How to Disappear From Your Creditors

Sinking

LoanSafe Member
Aug 1, 2012
33
2
8
Yes we were served. The guy who talked to our neighbors (and verified we live there), left the papers taped to our front door.
 

TomEason

LoanSafe Guide
Jun 18, 2009
12,390
84
48
SF Bay Area CA
Yes we were served. The guy who talked to our neighbors (and verified we live there), left the papers taped to our front door.
In my state, a defendant in a lawsuit must be personally served. Taping the complaint & summons to the defendant's front door would not be service of process.
 

Sinking

LoanSafe Member
Aug 1, 2012
33
2
8
Well he knew we were there. He had just talked to my husband 60 seconds prior .... Then went next door, verified that we lived there, and then came and rang the doorbell again. We ignored it, so he left it on the window. I agree, it seemed sketchy to me, but I wasn't willing to just ignore it and let the default judgment go through.
 

TomEason

LoanSafe Guide
Jun 18, 2009
12,390
84
48
SF Bay Area CA
Well he knew we were there. He had just talked to my husband 60 seconds prior .... Then went next door, verified that we lived there, and then came and rang the doorbell again. We ignored it, so he left it on the window. I agree, it seemed sketchy to me, but I wasn't willing to just ignore it and let the default judgment go through.
Well he knew we were there. He had just talked to my husband 60 seconds prior .... Then went next door, verified that we lived there, and then came and rang the doorbell again. We ignored it, so he left it on the window. I agree, it seemed sketchy to me, but I wasn't willing to just ignore it and let the default judgment go through.
If the case is still active, you can make a motion to the court to invalidate the proof of service. In an affidavit you should explain exactly what happened and how it happened. Most judges take a very dim view of process servers lying to the court.
 

Sinking

LoanSafe Member
Aug 1, 2012
33
2
8
It's not ... We settled at $25,000 on a $78,000 balance after we inundated them with discovery requests. :) We are still paying on r settlement though, in installments over five years.

I did consider motioning the court back when it was open, but figured what's the point ... They'd just file suit again with a valid service. It's not like the didn't know where we lived. And my biggest fear was that they'd show up at one of our workplaces to serve us. Now THAT'S embarrassing.
 

HopingtoFind

LoanSafe Member
Oct 7, 2008
2,084
28
48
Bay Area, CA
Sinking, I understand that you're feeling embarrassed by the whole situation. But the truth is you should look at the situation from a different perspective. You're not doing anything immoral or illegal. You're simply breaking a contract, which is a civil issue. Companies and individuals break contracts all the time and go to court to resolve their conflicts.. that is nothing to be ashamed of. It is just that the people feel that way when it comes to their houses because they have been brainwashed by society (lenders) that not paying on your mortgage obligation is somehow a moral issue.. it is not. If anything it is the lenders that should be ashamed after all they have done to this country/people.

So please, you're not doing anything wrong. Proceed with clear conscience, it will help you accomplish what you need to for you and your family.
 

Sinking

LoanSafe Member
Aug 1, 2012
33
2
8
Thanks Hoping, I really appreciate it!! I agree... in general, it's the moral and right thing to do to pay your bills. But when your house was over-inflated due to fraudulent lending practices and you're stuck with an inflated bill because of it, it's a whole new ballgame.

On an unrelated note, they really need to enable editing in here ... I keep rereading my posts right after I post them and find some typos that I really want to fix! :)
 

bankwhipped

LoanSafe Member
Apr 11, 2011
161
8
18
Florida
How to Disappear Aka “going private” or “hiding”
Some forum members might find solace in these ideas. Hiding from debt collectors when you cannot take the pressure anymore, is akin to needing to escape and rehab when your life is spinning out of control.
Important. A disappearing act is much easier to carry off if the debtor lives alone.

Reasons you may want to “disappear.”

To remain anonymous to all creditors and potential claimants or plaintiffs.

To avoid or evade legal process service of a lawsuit or other adverse action.

Actions to Consider Taking to Become Non Locatable

1) Get a PO Box. This is a critical step. Inform all correspondents of your new address. On the USPS application, if asked for street address, you might list a previous nearby address (or you could list a faux address if so inclined). Why? Because a tenacious and persistent creditor might subpoena the post office requesting that info.

1a) Alternatively, you might sign up for “Earth Class Mail”. With this service, a subscriber can see his/her mail online. When the mail arrives, it’s opened and scanned. This can be a valuable service if affordable.

2) Tell your local post office (in writing or on a form) to no longer deliver mail to your street address.

3) In support of #2, either remove your mailbox, or securely fasten it shut and post a notice “Do not leave mail here” on or near your mail box. If you do remove the mailbox or receptacle, I recommend you post that notice somewhere near the front door or entryway.

4) Do not submit a forwarding address to USPS. That way, all mail delivered to your street address will be returned to sender. Again, be certain you notify all correspondents of your new PO Box mailing address.

5) If you have a garage, park your car inside and obscure any windows so no one can determine whether or not the car is present.

6) Keep some of your windows coverings closed enough to preclude visitors from peering inside your home.

Phones

7) Phones, both cell and land line. On the voicemail greeting, change it to the default greeting provided by the phone company/cell provider. Ensure that your name isn’t announced anywhere in that greeting. You can just choose to not answer any incoming calls from either creditor numbers or unrecognized numbers on your caller ID. Turn the ringer way down to barely audible and set the number of rings to only 2 or 3 before it goes to voicemail.

8) Consider buying two prepaid TracFones (no contract to lock you in). Use one phone for family and friends. Use the second phone only for calling banks, CC companies, and debt collectors. Never call a debt collector or bank or loan servicer from your family and friends TracPhone. When you get tired of incoming collection calls, simply turn that phone off to get a needed brain break.

9) Or consider a Google phone or other alternative. The benefits are 1) it’s free 2) includes voicemail 3) you hear no ring 4) you get a number in your area code. Provide this number to your creditors as the best and only way to contact you.

10) Don’t call creditors’ toll free numbers or unknown toll free numbers from a phone that you want to keep anonymous. Your phone #’s ID cannot be blocked on calls to toll free numbers. Also be aware that a creditor’s non toll free number often points to their toll free inbound number, thereby enabling them to see you number.

Other Non-Phone Actions

11) Be cautious of being outside or in your yard for an extended period of time during daylight or early evening hours.

12) Never answer the door for an unexpected visitor. Instead be stealthy to convey the impression no one is home.

13) Decide in advance on an alias and story. If asked if you are “Your Real Name”, respond with something like “Who?” i.e. acting as if you’ve never heard of the person. You could follow up with something like “Who are you looking for? I think you have the wrong address.” Then, if the visitor asks your identity, refuse to answer, or else give them your alias. If they ask about your status, you can say you’re a house guest, neighbor, house sitter, house cleaner, maintenance person, roommate, etc.doing something for the tenant (not the owner - you don’t know who the owner is). You’ll need another alias for the absent tenant

While this kind of discourse can be fun, if you’re concerned you may get flustered, simply refuse to answer any questions, and ask them to kindly vacate the premises and never return. That is the safest course. And, you are allowed to fib to, or make up stories to tell uninvited guests; after all you’re on your property!

14) Update your credit reports at the three major CRAs. Creditors use loads of online database information, like credit reports, to chase debtors. I recommend you order a credit report on yourself, and in that process, provide the new mailing address. This will feed the new contact info to the creditors and aid in the hiding process for you.

In Summary

While not foolproof the above actions can be very effective.

The above recommended tips will not keep one hidden from a creditor willing to spend a lot of time and $$ to hunt a debtor down, but it will help shield the debtor from 97% of the chatter and grief he/she may be experiencing now. A determined creditor, or other entity, might, if the $$ sum sought is large enough, pay for a skip tracing or other locating service, or even a private investigator, to locate the debtor.

As a bonus, here's the link to a story entitled "Things Debt Collectors Won't Say" from SmartMoney Magazine.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/pf_article_113681.html
This is all great advise and it does work, however, how do you file your tax returns when you don't know if any 1099 forms have been issued?

I have moved, no forwarding address filed and I believe that I am untraceable but concerned about any forms that I may need at tax time
ie mortgage foreclosure 1099 and any 1099s from credit cards.

Thanks to everyone for all the great advise throughout this long process, especially Tom, it has been a long road and house will be foreclosed
soon, we will miss it but are looking forward to an end to this nightmare.
 

Geo_h

LoanSafe Member
Aug 27, 2014
3
0
1
44
In my state, a defendant in a lawsuit must be personally served. Taping the complaint & summons to the defendant's front door would not be service of process.
Yes, technically that is true. But if you don't answer the summons or show up in court a default judgment will be entered against you then you will have to file in court to vacate the judgment. If you know you are being sued you should man up and settle it if you can to avoid a judgment on your CRA's or file for bankruptcy protection.
 

Geo_h

LoanSafe Member
Aug 27, 2014
3
0
1
44
I work with numerous disabled people on Welfare, SSI or SSDI. We just assist the client to write a letter telling the creditor or collection agency to no longer contact the person and the persons only income is welfare and they have no assets to collect a judgment with. They usually stop all contact or sell the account then we rinse and repeat. We had mentally disabled client that was able to secure a $18k credit line with a major bank by just filling out an online application. After that the clients rep had all his credit reports frozen.
 

JasonP

LoanSafe Member
Feb 10, 2013
3
0
1
Yes, technically that is true. But if you don't answer the summons or show up in court a default judgment will be entered against you then you will have to file in court to vacate the judgment. If you know you are being sued you should man up and settle it if you can to avoid a judgment on your CRA's or file for bankruptcy protection.
Tom,
I owe AMEX over 45K and owe Citi over 35K and some other cards for a total of another 20K. I have stopped paying them since May of this year. I am out of the country, and was without employment for almost 3 months, hence behind a lot of bills. My current income has gone down drastically, hence cannot afford to pay the credit cards anymore. American Express sent a sheriff to my home in North Carolina, and my wife told them, that I was not there, and that I was out of the country since Jan of this year. So, what are my options? Should I call AMEX? Should I call a debt settlement company? My prior experience 3 to 4 years ago with Citibank on my second mortgage after not paying them for six months resulted into Citibank pardoning half of the mortgage and myself paying them 1/2 of the original mortgage payment.

Thanks

JP