We were contacted about a default judgment obtained against a consumer
by Palisades Acquisition, a debt buyer using the services of Todd Houslanger
& Associates to enforce the judgment against him for over $15,000.
The debt had defaulted in 2001 and the client was sued in 2007 right before
the six-year statute of limitations in these cases expired. People in
New York generally move around quite a bit so default judgments due to
improper service are rampant. Our client had not only moved but moved
completely out of state to Pennsylvania so there is no possible way that
he could have been served with process. Houslanger, was able to levy his
bank account cleverly because the consumer kept funds in a large national
bank like Chase.
Generally, a judgment entered in one state must be domesticated in the
state where judgment enforcement is sought. However, national banks that
have major contacts in New York like Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo and
others can levy accounts in other states without the judgment being domesticated.
This issue sometimes develops during wage garnishment situations as well
when consumers are employees of large corporations that do business in
New York as well as many other states throughout the country. We recently
encountered an example of this as an employee of Time Warner who had a
judgment against him in New York was garnished in Florida without the
domestication of the judgment against him. In this case, we were able
to have Houslanger’s office to agree to vacate the judgment in order
to re-start the case and defend the consumer.