Hi Guys, I have a question. I have learned a lot from this group and yesterday, I had a phone call out of the blue…. We recently filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy and we are on a very strict budget. I have been getting everything paid in full that was left out of the bankruptcy….
Anyway, I get this phone call from a collection agency that says I have an outstanding ticket from 1991 when I lived in California. I don’t even remember this at all…they claim I was also ticketed for being an unlicensed driver!? I have never NOT had a license, so I’m not sure what this is all about. They wanted a credit card to pay it off. I thought this sounded fishy, so I said, “No, I need to call the DMV in California and see if this is for real or not!” This is almost 20 years old! So I called and they said yes, I had a ticket and that it was out of their hands now. That it had been turned over to a collection agency. I was trying to protest, as I don’t believe this is really a ticket that I got!! Again, she said there was nothing they could do and that I had to deal with the collection agency! Does anyone have any advice??? I don’t want this on my credit now and my husband said we are not paying the $580.something they say I owe! What do I do?
First thing you should do is call the DMV back and get a copy of the driving record. It will show the date and time of the ticket/violation. Once you see when and where the ticket was issued start then you may have something to work with. Call them back and ask to speak to a supervisor or manager if you believe its not you. Offer them $58 (10%) to settle this item conditional that no derrogatory statements are applied to any credit reporting agency. Any settlement must be in writing and signed by a confirmed authorized representative of the collection firm. It’s really unlikely they will take any legal action for this small amount so you are really in the drivers seat as to payment. Just stay firm with your offer and if they are harassing you by phone, get their mailing address and sent them a decease letter with return receipt. If they violate this, threaten to sue them in court. They’ll likely settle. Just be tough.
Do some research and see if traffic tickets have a satute of limitations. If they do, this 20 years far exceeds the time limit. The traffic ticket won’t even stay on your driving record for more than 3 years, so I don’t know how they can collect on it.