Q: Im permanently disabled and on SSI. A law firm contacted me about a debt from 2002 and claims i owe $2952.
Should i send the law firm an award letter from SSI? Maybe they will stop? My girlfriend financing a car for me but its registered in my name. Is there anyway to protect the vehicle from being taken away by debt collector? My girlfriend still has 1year and a 1/2 left of payments left.
A: If this is just a claim, it may be a scam and if not, the statute of limitations is a defense to any claim. More likely it is a judgment, which expires next year (after 20 years) if entered in 2002. While technically a car could be repoed, the likelihood is next to zero. I would ignore it.
A: That will probably be from a law firm that does dozens of collection work for creditors. Just because the letter is from from a law office does not make the letter special or legally binding, etc. Treat the letter as a letter from a third party creditor/company. As a consumer, you have the right to dispute the validity of claim/charge and demand a proof of judgement. You can prepare a short one-page letter (certified mail) to the firm indicating your position. Some collection agencies will stop sending anything further; others may send you the requested info which also gives you the opportunity to investigate the "origin" and nature of the claim. It may take a bit of your time, but that will probably give you better sleep at night than ignoring it at all.
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