We were retained by a client who received a wage garnishment execution order which caused a major problem for her as she was a financial advisor for a bank. A default judgment was placed against her over 10 years ago, by Unifund CCR, a common debt buyer. She had been living in Manhattan at the time but had moved to Brooklyn before she was served with a summons and complaint. As she was no longer living in Manhattan she could not have possibly been served and was not aware of the case against her. The interesting part about this judgment is that it had not appeared on her credit report which happens occasionally so she did not know that there was something out there that had to be resolved. The big issue for her was that someone in her position could not have a judgment against them and then also handle and invest people’s money. Financial adviser’s actually have a duty to report this sort of judgment to FINRA which would cause her to potentially lose her job.
We immediately drafted an order to show cause to vacate the judgment against our client based on improper service. We sent a copy to Mullooly, Jeffrey, Rooney, and Flynn, the debt collection law firm that often enforces judgments for Unifund CCR. After reviewing the proof that our client had not lived at the apartment while allegedly being served, Mullooly agreed to vacate the judgment against her without us having to argue the motion to vacate the judgment in court. Unifund CCR did not want to relitigate the issue in court, likely because they are a debt buyer, and this debt was bought and sold multiple times so they offered our client a settlement that reduced the debt by 76% of the balance. Because the judgment was vacated and the debt issue resolved the client did not lose her job or have further issues with FINRA.