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Pennsylvania Collections Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Collections for Pennsylvania on
Q: We sold a vehicle privately and now payments have stopped. Been to the magistrate already. What’s the next step?

We filed a suit when payments stopped, defendant showed up to magistrate office and we were told to talk things out since he openly said he still owed the balance (around $3500). Promised to pick up on payments but we haven’t heard from him again. Tried contacting buyer on several occasions. We... Read more »

Elizabeth Tarasi
Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Sep 16, 2019

Go to the magistrate again. Get a judgment and ask for the vehicle back.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Business Law and Collections for Pennsylvania on
Q: Help!

My electric bill has been unusually high, so I called them. They informed me I had a 3rd party supplier on my bill I was unaware of. I called said 3rd party and they informed me that I had added them to my account last summer. Going through the details it came across that my sister had given them... Read more »

Adam Savett
Adam Savett answered on Aug 30, 2019

I would suggest you file a complaint with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

Here is a link to resources on the process and directions on how to file a complaint:

Note that the PUC specifically...
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1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Pennsylvania on
Q: My wife has a capital one card that is going to be charged off. She is afraid they may sue.

She still works. I’m retired. We have a joint bank account. With no wage garnishment here and spousal bank accounts are safe. Would they take her 2016 Ford Explorer that still has a loan of 16000 on it.

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Jul 14, 2019

Very doubtful. They may sue, and perhaps get a judgment against her, but then they'll try to attach bank accounts in a scattershot manner by sending writs of execution out to the largest banks in your area (hoping that yours is one of them). Even though your joint bank account is untouchable,... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Collections for Pennsylvania on
Q: If I send a cease & desist letter to debt collector, on time barred debt, but do not acknowledge debt, will they sue?

A third party debt collector has obtained an old debt of around $700. This type of debt is beyond the statute of limitations in my state of PA. I am mailing a letter stating such debt is beyond SOL, thus time-barred. Also, I am requesting no further contact. Can/will this collector still (attempt)... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Apr 24, 2019

Considering the tiny size of the old debt, it is not very likely that a debt collection company will try to enforce it--even in small claims court. Rather than say or do anything that could possibly result in reaffirmation, why not say nothing, wait to see what happens and if they do sue, raise the... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Collections and Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania on
Q: I lost a Civil Law suit with about 141k awarded to the other person. Can they come after my 401K to collect?
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Mar 20, 2019

If your 401k is a "qualifying plan" (i.e., meets the requirements of Section 401(k) of the Tax Code), then your 401k plans should be exempt from execution.

Your judgment creditor may nonetheless attempt to levy on your 401(k) account, and you will need to file written objections to that...
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1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Pennsylvania on
Q: I'm looking for the best course of action to collect on a judgement issued by a magesterial court in Cambria County.

I recieved a judgement in my favor for money owed to me due to a breech of contract. Since I got this judgement in a magesterial court I found out that they can not help me collect. I was wondering what my best course of action would be? I looked into options at the district court and was thinking... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Mar 18, 2019

if you don't want to consult a lawyer, then assuming the time for them to appeal has run, go for a writ of execution with a wage loss attachment if they are working--that way you get the money, not an item that then has to be sold. The Sheriff's office for the county should help you.

1 Answer | Asked in Collections and Tax Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Need him to collect the IRS refund for Deceased husband.

Hello, My sister is a senior citizen. she has been trying to collect her deceased husbands IRS refund check for tax year 2017 since it was filed in 2018. She has contacted the IRS on numerous occasions and has been given several different instructions on how to get this accomplished. she has... Read more »

Linda Simmons Campbell
Linda Simmons Campbell answered on Feb 20, 2019

I suggest that she call the Taxpayer Advocate in her area. She can look up the number at the following link

They will help her submit the correct paperwork. If that does not work she can try a low income taxpayer clinic in her...
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1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Pennsylvania on
Q: When our son has no job and has been served a summons for debt collection, what does he have to do?

The summons was served to his parents place in Ohio and from a court in Ohio, and he does not live in Ohio and has not for 3 years. He has no job, no money, no assets, no home,is living with this friend and that one somewhere in PA, so what does he have to do?

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Feb 16, 2019

First, he must first be officially served with the lawsuit. If this "service of process" is not satisfactorily obtained, then NOTHING happens: the court cannot enter a judgment against him without proper notice of the lawsuit. Some folks successfully dodge adverse judgments by ducking service of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy, Tax Law, Collections and Gov & Administrative Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: PA-What's the Tax Penalty % for "Early W/Draw" of a Pension Plan? Also with "E W/D" can the IRS claim $ owed 4 yrs prior

My husband is currently disabled and we have had no income now for months. Until he can get any kind of help we have to pay to get our prior taxes done for his corporation (he no longer has - due to not being able to walk anymore); before we can do our personal taxes.

The only way to... Read more »

Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison answered on Jan 30, 2019

The penalty varies from plan to plan. You can check with the plan administrator to determine exact amount. It is unlikely that the IRS is even aware of the pension plan, do very doubtful that they will be able to seize money.

1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Pennsylvania on
Q: If I have already made payment arrangements with portfolio recovery, Do I still have to attend a conciliation meeting?

Got a letter that I was being sued by portfolio recovery for bad debt. Call and made payment arrangements. They sent me a letter confirming this and I had to send it back. Now I got a notice that there is a conciliation agreement meeting. Do I have to attend the meeting? There is already an... Read more »

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Dec 31, 2018

You should contact the court to inquire. It could very well be that Portfolio Recovery has already informed the court of the agreement, but maybe not. You can also ask Portfolio Recovery to cancel the court proceedings -- something things slip through the cracks. But short of the court telling... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Business Law and Collections for Pennsylvania on
Q: Arbitration hearing or Judgement Issue?

In November of 2018 I received a notice from a sheriff’s deputy that a credit card debt that I had not paid was scheduled for arbitration for a date in July 2019. On December 3, 2018 I received a letter from the same law firm indicating that I had not filed a defense or objection in writing and... Read more »

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Dec 7, 2018

The problem may be your "assumptions." I suggest contacting the Delaware County Bar Association for an attorney referral, and then sit down with him/her and going over everything. Knowledge is power, y'know?

Best of luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Collections for Pennsylvania on
Q: Being sued by portfolio Recovery Associates for a bad debt. Not working, can't afford lawyer what now?
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Oct 28, 2018

Do you agree on the amount? Contact legal services. But don't let it go to default otherwise other charges may be added.

As to the debt, can Portfolio Recover show that they were "assigned" the debt? Anyone can say they were--can they prove it?

1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Pennsylvania on
Q: Do I have to appear at a credit card deposition?
Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Oct 26, 2018

Pretty impossible to answer your question without more context about your situation. I'll presume, however, that you've been sued by a credit card company for a bad debt, and the credit card company has scheduled your deposition in a civil case against you.

No, you don't have to appear --...
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1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Pennsylvania on
Q: I received a personal loan with no written contract other than. .pay me when you can" I've been making monthly payments

Now they want payment in full by year end or taking me to a magistrate. Does she have a case?

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Oct 16, 2018

Yes, a case that you owe her money, but not really that you're overdue on payments. Still, I can see a magisterial district judge asking about what the verbal arrangement was, and entering a judgment anyway on the full amount due. The lower court won't craft a new contract for you with distinct... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Pennsylvania on
Q: A company has gone out of business, and a shipping company turned an outstanding fee over to a collection agency.

I purchased auto parts from a company approximately 2 years ago, and the company has since gone out of business. The parts I ordered were shipped to me via UPS Freight, and, apparently, the company did not pay the charges due on that shipment. UPS Freight has turned the outstanding bill over to a... Read more »

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Oct 9, 2018

I suppose it depends on what the delivery terms were, right? Unless UPS Freight has some sort of documentation that says *you* are responsible for the shipping costs, then they can't very well assert a valid claim. Tell them that.

Best of luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Pennsylvania on
Q: I was widowed last year and my husband was paying on 3 tractors/lawnmowers. Am I responsible for making the payments?

I have been making the payments but financially it is getting difficult.

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Aug 15, 2018

I am sorry to hear about your husband.

It depends how the equipment was titled. Are they in his name alone? If so, you are not responsible for the debt -- but the equipment company can almost surely come repossession the equipment for nonpayment of the debt, so consider that consequence...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Collections for Pennsylvania on
Q: Is the case over or do I still need to do something?

Judgement was won against me in magistrate court after debt collector lied to me.I appealed to common pleas court,since they cannot garnish my social security.They never responded to the appeal.Will it still go to trial or will Judgement go in my favor?

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Jul 31, 2018

Call the Prothonotary of your county's Court of Common Pleas and ask them where the case is procedurally. Every county does it a little bit differently, so go straight to the source and find out.

Best of luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law and Collections for Pennsylvania on
Q: Student Loan Question

My wife had a student loan through HSBC, cosigned by her grandmother (now deceased). At some point this loan was sold to a lawyers office. Said lawyers office claims that HSBC owns the loan and HSBC claims the lawyers do. Are we legally liable for this debt since we don't know who owns it?

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Jul 25, 2018

Your wife is obligated to the holder in due course of the note. You want to make sure you keep a log with date, time, identity of the person you speak with, and generally conduct things via snail mail. Yes hard copy and stamps. You save a copy of everything you get.

You get something from...
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1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Pennsylvania on
Q: Car was repossessed less than 30 days ago and the towing co wants 125.00 to retrieve my personal property. Is this lega?
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Jul 24, 2018

If you didn't authorize the tow, they can't keep your property. File a complaint with the Department of Transportation and notify whoever hired them that if they don't return your possessions you will file a complaint with the attorney generals office.

2 Answers | Asked in Collections for Pennsylvania on
Q: can a joint spousal checking account in PA be frozen if only one person owes the debt?
Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on Jul 17, 2018

It really shouldn't be. Property owned by a husband and wife is a special kind of ownership in Pennsylvania known as a tenancy-by-the-entireties. This includes money held in a joint checking account in the names of both husband and wife. A creditor of just one spouse cannot seize property owned... Read more »

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