Every day, we receive calls from people who have judgments ruining their credit, yet they were never given the ability to defend themselves in court. People are sued in New York and New Jersey daily for consumer debt matters, but are frequently improperly served with process or served at the incorrect address. Our client contacted us because she received a notice that her wages were about to be garnished in 20 days due to a judgment she had no idea was entered against her. The judgment was actually entered against her and her mother for $25,000 some months earlier, yet both were never served at the correct address and therefore were never given their day in court to defend themselves. They were sued by SLM Private Student Loan Trust LLC for a student loan that the client allegedly took out and the mother co-signed on. She had no idea whom the Plaintiff in this case was because she never took out student loans from them. The plaintiff here is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navient, formerly known as Sallie Mae.
Once a judgment is entered against a consumer in New York, statutory interest begins to accrue at 9% annually and the creditor can garnish your wages; freeze your bank accounts; or put a lien on property that you own. The judgment can hurt the consumer’s credit for up to 7 years and is active for up 20 years to be enforced on. After we were retained, we contacted Forster & Garbus, the debt collection law firm retained by SLM Trust, right away and worked quickly to resolve this issue. We were able to stop the wage garnishment from going into effect, negotiate for the removal of the judgment for both the mother and daughter and get our clients a fantastic settlement. We negotiated a settlement of $6,000 in 24 interest free payments, an excellent deal considering that she was sued for over $25,000 and over a 75% discount on her student loan debt.