Q: I was in a fender bender where I rear ended someone, now I’m being sent to collections and they say my license will be

Suspended if I don’t make a Minimum payment if 1000 down and 100 a month. When I got in the accident I had just bought a car the night before from a personal buyer and had not had a chance to put insurance on it in the less the lab 24 hours after having it. I bought the car on 4/20/20 at 7pm, and the accident was at 11am on 4/21/20. My mom had told me that there was a few day grace period for putting insurance on a car y just bought and I have bill of sale and copies of title transfer proving date of sale. Now the dmv is asking me to fill out a accident report, and to send them a letter of good faith explaining why I thought in good faith I was insured or legal able to drive. I have not sent those in but the dead line to receive them is 6/11/20. But because this collections agency is threatening to get the dmv to take my license until I pay what they want, I needed to ask u for help. I’m willing to make a payment plan, but due to covid am out of work like everyone else. Can u help me

2 Lawyer Answers
Virgil Royer
Virgil Royer
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Salem, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: First, the collection agency is collecting a debt. They are not the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and have no power to suspend your driving privilege. Second, you mentioned "grace" period. Did your insurance company deny coverage for this accident even though you just bought the car? The grace period would be if you had an existing policy in effect for other car, but just purchased another one. Did you check if the seller of the car had insurance that was still valid and in effect on 4/21/2020? With regard to the DMV, you required to file a report within 72 hours of the accident if the damage to the vehicle is $1,500.00 and towed, or if there is an injury. Third, you may need to seek the advice of attorney with regard to the collections process. It seems too soon for them to have a judgment against you in court. You should be sure to comply with all DMV requirements. You may want to consult an attorney about those or go to the DMV website and read about your rights and responsibilities. I know it seems tough right now, just continue to do your best and you will get through this. These are stressful times, and if you never give up, you will make it.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Wyomissing, PA

A: If you had insurance then your insurer would normally cover a car while it is being put on the policy. If you buy a car with no insurance, technically you should have someone with insurance drive it home or have it towed.

Check and see if the person who sold it to you had insurance. Then it's an open question--generally, most policies say something like they only cover vehicles "you own." As of the transaction that person no longer owned the vehicle. But the vehicle is also listed on the policy, so you can argue you are covered.

As to the rest, note the other answers given.

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