Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
UnLearnYourself
Posts: 140
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:19 pm

Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by UnLearnYourself » Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:01 pm

Not sure if this is the right forum, but figured I'd see what insight I can gather here.

My wife had to bring a used car dealer to small claims court, and won a $7,000 judgement for a vehicle that had a falsified safety inspection among a host of other issues that weren't discovered till she got the vehicle. We are not out to screw them, so despite the fact that we are not legally obligated to do so, we have told them we will return the vehicle to them upon settlement of the judgement $$, so they can repair and resell it and recoup their loss. Our judgement does not require us to do that.

Now they are saying they don't have the $$ to pay us and need to sell the vehicle in order to get it. Obviously we will not be signing the title over to them in order to assist the sale and repayment. But we are open to some form of consignment, where the vehicle is put on their lot, sold, and when we get the $$ we can sign the title over.

Is anybody aware of such an arrangement? Or if there's a lock tight agreement we could create to facilitate such a transaction?

It's a DBA, but it doesn't look like they own a home, the building or land their business is conducted in, or any of the vehicles on their lot (they seems to do all consignment sales where original owner holds the title until the sale is complete...and they must make only a small margin on each sale).

armeliusc
Posts: 312
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:40 am

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by armeliusc » Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:10 pm

If it were I, I would just strictly follow the court decision and not make things more complicated (for yourself). If the court judgment is for them to pay you some dollar amount and nothing else, then just hold them to that. How they want to get that money is not your problem.

Then sell the car elsewhere, or at least as a separate transaction. If you want instead to just give it back to them after settlement, fine. But I wouldn't mix the two 'transactions'.

I know that it seems you're trying to be nice and all, but it seems that they didn't act in good faith from the get go. What would make you think they will now? Plus it's more trouble to you (on top of what obviously been a troublesome transaction).

AC

DiMAn0684
Posts: 125
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:27 am

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by DiMAn0684 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:19 pm

I am with AC, it's really up to the dealer to figure out how to re-pay you.

jminv
Posts: 893
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:58 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by jminv » Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:23 pm

UnLearnYourself wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:01 pm
My wife had to bring a used car dealer to small claims court, and won a $7,000 judgement for a vehicle that had a falsified safety inspection among a host of other issues that weren't discovered till she got the vehicle. We are not out to screw them, so despite the fact that we are not legally obligated to do so, we have told them we will return the vehicle to them upon settlement of the judgement $$, so they can repair and resell it and recoup their loss. Our judgement does not require us to do that.

It's a DBA, but it doesn't look like they own a home, the building or land their business is conducted in, or any of the vehicles on their lot (they seems to do all consignment sales where original owner holds the title until the sale is complete...and they must make only a small margin on each sale).
It sounds like they were actually out to take advantage of you, so why would you want to be nice? The dealer must be using a bank account for the business, presumably you know the details since you have a cancelled check from the transaction. You could try to get an order for a bank levy.

If they don't have the money to pay the judgement, how would they have the money to pay to fix the car to resell it? That's presumably what the 7k is for? So if he can't pay 7k now, he can't pay 7k to fix up a car in order to sell it. What will happen is that he will use the same tactics he used on you to rip someone else off to repay you. I'd look at some other ways to collect.

Topic Author
UnLearnYourself
Posts: 140
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:19 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by UnLearnYourself » Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:26 pm

I hear you. But when they say "we don't have the [(removed) --admin LadyGeek] money," then what?

If the money simply isn't there, the burdon is actually on US not on the court or the dealer to figure out how to pay/collect. Seems like a twisted system, but this appears to be the case.

So the vehicle consignment angle is dual purpose - 1, help to get our money back faster, and 2, helps us sleep well at night since our goal was never to screw them. It was always to give them the vehicle back, get our money back, and go our separate ways.

Topic Author
UnLearnYourself
Posts: 140
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:19 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by UnLearnYourself » Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:27 pm

jminv wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:23 pm
UnLearnYourself wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:01 pm
My wife had to bring a used car dealer to small claims court, and won a $7,000 judgement for a vehicle that had a falsified safety inspection among a host of other issues that weren't discovered till she got the vehicle. We are not out to screw them, so despite the fact that we are not legally obligated to do so, we have told them we will return the vehicle to them upon settlement of the judgement $$, so they can repair and resell it and recoup their loss. Our judgement does not require us to do that.

It's a DBA, but it doesn't look like they own a home, the building or land their business is conducted in, or any of the vehicles on their lot (they seems to do all consignment sales where original owner holds the title until the sale is complete...and they must make only a small margin on each sale).
It sounds like they were actually out to take advantage of you, so why would you want to be nice? The dealer must be using a bank account for the business, presumably you know the details since you have a cancelled check from the transaction. You could try to get an order for a bank levy.

If they don't have the money to pay the judgement, how would they have the money to pay to fix the car to resell it? That's presumably what the 7k is for? So if he can't pay 7k now, he can't pay 7k to fix up a car in order to sell it. What will happen is that he will use the same tactics he used on you to rip someone else off to repay you. I'd look at some other ways to collect.
$7k is what we paid for the vehicle. It just so happens to be the max judgement in MA small claims.

cheezit
Posts: 213
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:28 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by cheezit » Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:32 pm

Follow the judgement to the letter. A dealer that is falsifying safety inspections is screwing a whole lot of people, and also isn't hurting for cash - most likely buying crash cars at near-junk prices, paying mechanics peanuts and doing as little as possible to make them *seem* roadworthy, then flipping them for something below KBB value for a non-crash car at a large profit. I have seen this first-hand at a dealer in my state.

If they claim they have no money, pursue either a lien or garnishment or whatever other remedy is available to you. You will likely be surprised at how quickly they suddenly discover they have money, and beisdes, would you feel good about having been a "nice person" if they were to defraud another customer about a safety issue, and that customer then died when their unsafe vehicle was involved in a collision? Because nobody fudges *one* inspection.

Also, file a BBB complaint.

renue74
Posts: 1581
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:24 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by renue74 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:33 pm

If somebody owes me $, I don't really care how they come up with it. I have tenants who give me excuses. I have clients who give me excuses. I don't really care. If you can't pay me what you have to, we're going to the next level of me getting my money. I've heard every excuse known to man.

This company probably has a timeline for paying by X date. If you they don't, then you move on what the next way to get your money based on the court system. Whether that be liquidation of assets or litigation against the owner's personal accounts. IDK.

But, I wouldn't be talking to the company. They will only make excuses.

rooms222
Posts: 392
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:12 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by rooms222 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:04 pm

Hire an attorney to collect on contingency and then sell the car to make yourself whole.

Topic Author
UnLearnYourself
Posts: 140
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:19 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by UnLearnYourself » Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:28 pm

rooms222 wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:04 pm
Hire an attorney to collect on contingency and then sell the car to make yourself whole.
How does that work? They only get paid once judgement is collected?

FRANK2009
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2007 6:16 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by FRANK2009 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:37 pm

Not an expert by a long shot but in New York, the county sheriff will enforce these types of judgements. The dealer may not have have money now, but surely he has other cars to sell to satisfy the judgement. I would guess that it's the same or similar throughout the country. Surely the dealer saying he doesn't have the money means that's the end and off the hook.

Topic Author
UnLearnYourself
Posts: 140
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:19 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by UnLearnYourself » Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:44 pm

FRANK2009 wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:37 pm
Not an expert by a long shot but in New York, the county sheriff will enforce these types of judgements. The dealer may not have have money now, but surely he has other cars to sell to satisfy the judgement. I would guess that it's the same or similar throughout the country. Surely the dealer saying he doesn't have the money means that's the end and off the hook.
In MA I believe the burdon is on us. So far we have been issued a capias, so the sheriff can basically make an arrest and bring him back to court (of course he did not show up to the court appearance where we were supposed to discuss $$). So once we take that step, perhaps we'll see that the court is willing to take some action.

But as of now I'm under the impression this is all on us. We have the Bank Transfer info from our original $7k payment to him. Maybe there is routing/account info that we can use to levy that account. But if that account is empty, then I'm not sure what's next.

I don't believe they own the building or land the lot is on, I don't believe the guy owns a house. And I don't think they hold the title for the cars on their lot. (My wife rushed this transaction for her small business...I would have sniffed these snakes out and never done business with them). But in any case here we are. Trying to find the cleanest way to settle this and get our money back so we can move on.

whomever
Posts: 858
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:21 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by whomever » Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:55 pm

Googling "how to collect small claims judgment" will get a lot of local info. It probably varies by location, but here's one example:

https://www.sanmateocourt.org/court_div ... gement.php

In general, you can seize bank accounts, or get a deputy to go along to the business to supervise while you load up whatever valuables are there - the office desk, office computer, cars :-), etc. You can sell them to satisfy the judgment. The fee for the deputy is usually added to the amount owed.

In practice, I think, when you show up with the deputy and he/she explains to the debtor that you can leave with their stuff, and sell it for whatever you get on craigslist etc, the debtor remembers they can pay you after all.

Collecting from someone who is 'judgment proof', i.e. has no assets, no bank account, no wages to garnish etc is usually impossible. Collecting from someone who has assets isn't.

Disclaimer: I've never actually done it, but researched it once.

Jags4186
Posts: 3450
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by Jags4186 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:12 pm

One of the easiest ways to levy on a business is have a sheriff go and levy on the cash register. A dealer probably has lots of cash on hand so you probably can get the $7000 out of the registers/on site safe.

J295
Posts: 2054
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:40 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by J295 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:00 pm

For starters, identify and garnish from the business bank account

quantAndHold
Posts: 3438
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by quantAndHold » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:08 pm

If they screwed you over like that, they have screwed over other people, and are probably still doing it. Giving them back the car just gives them the chance to do the same thing to someone else with the same car.

I don’t know how to collect a judgement in MA, but from one friend who did have to collect a judgement in MA...don’t agree to take payments. Because then you will have to sue them for each missed payment.

jminv
Posts: 893
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:58 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by jminv » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:22 pm

UnLearnYourself wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:44 pm

In MA I believe the burdon is on us. So far we have been issued a capias, so the sheriff can basically make an arrest and bring him back to court (of course he did not show up to the court appearance where we were supposed to discuss $$). So once we take that step, perhaps we'll see that the court is willing to take some action.

But as of now I'm under the impression this is all on us. We have the Bank Transfer info from our original $7k payment to him. Maybe there is routing/account info that we can use to levy that account. But if that account is empty, then I'm not sure what's next.

I don't believe they own the building or land the lot is on, I don't believe the guy owns a house. And I don't think they hold the title for the cars on their lot. (My wife rushed this transaction for her small business...I would have sniffed these snakes out and never done business with them). But in any case here we are. Trying to find the cleanest way to settle this and get our money back so we can move on.
Since you're looking for a clean, simple solution you could use an attorney to collect the judgement with their payment to come out of recovered funds. You will still have the vehicle that you can sell yourself so you should come out ahead at the end (7k-contigency fee %+proceeds from car sale).

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 9465
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:33 pm

Whatever you do, do not under any circumstances bring the car to them to "fix" or to sell. If you do and it disappears to a container to Jamaica, you really should not be surprised.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

theplayer11
Posts: 766
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:55 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by theplayer11 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:03 pm

the dealership has the money..they wouldn't be in business if they didn't. Not sure why you want to give these frauds a break when they tried to screw you.

dknightd
Posts: 1656
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:57 am

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by dknightd » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:16 pm

I admit, I do not understand. If they have a court order to pay you the money they have to pay you the money. If the due date passes, and they have not paid you the money, don't you just notify the courts? Is the judgement against the business, or the business owner? It might be more complicated if the business goes away. I know if a court ordered me to pay money I'd pay the money! Send them to jail!

User avatar
8foot7
Posts: 1483
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:29 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by 8foot7 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:29 pm

You have a judgment, so go get the sheriff and seize funds in their bank.

User avatar
snackdog
Posts: 619
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:57 am

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by snackdog » Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:05 pm

Small claims is cheap and easy to file and get heard. It can be very difficult to get paid. You don't have many options. Chances of getting paid can be pretty low.

If the dealer wants to sell the car to settle your claim, go for it. You hold the title. When he gets a buyer, you get the cash directly from the buyer and sign over the title directly to the buyer. No middle man.

btenny
Posts: 5071
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:47 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by btenny » Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:16 pm

Take your claim down to the Sheriffs office and ask him to help you collect. He will look at public records and do some due diligence. Also take your claim and court results to the State Motor Vehicle Division and the car dealers oversight bureau. In Arizona a person can file claim against a car dealer and have the state conduct an investigation. If the state finds fault they will close the dealers and pull his license.

See.

AZDOT.GOV and Office of Inspector General.

Good Luck.

Olemiss540
Posts: 986
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:46 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by Olemiss540 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:03 pm

Return the busted and unsafe vehicle to the dealer so they can resell to the next unsuspecting victim. :confused

Sounds like doing a crooked dealer a favor while putting the screws to the next guy/gal.

Can you fix the vehicle yourself while you seek your funds?
I hold index funds because I do not overestimate my ability to pick stocks OR stock pickers.

fire0216
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:57 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by fire0216 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:30 pm

"The dealer must be using a bank account for the business, presumably you know the details since you have a cancelled check from the transaction. You could try to get an order for a bank levy."

Have a friend give the dealer a small check, say $50, as a deposit for a car. Then take the depositing bank info from the cancelled check to sheriff's office & have the sheriff collect your judgement money from that account. I had similar issue collecting judgement from a brokerage house, their attorney even mocked me by saying "you won the judgement but good luck collecting it"... So I deposited a $50 check into my brokerage acct & then took copy of the cancelled ck to the sheriff's office for collection effort info. Within 2 days the sheriff had locked the brokerage house's checking account and the next day I picked up a bank check for my judgement from the brokerage house. Good luck.

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 16449
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by Watty » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:47 pm

Olemiss540 wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:03 pm
Return the busted and unsafe vehicle to the dealer so they can resell to the next unsuspecting victim. :confused
You are also setting yourself up to get sued when the car is in an "accident" while the dealer has possession of it.

For example someone on a test drive just happens to hit a Mercedes, then you are sued. The Mercedes could very well have already been wrecked but there will be plenty of pictures of your car with it. If they set up some phoney injury accident you could be looking at a lawsuit that is an order of magnitude more.

Selling it to anyone other than a junkyard could also be risky.

Luckywon
Posts: 481
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:33 am

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by Luckywon » Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:38 am

Has anyone here used the Los Angeles County Sheriff to collect a judgement? (I know OP does not live in Los Angeles, this is for my own information.)
Could they share how that went?

mouses
Posts: 3904
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:24 am

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by mouses » Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:51 am

The dealer is a criminal, so stay as uninvolved with him as possible. Have the sheriff handle this. Once you have your money, I think the car should be junked. It seems clearly unsafe for anyone to drive. I think also the appropriate licensing agencies should be made aware of his practices.

Topic Author
UnLearnYourself
Posts: 140
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:19 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by UnLearnYourself » Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:02 am

Lots of great insightful replies! Thanks all.

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 9465
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:12 am

If you are stuck, contact Attorney General Maura Healey's office. A simple call from the AG's office to this dealer might get him moving.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

Mister A
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:17 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by Mister A » Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:19 am

mouses wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:51 am
The dealer is a criminal, so stay as uninvolved with him as possible. Have the sheriff handle this.
Seconded.

OP, does your state allow you to hire a keeper, a sheriff's deputy who will go literally stand at the lot and seize any money that comes in? A uniformed officer standing by the front desk with a gun scaring their customers away has a way of making crooked judgment debtors "find the money" rather quickly.

There's also a possibility of getting a contempt order if he's not cooperating with whatever the judicial process is to force him to reveal his assets in your state.

Another consideration, when we had this experience with a construction contractor, it turned out he was putting all his property and other holdings under his Italian birthname to make it annoying for people to find. That, in addition to rotating through three similar DBAs and a corporate entity, made it appear that he had nothing, when he actually had a very valuable home and several other pieces of real estate.

needadvise1
Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:58 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by needadvise1 » Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:00 pm

Small claims aside, car dealers in many states may be required as a regulatory matter to carry insurance or other indemnity protection against fraudulent actions in the course of the car trade. They may or may not help you, depending on the nature of the fraud, but it's worth a check.

As an alternative; if you wish, you can give them the option that you'll release them from the judgement if they buy back the car up front.

User avatar
aspirit
Posts: 453
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:52 am
Location: SMA.SFL

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by aspirit » Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:32 pm

In MA there are all types of victim restitution/programs. Victim violent crime, victim of xxx. See if theres one for your situation should it be necessary. The advice about the operations insurance might pan out but sounds unlikely.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease, go to "hepmehank" or the like on radio or TV! These operations go belly up on the N.Shore and move to the S.Shore, 7 yrs later their back to the N.Shore having been caught up in similar circumstances on the S.Shore. You've been had. Staying away from this simply increases the odds someone else will be had too. Your call. When someone steals from you w/.gov recognition of it and order of restitution do you take a knee?
Good luck!
Time & tides wait for no one. A man has to know his limitations. | "Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes it's laws" | — Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild ~

michaeljc70
Posts: 5195
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:20 pm

I believe this is a common occurrence. You sue and win, don't get paid. Don't give them the car. You most likely will have to sue them again in order to get the judgement satisfied. It seems like they have something of value (inventory), but it will probably take another court order to seize that. Your best bet, in my opinion, is to try and work out some kind of payment plan to get your money from them as quickly as possible. They don't seem to be completely refusing to pay, so that might work.

Topic Author
UnLearnYourself
Posts: 140
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:19 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by UnLearnYourself » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:35 pm

aspirit wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:32 pm
In MA there are all types of victim restitution/programs. Victim violent crime, victim of xxx. See if theres one for your situation should it be necessary. The advice about the operations insurance might pan out but sounds unlikely.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease, go to "hepmehank" or the like on radio or TV! These operations go belly up on the N.Shore and move to the S.Shore, 7 yrs later their back to the N.Shore having been caught up in similar circumstances on the S.Shore. You've been had. Staying away from this simply increases the odds someone else will be had too. Your call. When someone steals from you w/.gov recognition of it and order of restitution do you take a knee?
Good luck!
What is "hepmehank"? I googled it, and this thread was the only thing that popped up!

This thread has mostly convinced me not to go easy on the guys. This has been pending for MONTHS, with our goodwill offer to put the vehicle back in their hands, and they have shown zero proactive good will back. So I think that offer is now off the table, and we will use the full extent of the legal system to pursue settlement.

MA requires they hold a $25,000 surety bond as part of their licensing? Can that be levied?

My wife paid them via Bank Transfer, so we'll have that document in hand for our next court appearance, and I'm hoping the account and/or routing #s are there to levy as well.

Carl53
Posts: 1793
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:26 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by Carl53 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:46 pm

As I wild guess, I googled HelpMeHank and come up with a TV personality in Boston. Apparently does consumer activism as part of program.

bearwithbear
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:55 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by bearwithbear » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:48 pm

OP,

Hank Phillippi Ryan
WHDH.com
Channel 7 News

Bear

c1over8
Posts: 253
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by c1over8 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:53 pm

Instead of guessing or assuming the debtor has no assets, you should follow your state's procedures for determining the debtor's assets and then for levying on those assets.

In my state, a debtors interrogatory is served to determine the debtor's assets. I'm not familiar with Massachusetts law so Google "collecting a judgment in Massachusetts" and you will find many sources on the specific process. The first Google result indicates that there is a similar discovery process in Massachusetts: https://www.wynnandwynn.com/miscellaneo ... y-damages/

I also agree with the above posters that say there is no need to be nice, they scammed your wife and now are refusing to comply with the judgment. Collect your judgment and have no more interaction with them other than reporting them to the BBB, your state's dealers association, etc.

Topic Author
UnLearnYourself
Posts: 140
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:19 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by UnLearnYourself » Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:21 pm

c1over8 wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:53 pm
Instead of guessing or assuming the debtor has no assets, you should follow your state's procedures for determining the debtor's assets and then for levying on those assets.

In my state, a debtors interrogatory is served to determine the debtor's assets. I'm not familiar with Massachusetts law so Google "collecting a judgment in Massachusetts" and you will find many sources on the specific process. The first Google result indicates that there is a similar discovery process in Massachusetts: https://www.wynnandwynn.com/miscellaneo ... y-damages/

I also agree with the above posters that say there is no need to be nice, they scammed your wife and now are refusing to comply with the judgment. Collect your judgment and have no more interaction with them other than reporting them to the BBB, your state's dealers association, etc.
Everything I read in MA states that it is our responsibility to prove that they have the assets to repay. We had a payment hearing and they never showed up, so now we have a capias, and need a sherrif to go drag his ass back into court.

So far the only real lead I have is the account we deposited the $7k into, and the $25,000 licensing bond.

I've been searching the registry and see a bunch of activity from both owners, operating as a DBA, but it is not clear if they actually own any property. So I'll keep hunting. But I've got a list of addresses that I can bring with us at the next hearing.

retiringwhen
Posts: 1140
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:09 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by retiringwhen » Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:24 pm

Drive by the location of their car lot, take pictures of any of the cars on the lot....
Take that to the Judge and have the sheriff take away the newest Honda Accord on the lot.....
I think that would prove they have assets.

aristotelian
Posts: 5786
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:05 pm

Re: Small Claims - Auto Dealer Claims No $$ To Pay Judgement

Post by aristotelian » Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:11 pm

snackdog wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:05 pm
Small claims is cheap and easy to file and get heard. It can be very difficult to get paid. You don't have many options. Chances of getting paid can be pretty low.

If the dealer wants to sell the car to settle your claim, go for it. You hold the title. When he gets a buyer, you get the cash directly from the buyer and sign over the title directly to the buyer. No middle man.
I would not want any part of passing a known lemon on to someone else, even if that was the easiest way to get my money back.

Post Reply