insurance company took me a ride on the whole deal and never fixed what needed to be fixed. So as a result, I never heard from anyone again for years until just a few days ago. It turns out that the auto loan finance company has sold the debt to a collection agency which has now sent me a letter requesting the amount due on the contract. But surprisingly, there is no mention that this amount is for "a" vehicle. I would of guessed that the year, make, model, even vin numbers would be on collection letter but it's not even mentioned. I have not contacted this collection agency because a friend told me there was a statue of limitations in effect and I no longer owe anything. I am afraid this collection agency will now try to take me to court so is there anything I can do protect myself. Again, the vehicle is still with me "as crisp as the day it burned" and I've neglected to take any actions on it because in truth the vehicle is not technically mine (hence a lien holder) on the registration. What can I do?