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Civil Debt Questions

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Frequent Contributor

Civil Debt Questions

Hello board,

 

I have spent the last 8 months repairing my credit. I went from 400s to 700s (identity theft), just closed on my home 2 weeks ago, and actually have credit cards now. It's been pretty awesome. I am finally sitting on clean reports, just a s*&^ ton of inquiries and all accounts have been opened in the last 8 months. I am officially in the garden. TLDR; won a lawsuit, now need to collect. What would you do?

 

Backstory - When I was trying to purchase a house with owner financing back at the beginning of the year, I got caught up in the owner committing mortgage fraud and I lost my earnest money deposit. The owner and I were under contract (me without a RE agent of course) and I was told that someone came in and made a ridiculous cash offer, so he was going to go with that buyer. I said OK, just give me my deposit back and we will move along. It had gotten fishy anyways, with the owner refusing to give valid title company information, etc. Well, when I went to the bank the check was written on, the check written to me for the refund was rejected by the bank as 'signature not matching and insufficient funds'. The police refused to do anything but take a report, they said it was a civil matter. I had already lawyered up at this point, so I just had my lawyer do the standard demands, and it ended up in court with me winning a judgement for the state maximum. I still lost 70% of the money, but at least there's SOMETHING legally owed to me.

 

Here's where the mortgage fraud comes in - the owner never intended on selling the house to me. He was in the process of buying another home, and was using this 'deal' to satisy the new mortgage company. I went back and searched Craigslist and other local ads for this house, and sure enough he has been advertising the place for weekly rental since we were under contract. I had a friend send a message in response to a couple of the ads while I was under contract, and sure enough the guy was trying to rent the property by week as a vacation home.

 

So, I now have a judgement against the guy. My lawyer had filed for suit before the guy closed on his house (hello, are you party to a lawsuit question?!). We won the suit shortly after he closed. When I sent a letter politely demanding my money, with a copy of the judgement, he said he had a lawyer and to not contact him again. I contacted the lawyer in question, and I was told he had no idea who this guy was and he is definitely not representing him. This guy contacted my lawyer and said he had video of us trying to break into the house, etc., which is crazy talk... he's just all around a scam artist.

 

**** Question here **** How long does it usually take a judgement to show on a credit report? What would you do to get your money back? A lot of us have been on the other side, fighting judgements or otherwise dealing with owing them, but what do you do when you are the creditor? Would you report this jerk for mortgage fraud, or would you just let it go?

My Cards: NFCU Cash Rewards 4.6k; Ashley Furniture 7k; Lowes 2.45k; Home Furnishings 2k; Amazon 1.5k, Guitar Center 1.5k; Discover It 2k; Local CU 1k; CapOne Quicksilver Platinum 1.3k; CreditOne Platinum 900; Sears Citi 5.75k; Total 30k credit. 2 TMCC Auto loans @ 5.09%; and a mortgage!
Message 1 of 6
5 REPLIES 5
Frequent Contributor

Re: Civil Debt Questions

I can't answer your question but...I've had a satisfied judgement that I paid 8 K in April off, and now it's nearly October without EQ updating,  as "paid or satisfied " ! So, these.."furnishers of information "...or so called, take their sweet time in getting satisfied ones updated but I'm not sure how quickly they can put one on ! 

This is for an experienced FICO 'er ! 

 

Good luck!  

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Message 2 of 6
Frequent Contributor

Re: Civil Debt Questions

Thanks Cut. I figured it took forever. 

My Cards: NFCU Cash Rewards 4.6k; Ashley Furniture 7k; Lowes 2.45k; Home Furnishings 2k; Amazon 1.5k, Guitar Center 1.5k; Discover It 2k; Local CU 1k; CapOne Quicksilver Platinum 1.3k; CreditOne Platinum 900; Sears Citi 5.75k; Total 30k credit. 2 TMCC Auto loans @ 5.09%; and a mortgage!
Message 3 of 6
Moderator Emerita

Re: Civil Debt Questions

I would do a couple of things if I were in your shoes:

  1. File a mortgage fraud report on the guy
  2. Get a decent collections agency to collect on the judgment you have already or let it ride until he sells his current home or refinances. 

First, check with your attorney to see if your judgment attaches to his home that he just closed on. In my state, they do but I don't know where you are located. Let's say it does attach and you decide to let it accrue interest until he refinances or sells the home he just purchased. If he sells in 5 years - you get your full judgment paid + the statutory interest which is higher than any bank account type interest. You win. However, if he loses the house, it would be another story. Have your attorney give you the details for your state. 

 

Check your statutes to see how long the judgment is good and then renew it accordingly if not paid off. 

 

Some of these judgments can get to be very high.

Message 4 of 6
Regular Contributor

Re: Civil Debt Questions

It's probably a dead end, but you know where he has (had?) a bank account. Have you explored trying to garnish the account?

Message 5 of 6
Frequent Contributor

Re: Civil Debt Questions

Thanks again everyone. We have some information on his bank accounts, but they are business accounts, not personal. We are not sure that we can attach non-personal accounts. We are trying to figure out how to find his accounts. I was looking into collection agents, but they want to charge 40-60% to collect, which is totally not worth it, considering I already lost 70% of my down payment due to stupid civil limits. I would get $1500 out of over $10000 if I hired a collection agent.

 

I am pretty sure he is hiding behind these business accounts, as we went to go talk to his personal bank that we knew about (where we deposited the earnest money), and his account was closed with none re-opened. Both sides (him and myself) have also left the state, so I need to figure out how to attach a bank account in another state on a judgement from yet another state. To make this all worse, as soon as I won the judgement, my attorney quit, saying he was venturing into another area of law and couldn't adequately handle my case anymore. The person he referred me to has not once returned my calls.

 

It's a pickle, for sure.

My Cards: NFCU Cash Rewards 4.6k; Ashley Furniture 7k; Lowes 2.45k; Home Furnishings 2k; Amazon 1.5k, Guitar Center 1.5k; Discover It 2k; Local CU 1k; CapOne Quicksilver Platinum 1.3k; CreditOne Platinum 900; Sears Citi 5.75k; Total 30k credit. 2 TMCC Auto loans @ 5.09%; and a mortgage!
Message 6 of 6
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