My boyfriend bought a car in DE nearly 7 years ago. The car was repossessed and sold. They obtained a judgement for $7866.42 - it was a default judgement, as he was not notified of the proceedings. It was obtained 6/15/06.
We have been in contact with the company to ensure that all the data we have is correct. One of their representatives, Todd Brister, flat out refused to provide me with information about the loan and car. We were able to obtain information from the original dealership, which the original cost of the car was $9663 before tax, title, and license, and value of the trade-in. According to the dealership, $500 was provided as a down payment and 14 payments of $281.72 were made before the car was 'voluntarily surrendered' on 4/5/06. Putting the math together, the loan was for approximately $7866.42 (this the 'original amount of judgement'). Let's estimate high on the interest rate at 15% - by 6/06 the loan would not have been more than $5700. Coastal Credit claims that the loan was $13,522.56 and the 'original' loan amount is not present.
The paperwork we received in the mail shows that the judgement was for $7866.42 - $3680.91 (total credits) = $4280.55 - which is dated 6/15/2006. The car was sold for $3800 on 6/14/2006. This number does not show up anywhere on the documents. From my understanding, the amount that the car was sold for after it was repossessed should have been deducted from the amount that he still owed - ending up in this case that he should have owed less than $500. Recently, which is why we received documentation and became aware of this, Coastal Credit renewed that judgement, to which interest was added, totaling that judgement over $10,000. Sleezy businesses should not be allowed to get away with practices like this.
In the last 7 years, this company has not tried to collect on the judgement. They have not even notified him that it had been obtained, or that money was owed. Now that he is living in Texas with a job that pays well, they are garnishing his wages. Due to the laws in DE, the 'normal' seven year statute on debt is not applicable. Because Coastal Credit obtained a judgement, and has judicially renewed it throughout the years, the debt is still owed and will not just 'drop off.' Provided they continue to renew the judgement, this debt could be alive indefinitely.
I have filled out the proper forms to vacate the judgement, which was accepted by the court, but we are told that someone will have to be present at the hearing. We have contacted lawyers in the area, but they all state that it will be $5k + to have someone represent us in this matter.
I understand that legal fees can be expensive, and that sometimes it is necessary for one to go to court, but this seems unfair. We have even contacted the Attorney General in DE, but we were only referred to a legal help line. The fact that Coastal Credit did not inform the court that the car was sold for $3800, and is still attempting to collect (and is currently getting garnishing his wages) for a debt that they are not legally owed seems like it should be fraud, and we should not have to pay a lawyer or take days off and fly half way across the country to be in court ourselves for this to be resolved.
Coastal Credit needs to inform the court that the judgement has been fulfilled, and no more money is owed, so that the hearing to vacate the judgement is not necessary. They have already garnished enough money to fulfill the amount that was owed after the sale of the car. They are not entitled to money that is ordered under fraudulent circumstances.