The Firm was retained by a client who realized that a default judgment had been obtained against her originally from 2008 by Palisades Acquisition, a debt-buyer. At the time, Palisades had retained the debt collection law firm of Fulton Friedman and Gullace to sue her and obtain a default judgment, or by automatically winning when the defendant does not respond. This default judgment was obtained in the usual fashion as our client was never served with the summons and complaint notifying her of the lawsuit. Fulton Friedman eventually closed their doors and the Palisades debt was sold and assigned to Great Seneca Financial, another common debt-buyer. Instead of using another law firm to attempt to enforce the debt against our client, they instead used the services of Central Portfolio Control, a collection agency to attempt to collect on the debt of $11,500. Our client only learned of this debt when Central Portfolio began contacting her a decade later advising her that there was a judgment against her.
An Order to Show Cause to vacate the default judgment is essential in a matter like this. We filed our motion immediately and included a motion asking the court to dismiss this matter against our client entirely for a lack of standing. Simply put, we did not believe that Great Seneca or even Palisades Acquisition would be able to prove that they were the rightful owner of the debt or that the debt was properly obtained and assigned to them. We also did not believe that they would be able to produce a witness with actual knowledge of those transactions to testify to that effect. Great Seneca did not send anyone to court to oppose our motion just as we had predicted, likely because they had no real argument to make. The judgment against our client was vacated and the $11,500 was dismissed with prejudice.