Purchase of bank judgement

by M
(Henderson, NV)

My husband and I live in Southern Nevada. My husband received a letter dated June 29, 2010 from a debt collector informing him that they had recently purchased a bank judgment account against him totalling $16,064.68 from the original creditor. He fell behind on this credit card bill 4 years ago when we were living in California. The original judgment garnished whatever was left in our bank account (around $3,000) 3 years ago. Nothing was garnished ever since because our bank account now only has enough money for daily expenses. The truth is, we longer have any assets left. Our home went into foreclosure 3 years ago. We moved to Nevada in 2007, my husband is retired and I am unemployed. We are living with relatives for now because we cannot afford to pay rent. We now have a bad credit history because of our difficult financial situation. We are left with a small fixed income from my husband's social security and meager private pension retirement benefit. We cannot even afford a bankruptcy attorney, so we are just hoping the statute of limitations will run out for all our debts. Should we write the debt collector to inform them of the reasons why we cannot pay this debt? If so, will contacting them by letter renew the debt or reactivate the statute of limitations? Please advise us on how to deal with this problem. We are feeling really desperate!

Comments for Purchase of bank judgement

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Jul 14, 2010
Debt collector wants to collect on bank judgment
by: Mary

Thanks for submitting your debt collection question on our Q&A page.

I am sorry you are going through such a difficult time. Based on what you wrote in your question, it sounds like you are probably judgment proof, which means that you have no assets that a debt collector or a creditor with a judgment against you could take to collect on the debts you owe. Therefore, laying low and waiting for the statute of limitations on your debts to run out may be your best bet.

You can find out what the statute of limitations is on each of your certain debts by calling the attorney general in the state where you incurred each debt. Then, if you are contacted about a debt for which the statute of limitations has run out, you should tell the creditor or collector not to contact you again by sending a cease and desist letter.

If you want additional information and advice, I recommend that you consult with a consumer law attorney in your area who has specific experience handling debt collection matters. Buying an hour of the attorney's time should not cost you a lot and will help you gain the peace of mind you so desperately need. (Shop around to find an attorney you can afford; you may be able to find one who is willing to give you a discounted rate given your financial situation. Another option is to call your state or local bar association to ask if they can suggest an affordable legal resource in your area.)

Good luck and please share what happens with your situation in the comments section for this question. We are very interested in hearing how this turns out for you, and your experience can help others who are struggling with debt collectors.

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