California Collections Questions & Answers

Q: Can I keep someones car if they owe me money? If they report car stolen could I get in trouble for having a stolen car?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Collections and Constitutional Law for California on
Answered on Feb 17, 2019
Vernon Charles Tucker's answer
Depends on what the car is worth and how much is owed to you. Also I would need to know what the loan was for? Did you do work to the car and then you did not get paid?

Q: Can a collection agency file default even after a response was filed w/court and served? Next step? Dismissal?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Collections for California on
Answered on Feb 15, 2019
Vernon Charles Tucker's answer
I would need more information to give you an exact answer. Like how long has it been since you heard something on the case? Are you checking the courts website in regards to the register of actions? Was the default received stamped by the court that you received or was it a mere copy provided by opposing counsel.

I would check the court's register of actions with the case number and see what is going on. If you are sure you filed an answer then there should be no reason you received a...

Q: Will I be arrested at the airport if I fly into the country from abroad and I have a bench warrant against me?

1 Answer | Asked in Collections for California on
Answered on Dec 16, 2018
Stuart Gregory Steingraber's answer
Probably not. Bench warrants for failure to appear in civil matters are low on the Sheriff's priority list. Bench warrants for criminal matters are higher on the list. You don't say why you have a bench warrant outstanding so more information is needed to give you useful advice.

Q: Is there a statute of limitations for a private christian elementary school to collect on past tuition owed?

1 Answer | Asked in Collections and Contracts for California on
Answered on Oct 29, 2018
N. Munro Merrick's answer
Yes. Assuming you have a written invoice and that it was due in 30 days from receipt. it is classified as a written contract. You must have filed a court action within 4 years from the date the tuition was sue. When in doubt, give a few days extra. If a payment for less than the amount due was made or is made in the future, there would be a new 4-year time period dating from the date payment was paid and confirmed by your bank.

Q: Am I responsible for >$15,000 vet bill when my dog bit another dog?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Collections for California on
Answered on Oct 19, 2018
William John Light's answer
Your are liable if you were negligent in failing to control your dog. You don't describe how the attack happened, which dog was the aggressor, etc., but it sounds like it was your dog, which will probably make you at fault. You can be sued for the >$15k, but that would require an attorney who would either take a contingency fee percentage, or charge by the hour, resulting in a far lesser sum in the owner's pocket. The owner could also sue you in Small Claim for up to $10k. Attorneys are not...

Q: What options does one have for debt and credit relief before bankruptcy? Or is it an option worth pursuing?

4 Answers | Asked in Collections for California on
Answered on Oct 16, 2018
William John Light's answer
You can negotiate with your creditors for reductions in principal and payments with the threat of bankruptcy if they don't agree. Otherwise, it's looking like bankruptcy.

Q: Debt collector sues in the name of a deceased spouse, not living spouse & debt was incurred before marriage.

1 Answer | Asked in Collections for California on
Answered on Oct 15, 2018
William John Light's answer
Paying $500 is not necessarily the same as paying the entire billing. Your husband's estate would be liable for his debts, if any. It's unclear whether your husband's premarital estate holds or held any assets. If you are served on behalf of your husband, send the Plaintiff's attorneys a copy of your husband's death certificate, along with a copy of your proof of payment. You may wish to contact an attorney who is knowledgeable in debt collection to discuss in detail. You may have rights...

Q: Can a company thats not listed as the lienholder with DMV repo my car from my private garage?

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy, Contracts, Collections and Domestic Violence for California on
Answered on Sep 24, 2018
Timothy Denison's answer
You may sue for wrongful repossession of the car. Likely will not get the car back.

Q: Trying to collect on a judgement on a business that dissolved after my judgement. What do I do

1 Answer | Asked in Collections, Small Claims, Consumer Law and Business Formation for California on
Answered on Sep 21, 2018
Vernon Charles Tucker's answer
If the Corporation dissolved typically you are out of luck and have an uphill battle in front of you to enforce the judgment.

However, its complex and requires motion work, but if certain facts are present you could argue the new corporation is the same as the old corporation or is an "Alter Ego" of the old corporation. This may open other doors that could apply pressure to judgment debtor if they are one in the same.

I would look at the amount of the judgment, and see whether...

Q: Is a California payday loan lender allowed to directly post a collection to my credit file?

1 Answer | Asked in Collections, Consumer Law and Contracts for California on
Answered on Sep 20, 2018
William John Light's answer
Yes, Small Businesses can report delinquent accounts directly to credit bureaus, if they are members of the service and have paid the fees.

Q: How much should I expect, and do I need to ask for an amount in my letter explaining what I’ve gone through?

4 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Personal Injury, Products Liability and Collections for California on
Answered on Sep 7, 2018
Thomas A. Grossman's answer
I don't know anything about your case, such as what your injuries are, have you joined a class action suit or filed suit on your own, have you gone to court, are you represented by an attorney, etc. So, I can't give you an estimate of what to ask for in damages, if I don't have any facts for me to consider. If you have an attorney, you should consult your attorney about the settlement you want. If you have done nothing more than write a letter to an insurance company, you are probably far...

Q: Is the defendant served the Req for Entry of Judgment and/or Judgment? How much time to file to Set Aside Default /Vaca

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Collections for California on
Answered on Aug 27, 2018
Thomas A. Grossman's answer
I can't give a definite answer due to the uncertain facts. I sounds like the defendant did not properly file his Request for Default, and if so that document has no effect. To be sure of the status of your case, I would call the Court Clerk of the Courthouse where this matter is pending, and ask the Clerk if there has been a valid Req. for Entry of Default filed by the defendant. They should be able to tell you the status. You can also look up your case number and see what documents have...

Q: My employer was not paid by the customer for few months, so he is unable to pay my bonus. Can I get involved to get it?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Collections for California on
Answered on Aug 21, 2018
Louis George Fazzi's answer
As an employee, the customer does not owe you anything. Most employers have the means to collect unpaid debts from debtors, which involve suing on the debt. An employee to whom a bonus is owed by the employer must be kept away from the debtor, because you may have no idea of what defenses the debtor may have to collection of the debt.

So, the answer is no, you cannot get involved personally in the collection of the alleged debt, or you could make yourself and your employer responsible...

Q: Can a judgment against me garnish my SSDI (Disability), my old VW Bug that's worth less than $3,000, my furniture?

4 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Collections for California on
Answered on Aug 8, 2018
Timothy Denison's answer
They cannot garnish your ssi and you probably have enough exemptions to protect the property you described. You can probably get a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney who can give you some help

Q: My parents receive a tax bill and a lien has been put on their 1/3 interest of timberland.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Collections for California on
Answered on Jul 1, 2018
Thomas A. Grossman's answer
Yours is a complicated question, and a sad situation. There is not much you can do about the mobile home, since it was sold and the Park is closed. As to your parents being hit with a 1/3 tax bill and lien, I think they will have to pay the Bill to get the Lien on the land removed. Without knowing all the facts, I cannot give you further advice. As it is, I am only guessing at what needs to be done. I would seek out a lawyer near you for advice. Good Luck.

Q: Please advise what is the best way to approach it.

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Collections for California on
Answered on Jun 28, 2018
Timothy Denison's answer
You really need the help of an experienced bankruptcy practitioner. The multiple filings may be problematic and the issues involved with short sale and loan modification can be complicated and frustrating. You should be able to get a consultation and at least get some advise for the right direction if you are determined to do it on your own.

Q: My license has been suspended for 3 civil law suit from a car accident in 2015. What can i do?.

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Collections for California on
Answered on Jun 19, 2018
Timothy Denison's answer
If you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and list the three civil suits and creditors, you can likely discharge them. Upon discharge, you can then obtain a valid drivers license.

Q: Collections agency claiming that I owed from a surgery, we paid the full medical bill at the time. What do I do?

1 Answer | Asked in Collections and Consumer Law for California on
Answered on May 24, 2018
William John Light's answer
Tell them you dispute the debt and provide them with proof of payment. Tell them if they contact you again, you will seek all available remedies under both the State and Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Acts.

Q: I believe a creditor has served my husbands employer with a fake wage garnishment.

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Collections for California on
Answered on Apr 25, 2018
Theodore Allan Greene's answer
It's sounds kind of fishy. Sit down with a local bankruptcy attorney who can tell you if it's legitimate or not.

Q: Can the IRS take my life insurance policy money as a loan in which i have to pay back the insurance company or lose it.

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law and Collections for California on
Answered on Apr 24, 2018
Linda Simmons Campbell's answer
You need a consultation with a tax attorney. I am not aware that the IRS can seize life insurance proceeds, however, I do not know all the details of your case so it is impossible for me to give you a complete answer. If you cannot afford an attorney then contact a low income taxpayer clinic in your area. Here is the link to find one.

If you are homeless and do not have any income, you may be eligible to be marked currently not...

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