13 year old unpaid ticket


I was in a car accident (not my fault) in AZ. I had valid out of state tags on my car and a valid license, valid registration,valid insurance.

The officer asked if I had a business card in case he needed to reach me. I was cooperating and gave him a card. I had not yet started working as a contracter, selling ads, for this ad publication. The officer wrote me a ticket for $700, for being employed in AZ, but not having a valid driver's license.

I went to court, trial date was set. I could not stay in AZ. Friend I was staying with had a lease that expired. I was not planning on staying in AZ. I went back home. Long story....I did leave forwarding address, notified court. Judgement against me, failure to appear. I just (this past month) found out about the failure to appear; having no idea there was a third court date in 1998. I have no other legal offenses or tickets, and have (otherwise)excellent credit.

Debt collector called me 6/2010. Never sent me anything in writing. I don't know if they are just trying to steal my personal info, so I refused to give them my address or verify my birthdate (on advice of my attorney). I had requested in writing and on phone, proof of my debt. I requested that it be faxed to me, providing a fax number. No info was sent. I don't know if they are pretending to be a legit debt collector.

They do have my address. The lady started reading it to me, mispronouncing the street name. I said nothing. They say I owe $900. First call, lady mentioned she didn't have my ss# and said they usually have those. She did have my court case number

Now, I check caller ID. If they call, I pick up the phone and hang up. I had orally asked them twice to stop calling me and reminded them about the proof of debt I requested. Now they just have a recording, asking me to press 1 if the person is me, or 2 if I am not me. I say I am not me. The recording asks that I call them.

Do any red flags come up to you? I heard that they can't sue me over this because it's over 7 years. Yes, I need to deal with the failure to appear. I am also applying for a job. They ask if you have ever been convicted of a misdemeanor. I want to be honest, but don't want to lose out on a job application because of this. Any ideas to help me? What is the statute of limitations on pursuing this debt?

I am still waiting on a lawyer from AZ to call me (prepaid legal advice), to see what grounds I have to fight this. I am unemployed and have a serious chronic illness. I also suffer from depression. This debt is making it worse. I now fear losing my driver's license.

Comments for 13 year old unpaid ticket

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Aug 24, 2010
dealing with a judgment
by: Gerri

What a mess! Unfortunately, this is one of those complicated situations where you really do need to get legal advice - especially over the issue regarding failure to appear in court. (There have been a number of news stories recently about people who have been jailed due to these outstanding matters. Not to alarm you - but you really do need to get it straightened out.)

You do state: "I heard that they can't sue me over this because it's over 7 years." I am not sure what you mean there. You've already got a judgment against you, correct? So they wouldn't sue you again. But state law will determine what they can do to enforce the judgment. (In most states judgments can be renewed so they can effectively last forever.)

I hope you have been able to talk with the attorney through your prepaid legal plan and got some good advice. We would be interested to learn what you found out. Feel free to share your comments below.

Sorry we can't be of more help, but our information is geared to helping consumers understand their rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and this is a bit beyond that.

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