How Should I Handle This?

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Candice, Aug 19, 2000.

  1. Candice

    Candice Guest

    I need advice. I just received a letter from an "acquisition" firm that claims to have purchased a judgement debt from First Card Services that took place back in 1989 (judgement date). They want me to settle the debt directly with them to "help clean up my credit and legally satisfy the debt". In return, they will mark the judgement (which does not exsist on any of my credit profiles) "Satisfied". My credit is squeaky clean, 700+ fico score with a recently obtained mortgage in excess of $190,000. Their is no mention of this company or First Card on any of the three credit bureau reports, since the seven year rule was applied. My question is this: If I respond in any manner to this communique will I possibly start the seven year clock all over again? Is the statue of limitations effective in this case since the last action taken was over ten years ago? Over the years I followed the advice of this and other boards and with patience and good information managed to achieve a perfect credit file. I just want to make sure I am correctly handling this situation without endangering my profile. Thanks for your input.
  2. Candice

    Candice Guest

    PS-I now live in a different state. How would this effect their collection efforts, if there are any?
  3. RichGuy

    RichGuy Guest

    Deception and Intimidation

    You have more experience than I do, but this situation seems analogous to a police officer asking you to agree to a search of your home, car, bag, person, etc. Many people agree because they think the officer can search anyway. Others agree because they think they will be treated better if they go along without objecting to a search. Occasionally, an officer will lie about the law or the situation, just to obtain agrrement to a search. But once you agree, any evidence resulting from the search will be used against you without any scruples whatsoever.

    The collection agency is correct about legally satisfying the judgment, which still exists in court records even though payment can no longer be compelled (due to a likely 10 year statute of limitations, not the 7 year credit report limitation.) However, it is lying about clearing up your credit. Once you pay, they won't care what happens to your credit record. They just want your check to make a quick profit, gain a commission, or meet a quota. Don't fall for their deception and intimidation.

    My advice would be to pay the amount of the judgment, or some fraction thereof, to your favorite charity. At least that won't haunt your credit reports for the next seven years.
  4. P

    P Guest

    I do not know the statute of limitations.

    The FCRA allows the judgement to stay on your credit report for 7 years "or the statute of limitations", whichever is longer".

    There is no such thing as legal "reaging", it is just that some CRAs (Experian is worst) don't understand the FCRA.

    I had an account charged off in 1995. The FCRA allows that to stay on m credit report until 2002. Experian already says it plans to list the item until 2005, 7 years after I paid the debt.

    It can't do that, and in 2002, if they don't remove it, I will sue for declartory relief to get a judge to order them to do so, under penalty of jail.

    And I'll win.

    I wold ask a lawyer the SOL in this case.
  5. J. Edgar

    J. Edgar Well-Known Member

    An 11 year old judgement? I'd tell them to stick it where the sun don't shine.

    Actually, just completely ignore them, but do check your credit reports carefully. They may try to stick it on there as a new debt. Be sure to save all of the documentation which shows the age of this debt, so you can dispute it off of your credit file.

    They are just grasping at straws. They probably bought this judgement for 2 cents on the dollar since it's so old, hoping to get something out of it by sending you on a guilt trip.

    Your best bet is to just ignore them, but carefully monitor your credit reports.
  6. Doris K.

    Doris K. Well-Known Member

    J. Edgar's right. Ignore it and monitor your credit reports carefully. Perhaps you should look into some of the credit sentinel programs offered.

    If the judgement has been sold to a collection agency, I would imagine it can no longer be renewed in the court for another 10-year period. Therefore, it shouldn't affect your credit reports. While this depends on your state's civil code, it's most likely that a judgement can only be filed or re-filed by the original debtor. You might want to verify this through your state's Attorney General's office.
  7. paul

    paul Guest

    The best reply to them is no reply
  8. CardReport

    CardReport Guest

    There are different kinds of SOLs. One is the time limit for the creditor to file a lawsuit. Then, after a judgement has already been obtained, there is another time limit for enforcing it (i.e. seizing assets and/or garnishing wages.) There may an option for the judgement creditor to file for a renewal of one more term but they may or may not actually do so.

    It sounds like the original creditor decided to give up on the debt after the judgement, and it has been dormant, sitting around on file, for some time. Some bottom-feeding collection agencies buy very old (and even out-of-statute) debts very cheaply (like 2% of face value), in the hopes of recovering say, 10% of the total face value from debtors who don't understand the real legal situation.

    Look up the enforcement SOL for your state at...

    For a 11-year-old debt, which has been left alone for a long time, I doubt that they will take much effort to collect. The fact that you are in a different state is likely to discourage them even more. Many of the debtors they contact won't respond at all, or will be difficult to trace, etc. I've heard of collectors finding out that the debtor had *died* years previously. So they have to wade through a large amount of resistant and hopeless accounts, expending as little time as possible on those. But if you respond, and seem very concerned, then that will get their attention, and they may start "playing hard-ball." It may be in your best interest to just get lost in the crowd of debtors who fail to respond.

    Keep all of your documentation (*permanently*), and whatch your credit reports in case they try to report it. If they do, then dispute it on the grounds of the expired enforcement SOL (if applicable.)

    Good Luck.

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