I lived in Norway for 13 years, took out a personal unsecured loan in the amount of $25,000. I took the loan out in 2001 in Trondheim, Norway. I became ill and moved back to the States in August 2002. I quit paying the monthly payment in Nov. 2001. In March 2010 I received notice that the bank was taking me to court in Norway. I received notice March 2011 that a Norwegian judgement had been placed on me. This past Friday I received a letter from a collection agency here in the states stating that they will attempt to collect this judgement which has grown to $50,000.00.
My questions is, is this considered a debt that is too old? My second questions is, I am in the process of selling my home in North Carolina, the state I have resided in since Aug 2002. What are my rights? I have been told that if they take me to court here in NC that I would be able to keep $35,000 of the equity in my home in order to buy another home, is that true, also, I live on social security and a pension from my deceased husband. Can they touch my income? Thank you
I find it hard to believe they will actually go through all the effort of trying to collect in North Carolina. North Carolina has no law to allow them to garnish your wages but then again your income is protected since it is social security and a pension.
You may want to talk to a registered investment advisor and deposit any proceeds from the sale of your home into a retirement account. This might protect that income from the creditor since the worst case scenario is if they did try to enforce the judgment, which I still doubt they will, your proceeds and income would be off limits.
When you speak to the investment advisor let them know you will need to get to the income if you need it.
I spoke to North Carolina attorney Michael Dye about your situation. Here is what he said:
Since the judgment is now being handled by a debt collector, the best thing she can do is contact a consumer advocate attorney. The debt collector is subject to the FDCPA and other consumer protection laws available here.
The United States isn’t a party to The Hague Convention on Foreign Judgments. Neither is Norway. The Hague Convention on foreign judgments is a multilateral treaty which neither soveriegn is a part of so now we look to unilateral treaties. I haven’t found one between Norway & the US on civil judgments.
You may want to contact the attorney that helped me out on this answer for additional assistance. Contact:
Michael Dye, Esq.
The Law Offices of Dye & Weatherly, PLLC
19 W Hargett St
Raleigh, North Carolina 27601
Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.