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Advice Please- Old Erroneous Parking Ticket
Old 12-18-2010, 03:05 PM   #1
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Advice Please- Old Erroneous Parking Ticket

The Board members have proven themselves a powerful resource for solving problems and giving great counsel on a wide variety of topics. I now need some advice on the following situation.
Background:
Last month I am in the process of doing a refi and one of the credit reports comes back with a 740 while the other two are 800+. Refi is okay since the bank takes the middle score.
When checking why the low score, I find two very old (2005) parking tickets have been turned over to collections by City of Seattle. Turns out they are from a car I sold in 2004. I had sent in the notice of sale to State but apparently it never got there or the State dropped the ball. I had a bill of sales showing the sale date and sent it to the City. City responded that if the State did not show the transfer of title, I was stuck. When I finally got through to someone at the State Dept of Motor Vehicles they told me my original buyer had never any attempted to transfer title. In fact, the State showed the vehicle had been impounded in 2006 and sold at auction and retitled at that time. State indicated any notice I sale I would give them now would show the current date.
Collection agency has contacted me and wants $250 to clear the tickets and will not drop them without City of Seattle's approval (see above).
I successfully disputed the claim with the credit bureau and the infractions have been removed from the credit report.
It seems odd that the citizen has to prove something requiring action by US Mail and State govt to be complete. I do what I am suppose to but in a vacuum, assume State has updated their records. One of the lessons for member is that if you make a private vehicle sale, you better confirm your State actually did complete updating its records.

Question:
The infractions will probably not be dropped by collection agency for a couple more years and may be reported again to credit bureaus. Statutes of limitations in Wash do not apply to parking tickets. I do not expect to be in need of doing any refi or borrowing in the future. Is there any strong agreement to pay the Collection agency or to make any further effort to convince the City of Seattle to remove the tickets? I have a letter from my auto insurer confirming I dropped coverage at the time of sale but can think of no other way to “prove” vehicle sale. Any other ideas to prove sale from a 2004 event?
Thanks for any and all suggestions.
Nwsteve
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:44 PM   #2
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When you sold the car did you keep the plates? Does the bill of sale identify the buyer with license number, SS# or something other than name?
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Old 12-18-2010, 04:39 PM   #3
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Look at the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/cons...edit/cre27.pdf

In short, it is a violation of the Act for a debt collection agency to try to collect on debts that you do not owe. That exposes the collector to a civil penalty (and liability to pay your attorneys' fees). The next time the collector harasses you, you might point out that they are violating the Act and that if they don't stop, you will take legal action. Because this is a fee shifting statute, it is often possible to find an attorney who will take on such a case. In my experience, however, faced with a consumer who knows his rights and will stand up for them, most collection agencies will back down before it gets that far.
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
When you sold the car did you keep the plates? Does the bill of sale identify the buyer with license number, SS# or something other than name?
Unfortunately no. In WA plates stay with vehicle and only title changes hand. I did not think to get a driver license on the buyer never having any issues with private sale prior--add to book of lessons
Nwsteve
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
Look at the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/cons...edit/cre27.pdf

In short, it is a violation of the Act for a debt collection agency to try to collect on debts that you do not owe. That exposes the collector to a civil penalty (and liability to pay your attorneys' fees). The next time the collector harasses you, you might point out that they are violating the Act and that if they don't stop, you will take legal action. Because this is a fee shifting statute, it is often possible to find an attorney who will take on such a case. In my experience, however, faced with a consumer who knows his rights and will stand up for them, most collection agencies will back down before it gets that far.
Good news so far, no harrasment from collection agency only a demand letter which I responded to disputing claim. If they should pursue, I will definitely follow your guidelines for my response.
Thanks
Nwsteve
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