Monday, December 31, 2007

Unwarranted Pessimism

I just spoke to the most pleasant, helpful customer service representative at the Seattle Municipal Court. That's blogworthy, right?

A man who bought a truck from us a year and a half ago never transferred the ownership into his name, and instead ran around without motor vehicle insurance, driving negligently and leaving the truck abandoned on the street, according to the helpful online ticket lookup system at the Seattle Municipal Court online lookup page. His tickets unpaid, they were sent to collections--where they were filed in my name.

I didn't find out until a month ago, when I decided to check my credit report online. I had a hunch about the likely source of the tickets, but I dreaded making the phone call. See, the thing is, I didn't file my seller's report within the five days mandated by law. I have spoken before of my inadequacy in the personal paperwork department; this is the very thing I was talking about. Since I filed my report belatedly, I was grimly afraid that somehow I would be legally liable for everything the purchaser did with the truck. When I had originally tried to file the late report, that's what the woman at the Department of Licensing indicated. Then she yelled at me for asking too many questions, and when I burst into frustrated tears (oh internet, do I overshare?) she hung up on me.

So I postponed any further investigation like a champ! Until today, when the little voice inside of my insisted, It's the last day of the year--gird your loins and call. Maybe it's all parking tickets that...all...happened to blow away from my car, anyway. Unlikely, sure, but best find out.

I called. I spoke to the nicest woman, who regretfully informed me that I'd have to pay the ones that the new owner incurred prior to my actually filing the seller's report, but was happy to tell me that all I needed to do was send them a copy of the seller's report to dispute the others.

Internet, this is awesome news. Yes, I'll have to pay $150 for tickets I didn't incur. But better $150 than $1000! And oh, I can't tell you how relieved I am to learn that I won't actually be liable for vehicle violations that villainous man makes in the future. This silly little nightmare of mine can finally be laid to rest.

Happy New Year, indeed!