Old International Student Loans

International Dilemma: I owe the Swedish government for my student loans. Do I still have to pay?

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Tackling legal challenges can get a bit precarious when they are international. There are many factors to take into consideration, like the laws of that foreign country and how they translate into the U.S., statute of limitations and the validity of the actual debt in question.

Collecting the Debt

This debt is over 15 years old, and no payments have been made on it. We will discuss the legal obligation to pay in this post, only, and not the moral obligations of payment. In this case, the creditor would have 2 choice- to sue in Sweden to enforce the debt and then domesticate the judgment here under the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act, or sue here. As long as the underlying judgment is valid in Sweden, the Swedish creditor could move to domesticate the judgment. The Swedish government would, however, need a court order to legally enforce this judgment in the U.S.

Follow the Rules

Though the Swedish government may be able to domesticate this judgment, the collectors for the loan still have to follow all of the rules of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), including time to bring a suit, avoiding abuse, false statements or unfair actions. They would also need to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, as this debt is too old to include on your credit report; it is 15 years old and past the statute of limitations for credit reporting.

Questions

There are still many questions to be answered on the validity of this debt as we are unsure of the statute of limitations on student loans in Sweden. It is possible that this debt is invalid, if in fact, the Swedish statute of limitations has passed. However, if this debt is valid and the Swedish statute of limitations has not expired, the creditor can sue in the U.S. They cannot, however, garnish your wages without a judgment because it is not a U.S. Federal student loan.

A consumer protection lawyer can help sort out the details of this case.

KCLS LIMITS THE GEOGRAPHY IN WHICH WE TAKE CASES.
YOU MUST BE A VIRGINIA RESIDENT.

OUR FEES: Our fees are controlled by the local rules and your situation. They may vary from “free” or probono representation to a flat fee to an hourly fee, depending on your situation.

If you are not a Virginia Resident, click here to find a lawyer near you.

Contact us by e-mail or by telephone or fax or US Mail.
You can call us: 804.592.0792
You can fax us: 804.234.1159
You can contact us by US MAIL:
Krumbein Consumer Legal Services, Inc.
1650 Willow Lawn Drive
Suite 201
Richmond, VA 23230

Old debt with new Garnishment?

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Old debt with a new garnishment?

A number of people have asked how long a creditor can issue a garnishment on an old debt.

WHAT IS A GARNISHMENT?

A garnishment is a court order for a third party to turn over property that belongs to the debtor to the creditor.
What does that mean in English? Someone else is holding something that belongs to you, like for example a bank holds your money, or an employer holds wages that are owed to you. A court orders that the bank or the employer pays some or all of the money that is owed to you to the creditor.

But there is a requirement that the creditor have a judgment. A garnishment is a secondary proceeding or order after the judge lowers the hammer and says that you owe the money.

Once there is a judgment, the creditor is in control. They can do lots of things. They can request a garnishment to be issued by the court, or levy against assets, attach cars, houses. But they can attach wages or bank accounts.

The judgment has its own statute of limitations. A judgment in General District Court is good for 10 years, renewable for 10. If the judgment is recorded in Circuit Court, or originates in Circuit Court, it is good for 20 years.

But all this assumes that the judgment is valid.

How do you know if the judgment is valid? There are a number of issues,

1- Was the judgment served or did you get notice that it was pending? In Virginia, you do not need to be “served” by a process server, service is done by “nail and mail” service. They attach a copy to the front door of your last known address, and mail a copy, regular mail to your last known address.
2- Are you the named defendant? Did they sue you or someone with a similar name?
3- Was the debt within the statute of limitations?
4- Do you have a defense to the claim?

Only after you have reviewed all the factors, can you go back and attack a judgment.

What can you do with a garnishment?

There are 4 options with garnishments.

1- You can do nothing, and let the creditor collect their money through the garnishment.
2- You can try to negotiate with the creditor and either settle the debt or make payments that are better for you.
3- You can get the evidence that allows you to attack the underlying judgment, and “un-do” the judgment, and fight the debt.
4- You can always file Bankruptcy.

KCLS LIMITS THE GEOGRAPHY IN WHICH WE TAKE CASES.
YOU MUST BE A VIRGINIA RESIDENT.

OUR FEES: Our fees are controlled by the local rules and your situation. They may vary from “free” or probono representation to a flat fee to an hourly fee, depending on your situation.

If you are not a Virginia Resident, click here to find a lawyer near you.

Contact us by e-mail or by telephone or fax or US Mail.
You can call us: 804.303.0204
You can fax us: 804.303.0209
You can contact us by US MAIL:
Krumbein Consumer Legal Services, Inc.
5310 Markel Rd.
Suite 102
Richmond, VA 23230

Nations Largest Debt Settler Gets BUSTED

DEBT SETTLERS ARE BAD FOR YOU.  DEBT MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS ARE DEBT SETTLEMENT IN DISGUISE.

All references to code sections are courtesy of the Legislative Information System of Virginia, and are provided by leg1.state.va.us.

Debt Management and Debt Settlement is regulated by the Virginia Bureau of Financial Institutions.

Recently, the Oregon Attorney General cracked down on Credit Solutions of America, a debt settler based in Texas.  You can read the story here.

In that story, you will find that CSA has been scamming Oregon consumers for some time. They charge substantial upfront fees and encourage people to default on credit cards so they can afford the upfront fees.

This is also illegal in Virginia, however, the Virginia Attorney General has not yet come down on CSA.

Remember that with debt settlement, there is NO GUARANTEE that it will work.  KCLS does not settle debts, though we have been known to settle lawsuits.

Debt settlers promise that they can settled your debts.  There is no way to promise that truthfully.   No one can promise that a debt will be settled with a creditor, collector, or lawfirm.  There are only 2 ways to not pay for sure 1- Bankruptcy, and 2- win the collection lawsuit.

You can win a collections lawsuit because you do not owe the debt- ie: not yours, or billing errors.

You can win a collection lawsuit for technical reasons- ie: statute of limitations, hearsay, or other evidence problems.

You can also lose a collections lawsuit, even with a debt that is beyond the statute of limitations, with testimony that is based on hearsay, filled with billing errors, where the judge does not follow the law, or the rules of procedure or the rules of evidence.  Even good lawyers can lose in these circumstances.

The most important thing to know is that if you do not try to defend, you cannot win.  You must show up.  Most debt settlers try to settle the debt from afar.  They try to settle, while the collector proceeds to obtain judgment.

There are also some creditors and debt collectors that will not negotiate, and worse yet, when they understand that you have hired a debt settler, will sue, almost immediately, for the simple reason that they believe that the first one to sue will be one of the few to collect anything.  The truth is that this is a self-fulfilling prophesy.

In summary, beware of debt settlers, it is very hard for them to comply with all of the provisions of the Virginia Credit Counseling Act (VCCA), Virginia Code Sections 6.1-363.2 through 6.1-363.26.  Violations of the VCCA can be enforced by consumers who have been duped, pursuant to the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (VCPA), as VCCA specifies at Section 6.1-363.26 that any violation of VCCA is a violation of Section 59.1-200 of the VCPA.

If you have been impacted by anything we mentioned here, you can make an appointment to see us.

NO FEE IN YOUR VCCA/VCPA CASE UNLESS WE RECOVER!!

KCLS LIMITS THE GEOGRAPHY IN WHICH WE TAKE CASES.

YOU MUST BE A VIRGINIA RESIDENT.

If you are not a Virginia Resident, click here to find a lawyer near you.

OUR LEGAL FEES:

The rights afforded to you, as a consumer, under the Virginia Credit Counseling Act and the Virginia Consumer Protection Act means that a corporation or party who has violated your rights may ultimately be made to pay for statutory damages, actual damages, and your legal fees. Therefore, if we agree to represent you in any case, you won’t pay any attorney’s fees unless we are successful and we recover on your behalf. We are here to serve and have assisted many consumers TO enforce their legal rights. Let us try and see if we can help you too. That means you pay no fee in your case unless we recover.

Contact us by e-mail or by telephone or fax or US Mail.

You can call us: 804.673.4358

You can fax us: 804.673.4350

You can contact us by US MAIL:

Krumbein Consumer Legal Services, Inc.

1650 Willow Lawn Drive

Suite 300

Richmond, VA 23230

Debt Settlement and Debt Management in Virginia

DEBT SETTLERS ARE BAD FOR YOU.  DEBT MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS ARE DEBT SETTLEMENT IN DISGUISE.

All references to code sections are courtesy of the Legislative Information System of Virginia, and are provided by leg1.state.va.us.

Debt Management and Debt Settlement is regulated by the Virginia Bureau of Financial Institutions. Debt settlers often use the tactic of telling you that you can settle your debts for less than you owe.  The new tactic is to claim that the Obama Administration has passed a new law that says that you have the right to settle your debts for less than the full amount owed.

THIS IS FALSE INFORMATION.

You can settle, but you do not have a RIGHT to settle.  Some, but not all, credit card companies will settle for less than the full amount owed because the options for them are a total loss, or a partial settlement.

The Debt Settlers may also tell you that settling your debts through them can improve your credit score.

THIS IS FALSE INFORMATION.

A settled debt is reported as status 7, settled for less than full value.  This is HIGHLY damaging to your credit report.

But what they also don’t tell you is that just being IN a debt settlement plan lowers your score almost as much as filing for Bankruptcy.

The Debt Settlers may also tell you that they can get a creditor or debt collector to leave you alone- stop calling, stop writing, stop suing.

THIS IS FALSE INFORMATION.

Virginia law has very little protections from creditors.

Under Virginia law, a creditor can call during hours prohibited to debt collectors under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (8am to 9pm).

Under Virginia law, a creditor can contact third parties, like family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers, and tell them about your debts, even though a debt collector is prohibited under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Under Virginia law, a creditor can contact you, even though they know you are represented by counsel, even though a debt collector is prohibited by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Under Virginia law, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, almost nothing can stop a suit from being filed by either a creditor or a debt collector.

Under Virginia law, once the suit is filed, only an attorney can defend a lawsuit, and stand a chance of dealing with a creditor or debt collector in court.

Debt settlers and debt management plans do not have attorneys on staff to deal with violations of law under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, to defend consumers who are being sued, and to protect your rights.

ONLY AN ATTORNEY LICENSED IN VIRGINIA CAN STOP THESE ACTIONS IN VIRGINIA.

But when the debt settlers tell you that they can, they may be violating the Virginia Credit Counseling Act (VCCA), Virginia Code Sections 6.1-363.2 through 6.1-363.26.  Violations of the VCCA can be enforced by consumers who have been duped, pursuant to the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (VCPA), as VCCA specifies at Section 6.1-363.26 that any violation of VCCA is a violation of Section 59.1-200 of the VCPA.

If you have been impacted by anything we mentioned here, you can make an appointment to see us.

KCLS LIMITS THE GEOGRAPHY IN WHICH WE TAKE CASES.

YOU MUST BE A VIRGINIA RESIDENT.

If you are not a Virginia Resident, click here to find a lawyer near you.

NO FEE IN YOUR VCCA/VCPA CASE UNLESS WE RECOVER!!

OUR LEGAL FEES:

The rights afforded to you, as a consumer, under the Virginia Credit Counseling Act and the Virginia Consumer Protection Act means that a corporation or party who has violated your rights may ultimately be made to pay for statutory damages, actual damages, and your legal fees. Therefore, if we agree to represent you in any case, you won’t pay any attorney’s fees unless we are successful and we recover on your behalf. We are here to serve and have assisted many consumers TO enforce their legal rights. Let us try and see if we can help you too. That means you pay no fee in your case unless we recover.

Contact us by e-mail or by telephone or fax or US Mail.
You can call us: 804.303.0204
You can fax us: 804.303.0209
You can contact us by US MAIL:
Krumbein Consumer Legal Services, Inc.
5310 Markel Rd.
Suite 102
Richmond, VA 23230