Judgments obtained in the wrong venue are unfortunately common these days.
Debt buyers and the law firms who represent them would rather not spend
the extra time and money to properly serve a consumer at the correct address
which is why consumers frequently have no idea about a lawsuit against
them let alone a judgment. In this case our client came to us in a panic
because his job received a wage garnishment notice against him. The debt
was owned by
Credigy Receivables, a debt buyer and was being represented by The Law Office of Steve Cohen.
The alleged debt had almost reached $19,000 because the case was initially
brought in 2007. Like most consumers, our client had no idea that he was
ever sued or about the judgment itself until he learned of the potential
wage garnishment against him.
Our client sent us proof that it would have been impossible for him to
have been served in New York County in 2007 because he lived in Connecticut
at the time. With this proof in hand, we quickly contacted the Law Office
of Steve Cohen to rectify the situation. We informed opposing counsel
that we would file an Order to Show Cause to vacate this judgment and
ask the court to dismiss the case based on multiple grounds including
improper service and a lack of standing as our client vehemently denied
any connection to this debt, as well as under CPLR 321 because the Office
of Steve Cohen never notified our client that they took over as counsel
for Credigy from Forster and Garbus, the initial law firm that filed the
action in 2007. We also informed them that we would file a FDCPA action
against them for filing this suit in the wrong venue, an automatic violation
due to its deceptive purpose. We were able to obtain a quick settlement
which reduced the balance by over 80% and returned our clients garnished
funds as well as vacating the judgment against him.