I am being sued for an old car balance on a repossessed car
Don’t Ignore the Lawsuit! File an Answer in the Court You Are Sued!
Check to See if the Statute of Limitations Has Passed
Georgia Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection
Many consumers in the state of Georgia are dealing with unpaid credit card bills, medical bills, and other unpaid loans. When debts go unpaid for a long period of time, creditors may decide to institute a lawsuit against the consumer so that the creditor can obtain a judgment. A judgment provides the ability to collect money involuntarily through wage garnishments or seizures of bank accounts or other property.
A debtor being sued by a creditor should be informed of the statute of limitations for a breach of contract action. That’s because most lawsuits for the collection of debts are considered breach of contract cases. In Georgia, written contracts have a statute of limitations period of 6 years from the time in which the debt becomes due and payable and the period runs from the date of last payment (OCGA 9-3-24). On the contrary an open account, implied promise or undertaking has a statute of limitation of only 4 years (OCGA 9-3-25). Prior to entering into an agreement to pay off a debt, a consumer should ensure the debt is actually still due and payable.
Check to See If You Were Propertly Notifed About the Deficiency Balance
When a motor vehicle has been repossessed after default in accordance with Part 5 of Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, the secured party may not recover a deficiency against buyer unless, within ten days after repossession, he forwards by registered or certified mail to address of buyer shown on contract or later designated by buyer, a notice of the intention of secured party to pursue a deficiency claim against buyer. The notice must also advise buyer of right of redemption, and right to demand a public sale of repossessed vehicle.
In event buyer exercises right to demand a public sale, he must advise holder in writing of election by registered or certified mail, addressed to holder at address from which holder’s notice emanated, within ten days after the posting of the original notice. With election by buyer, holder must dispose of vehicle at a public sale as provided by law, in the state and county where original sale took place, or state and county where vehicle was repossessed, or state and county of buyer’s residence, at holder’s election. This provides cumulative additional rights and remedies to the Uniform Commercial Code Provisions which must be fulfilled before deficiency claim will lie against a buyer.
File Bankrupty to Stop the Lawsuit and Wipe Out the Debt
If you are overwhelmed by credit card debt, past-due medical bills, and other crushing expenses, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be a way for you to get some relief from creditors and start fresh with your finances. A skillful Atlanta bankruptcy attorney can advise individuals and businesses alike on whether Chapter 7 may be the right choice for them if filing here in Georgia.
In order to file for Chapter 7, you must meet some requirements.
- You Have Not Filed a Chapter 7 in the Last 8 Years: You are only able to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy every 8 years from the date of filing. If you don’t meet this requirement though you can still file a chapter 13 bankruptcy and may be eligible to discharge your debt at less than 100%.
- You Have Fulfilled the Credit Counseling Requirement: A Chapter 7 debtor must file with the bankruptcy court a pre-filing certificate at least 180 days prior to filing for Chapter 7.
- Your Normal Monthly Income: After your reasonable expenses are deducted from your household income you have very little disposable income left over.
- You Pass the “Mean Test”: With the enactment of the Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (“BAPCA”), bankruptcy debtors are now required to pass a “means test” in order to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In order to pass the means test, you must have little or no disposable income. The means test compares your average monthly income for the six-month period preceding your bankruptcy against the median income of a similar household in your state. If your income is below the median, you automatically qualify. You can check your income at this link to see if you pass: MEANS TEST CALCULATOR. Don’t worry if you don’t “pass” the initial test. If your income is above median, you will be required to complete the entire means test form instead of qualifying just based on your income. An experience bankruptcy attorney can walk you through this process and guide you on what is and is not permitted in the district you are filing in.