Our client retained us after he received a notice from his bank regarding a judgment entered against him in 2008 in Ulster County Supreme Court. The letter indicated that the judgment creditor was CACH LLC, a debt buyer and the law firm attempting to enforce on the judgment was Eltman Law, a common debt collection law firm. However, Merriman Investments LLC, another debt buyer, later purchased the debt, and was the current owner trying to enforce on the debt.
The buying and selling of debt is a common occurrence in the world of consumer debt collection, and it can often make it very difficult for the consumer to determine whether or not the debt is actually theirs. This type of multiple assignment of the debt is used as a defense for consumers in these matters. In this case, the judgment entered in 2008 only totaled $5,804.09, but the 9% post-judgment interest in NY brought the balance to over $10,000. Our client stated to us that he had moved to Florida in 2007, and never received any notification that an action had been inititated against him.
Our office worked quickly to obtain more information about the service of the summons and complaint for this matter and reviewed it with our client. He ultimately confirmed that he had moved to Florida prior to the initiation of the suit. As a result of our extensive experience with improper service issues in these cases, we instructed our client to provide us with documentation that would be sufficient to prove that our client was not residing in NY at the time of the action. Our client was able to provide a letter from his bank indicating that he had opened his FL bank account prior to the date of initiation of the suit. He was also able to provide his FL driver’s license issued prior to the initiation of the suit. We provided this documentation to Eltman Law, and were able to settle the judgment for $1,000 (savings of about 90% off the current balance) with the condition that the 2008 judgment would be vacated. This allowed our client to feel secure that the matter was fully resolved, and he would not be pursued for this debt again in the future.