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Home > Reader Questions > I Owned a Car and Gave It to My Sister. She Totaled It. Creditor Wants Fines. – Johana

I Owned a Car and Gave It to My Sister. She Totaled It. Creditor Wants Fines. – Johana

I owned a car in oregon from 1997-2003, after which I gave said car to my sister and then she totaled it in 2005.

This morning I opened a letter, a creditor is asking me to pay 1600 in fines from 2002 on this car. It seems to me that this has exceeded any statute of limitations for either Oregon or California (the state in which I live now). What should I do? I feel that I am being targeted by a scavenger creditor.

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I Owned a Car and Gave It to My Sister. She Totaled It. Creditor Wants Fines. - Johana by

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  • DCS54B

    If I were you, I would double-check the statute of limitations just to be sure you have them correct….normally they range from 4-7 years depending on the type of debt / account and the State in which you reside. Once you confim that the statute of limitations has expired, I would send a drop dead response to the Creditor in writing with a return receipt / delivery confirmation that states that this debt is well outside of the SOL and that any firther attempt on their part to contact you will result in you filing an action against them for their violation of the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act). I would also make sure that since this has now popped up, that you monitor your credit report to ensure that they do not attempt to put any derrogatory marks on it. The SOL typically begins around 30 days from the 1st delinquency. If they are claiming the date on these fines is 2002, you should not have anything to worry about. That said, these people are sleezy so make sure you protect yourself and monitor your credit carefully. Also, keep copies of any letters or communications you send to them along with the return receipts that will be returned to you in the mail. Good luck!

  • MysticHeart44

    Johana

    You stated that you “gave” the car to your sister. Did you remember to fill out a transer of ownship form for DMV?  or the Release of Liability that YOU file with dmv in case your sister doesnt do it.. this way it clears you from any damages or fines that may occur on the vehicle, and should go into your sisters name.  Might want to get an attorney for this one.

  • David

    Seems like you really ought to talk to your sister.

  • Nelsa6

    I agreed with you it could be a scam.  My husband is still geting bills from companies for transaction done over ten years ago.  I would disregard and make sure its not still on your credit report.  It appears tat it has exceeded the statute of limitations. Every state law is different, so please check your State Statue of limitations as well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/22Marts Martin Pabian

    More information is needed.  What do you mean by “gave” your sister your car.  Did she register it in her name and have insurance in her name?  Did you just give it to her and she maintained insurance on it, or neither of the options – maintained registration and insurance in your name, and she just drove it?

    What’s the deal with totalling the car?  Was she charged criminally in it?  Seems to be insurance should cover whatever she damaged, etc, up to policy limits.

    Was there still an outstanding note on the car when you gave her the car?  What creditor is looking to collect?

  • Mike Sullivan

    Johana,

    You mention the word “fines” and often state laws provide for extensive or unlimited time to collect government debt, unlike consumer debt. You would need to talk with an attorney to find out more about the laws in the state where the fines were incurred but do not be surprised if the debt is still collectible.

    Of course you should not pay if the fines were not against you personally or were resolved previously. If, however, these were legitimate fines such as speeding tickets that went unpaid you may well be on the hook.

    Good Luck!

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