Our client retained our office when his bank account was frozen pursuant to a bank restraint levied against his account. Finding himself in the same position as thousands of debtors in New York every year, he had no idea what this restraint was from or how it had occurred. The client was in a panic because he noticed that his account suddenly had a negative balance overnight and he could not access any of his funds. Furthermore, this was a joint bank account with his wife and her funds were frozen in the account as well, the levy was for double the judgment amount and they needed access to those funds immediately to cover their family’s expenses.
Once they retained our office, we quickly ascertained that a judgment had been entered against our client in 2006 by the law firm of Mel S. Harris & Associates on behalf of their client, a debt buyer called Pinpoint Technologies, LLC. Debt buyers purchase debt from creditors at steep discounts, then pursue or sue debtors for the entire amount along with interest and fees. We regularly fight against these debt buyers in court and are successful because they often have trouble establishing their actual ownership of the debt.
The amount entered in judgment here was $4,149.52, and the outstanding balance had increased to $8,385.77 in the preceding years due to the 9% statutory interest that accrues on all New York judgments. All the while, our client had no idea that this judgment was entered against him or that he was even ever sued. After reviewing the details of the case, it was determined that our client was incarcerated at the time of the action and was, therefore, not aware of the action and could not have been served. Much like so many New Yorkers he was a victim of sewer service and without his knowing, this judgment was entered against him, wreaking havoc on his credit and stopping him from obtaining further credit or a mortgage, had he wanted to do so.
The same day Lebedin Kofman was hired, we began negotiations with Mel S. Harris & Associates and we were able to secure a fantastic settlement of $1,500.00 that same day. In addition to the settlement, where the discount amounted to 82% off of the current balance, we were able to have the judgment vacated and our client’s bank account released quickly. This was all accomplished the very same day that we were hired. In these situations it is extremely important to have the judgment vacated as opposed to just satisfied because only a vacature will actually get the judgment deleted from a credit report. A satisfaction of judgment will change the trade line on the report to “judgment satisfied” and the credit score will not have the significant credit score increase people regularly see from having a judgment completely deleted.