What to do if I have gotten into an auto accident without insurance?

Now the debt collection agency is asking for $11,000. I do not have that kind of money since I’m an international student on student loans and no SSN. What happens if I don’t pay the money? I know of many situations in which international students without SSN have done the same, and gotten away with no consequences.

Asked on June 3, 2014 under Accident Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you are sued and lose and there is a judgment against you and you do not pay it:

1) you will have a judgment on your credit record, which can affect borrowing and getting a job (many employers check credit records); it may also affect renting an apartment or home;

2) you salary or wages can be garnished (have money taken from your paycheck);

3) a bank account can have money taken out of it;

4) valuable personal propety can potentially be seized and sold (like a car);

5) real estate can have lien put on it.

 

Obviously, if you already have significant debt, little or no assets, and little or no income right now, then they can't get anything from you (though your credit can be damaged). A judgment remains valid for many years, however, and if you later get a job, have assets, etc., they can try to come after you at that time if you stay in this country.


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