If Utah County constable Michael Erickson, Utah County constable Rob Kolkman, or any other Utah County constable threatens to sell your personal property at a public auction to force you into a payment plan they might be violating your rights.
These are valuable cases so don’t let them threaten, harass, or abuse you. Fight back!
What is a Utah County constable?
A constable is a law enforcement officer who is primarily responsible for serving legal papers. In Utah, they also handle evictions, garnishment paperwork, and public asset sales.
What is service of process?
Service of process means giving legal notice to others. This usually occurs by serving legal papers on someone in accordance with the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure. There are various types of legal process a constable can serve.
An eviction notice is a legal document a landlord sends to a tenant to inform them to vacate rented property. Eviction notices are typically sent when the tenant breaches the terms of their lease agreement by failing to pay rent or violating a lease provision. If the tenant does not comply with the eviction notice, the landlord may take legal action to remove the tenant from the property.
A summons is a legal document issued by a court or attorney that requires the recipient to appear in court or respond to a legal action. Receiving a summons is an important legal matter and requires prompt attention. Ignoring a summons can result in a default judgment being entered against the recipient, which can have serious legal and financial consequences.
A subpoena is a legal document that orders a person to provide testimony or documents in a legal proceeding. Failing to comply with a subpoena can result in legal consequences such as being held in contempt of court. However, if the person receiving the subpoena has a valid legal objection, they may be able to challenge or quash the subpoena in court.
A supplemental order is an order from the court requiring a debtor to appear and answer questions about their assets and income. Failing to comply can result in an order of contempt or even a warrant for arrest in some cases.
A garnishment is a legal process by which a creditor can collect a debt owed by an individual by obtaining a court order to seize the debtor’s assets, such as wages, bank accounts, or other property.
Writs of Execution
A writ of execution is a legal order issued by a court that authorizes the enforcement of a judgment or court order against a debtor or other party. Writs of execution are often used in debt collection cases. But they can also be used in other legal contexts, such as enforcing a court order for an eviction or the seizure of property in a civil lawsuit.
Orders of Restitution
An order of restitution is used in eviction cases to allow the constable to remove people from the rented property. These are grossly misused in mobile home cases so contact us immediately if you own a mobile home but have been served with an order of restitution.
A bench warrant is issued by the court to have someone arrested. In civil cases they are issued to remedy a failure to appear at a supplemental proceeding.
Why is a constable looking for me?
Constables are process servers. In most cases they are serving legal process for lawsuits, evictions, or other legal matters such as those described above. If a constable is looking for you he is probably trying to serve you with legal papers.
Constables might step outside their normal role as a process server and take on the role of a debt collector. That happens when they solicit, negotiate, or engage in a payment plan for you to repay your debt. At that point they are no longer serving legal process. They are collecting debt.
When a constable is trying to serve you with a civil summons you should normally cooperate and then oppose the lawsuit as appropriate in court. If, a constable is looking for you to set up a payment plan then be more cautious. Contact an attorney to enforce your rights and stop the collection and threats of assert seizures and auctions.
If you have received any collection letters or letters threatening to sell your property at auction you are in an ever better position to enforce your rights as those letters might violate federal and state law. Call an attorney to find out how you can fight back effectively.
Who is Utah County Constable Michael Erickson?
Utah County Constable Michael Erickson is a constable located in Utah County, Utah. Utah County has appointed Erickson to serve legal process, serve and handle eviction, and execute on your personal assets.
We have also found several cases where Utah County Constable Michael Erickson uses his constable position to coerce consumers into setting up payment plans under the threat of selling their personal property under a writ of execution. It is our contention that when he, or any other constable, solicits, negotiates, and engages in payment plans with debtors he loses the protections normally afforded to constables under federal law and subjects himself and his agents to liability.
Who is Utah County Constable Rob Kolkman
Utah County Constable Rob Kolkman is another constable located in Utah County, Utah. Like Erickson, Utah County has appointed Kolkman to serve legal process, serve and handle eviction, and execute on your personal assets.
Utah County Constable Rob Kolkman is another Utah County constable we have reason to believe is also engaging in illegal and abusive debt collection practices. Our research has shown that he also uses the threat of asset seizures and public auctions to coerce debtors into setting up payment plans.
Can a constable sell my property?
Constables may only seize and sell your property at auction if they follow all of the required legal procedures. Even then, you have the right to oppose the sale and keep your exempt property. Whether a constable can sell your property at auction depends on several factors.
First, the constable must have a writ of execution authorized by the court.
Second, the constable must properly serve you with that writ of execution and give you the opportunity to object. If you have property that is exempt from seizure you should object to the writ of execution. If there are any irregularities in the writ of execution you should also object.
Third, the constable needs to advertise the sale of your property publicly. Some of the Utah County constables, including Utah County Constable Michael Erickson, do not advertise these sales as required. This is because they are only threatening the sale to coerce people into setting up payment arrangements.
If a constable fails to take any of these steps he is violating your rights.
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Is it ethical or legal for a constable to collect monthly payments for a debt I owe to someone else?
In most cases it is not legal for a constable to collect monthly payments on behalf of someone else. This does depend on the methods they use to collect the debt however.
Constables are law enforcement officers with specific duties, powers, and limitations set forth by law. Their primary responsibility is to serve legal process, subpoenas, and court orders. They also enforce judgments and orders of the court. While they may be involved in enforcing a court judgment or order, they are not authorized by state law to solicit, negotiate, or accept payment arrangements for a debt owed to someone else. When they do so, they assume the role of a debt collection agency. That requires them to follow all the debt collection laws at play.
Threats, intimidation, harassment, or misrepresentations about the amount or nature of a debt, or making false statements about legal actions that may be taken against the debtor are all illegal. By invoking their position as law enforcement officers to force payment they risk running afoul of these prohibitions. They also violate consumers’ rights when they illegally threaten, intimidate, harass, or coerce payment from consumers.
In some cases, a constable may be authorized by a court to seize property to collect a judgment on behalf of a creditor or debt collector. However, this can only occur after the court issues an order allowing the constable to seize the property. Even then the constable must comply with all applicable laws and ethical standards. He has no special license to lie, cheat, or steal just because he is a law enforcement officer. On the contrary. As an officer, constables have a greater duty to uphold the law and conduct themselves ethically.
Are constables exempt from federal debt collection laws?
The short answer is sometimes, but it depends on several factors.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that regulates the activities of debt collectors in the United States. The purpose of the FDCPA is to protect consumers from abusive, deceptive, and unfair practices by debt collectors.
Constables are normally exempt from the FDCPA but that exemption only extends to their activities as a constable. As long as they are merely serving legal papers they are exempt from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Once they cross the line and engage in debt collection activity, however, constables lose their exemption and become subject to all of the requirements and prohibitions of the FDCPA.
For example, when a constable serves you with a duly-issued writ of execution they are serving legal papers. That is exempt from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. On the other hand, if the constable mails you a letter asking you to contact them to make payment arrangements to stop a public auction to sell your personal property, they become a debt collector under the law.
The difference seems obvious. When they are merely serving legal papers they are constables and exempt from the FDCPA. When a constable engages in collection activity to secure payment they become a debt collector under the law.
Why is the use of a constable to collect a debt illegal?
While a constable may be involved in the enforcement or service of a court order related to the collection of a debt, the use of a constable to collect a debt outside of this context is illegal under the FDCPA.
The reason is because the FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from using any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt. It also prohibits abuse, harassment, and making threats that are illegal or not intended. Using a constable to intimidate and coerce consumers into setting up payment plans often violates these prohibitions.
Consumers may be led to believe that they are required to pay the debt immediately or face consequences that have not been authorized by the court, even if they do not actually owe the debt. They may believe that they have lost legal rights they still possess or will lose legal rights if they don’t pay.
Consumers may also feel harassed, threatened, or intimidated by the involvement of law enforcement in the debt collection process. That can be seriously detrimental to their emotional and mental well-being.
What are the consequences for violating the FDCPA
Under the FDCPA, consumers have the right to sue debt collectors who violate their legal rights. The debt collector or constable may be ordered to pay you damages, court costs, and attorney’s fees. This is why you should fight back.
Damage awards and settlements under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act can be substantial enough to put debt collectors out of business in some cases.
In addition to civil penalties, debt collectors violating the FDCPA also face enforcement action by federal or state regulatory agencies. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are two examples. These agencies have the authority to enforce the FDCPA.
The use of a constable to collect a debt may be illegal under the FDCPA in certain circumstances. Using a constable or other law enforcement officer to collect debt illegally can create significant legal and financial consequences.
Consumers who believe that their rights have been violated by a constable should consult with an attorney. Find one who specializes in debt collection litigation. By taking action for abusive or deceptive practices, consumers protect their rights and hold debt collectors accountable for their actions.
Consult with an attorney who is knowledgeable about debt collection practices and your rights under the law if you are being contacted by a constable such as Utah County Constable Michael Erickson or Utah County Constable Rob Kolkman attempting to collect, solicit, or negotiate monthly payments. Whether you owe the debt or not we might be able to help.
An experienced litigation attorney can help you understand your options and take steps to protect your rights and interests. In many cases we can sue to stop the collection process and make unethical constables pay you for your damages.